CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that Phoenix Fan Fest was cancelled last year, when in fact it was relocated. Elon News Network regrets this error.

As a part of Elon University’s Family Weekend, the Phoenix Fan Fest gathered students and their families together for a tailgate with lawn games, face painting, caricature artists, photo booths and a buffet with a variety of food and desserts. 

After the previous year’s last-minute relocation of the Phoenix Fan Fest due to the weather from Hurricane Ian, many students and their families attended this year on Sept. 30, excited for an eventful tailgate before the football game. 

This year’s Family Weekend took place from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1. 

Freshman Kaitlin Mariani and her parents went to the Phoenix Fan Fest after attending the Phoenix 5th Friday event the night prior. 

The Phoenix 5th Friday event took place in Downtown Burlington and featured local food trucks, games and live music from Elon’s own student band, “Thistle Ridge.” 

Tammy Mariani, Kaitlin’s mother, said that she enjoyed “seeing all of the Elon folks together” at the Phoenix 5th Friday event and felt that it was “a great way to bring the community and school together.”

Kaitlin’s father Rich Mariani said he enjoyed being on campus with such nice weather. 

“We got tickets to the football game after this and we are looking forward to walking around campus and exploring later,” Rich said. 

Freshman Annie Perry said her and her family also enjoyed the activities and spent time using the photo booths at the tailgate. The Perry family said they have been enjoying the family weekend events, especially the photobooths. 

Annie said she was looking forward to watching the football game against William & Mary at Rhodes Stadium with her parents after the Phoenix Fan Fest. 

At the game, the Phoenix won against William & Mary with a final score of 14-6. 

Sophomore Delaney Guidi was also joined by her family for the first time.

“I didn’t get to go last year, so this is technically my first family weekend,” Guidi said. 

Guidi said her and her boyfriend — also an Elon student — enjoyed the revolving photo booth with both of their families. Overall, Guidi said she appreciated how clean the university kept campus during the weekend. 

“They cleaned up campus really nice, so I think the parents should come more often,” Guidi said.