Family Weekend at St. Bonaventure University includes a jam-packed schedule of campus events, the annual Bonagany Festival in downtown Allegany, and an opportunity to be part of live streaming of the internationally popular “Fireball Run” adventure travel series.
Family Weekend kicks off Friday, Sept. 23, with a big splash: the second annual Polar Spray fundraiser. Students and staff will be sprayed with a fire hose in order to collect on pledges of donations to benefit Special Olympics of New York. The event takes place at 4 p.m. on outdoor basketball courts between Reilly and Richter centers.
Other Friday activities include a men’s rugby match against West Point at 6:30 p.m. on the Marra Athletics Fields Complex at the back of campus, and a 7 p.m. performance by actor and vocalist Patrick Mulryan at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Mulryan, an Olean native, recently completed a successful run in London in the musical “Into the Woods.”
Saturday’s schedule of events begins with golf at the St. Bonaventure Golf Course at 8 a.m. and continues nonstop into the evening. Campus activities include an ROTC tactical demonstration at 9 a.m. on the Marra Complex; a Family Fun Run/Walk at 9:30 a.m.; a 2 p.m. women’s soccer match with Bryant University, also at the Marra Complex; a Family Weekend Mass in the University Chapel at 4:30 p.m.; a “Dueling Pianos” show in Hickey Dining Hall at 8 p.m.; and music, games and more in the campus Rathskeller until midnight.
A highlight of Saturday is the 12th annual Bonagany Festival, which takes place in downtown Allegany from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Celebrating the friendship between campus and community, Bonagany is a street fair on closed-off Main Street featuring music, food, art, information booths and more.
Five different bands will entertain throughout the day, student groups will offer information and activities, and more than 30 vendors will be on hand, offering everything from handcrafted jewelry and crafts to paintings and art prints.
This year will feature music all day beginning at 11 a.m. with The Chumps, Channel Six Band from noon to 1 p.m., not Norman from 2 to 3 p.m., Sticktights from 3 to 4 p.m., and Diggin’ Roots Band from 4 to 5 p.m. A juggling act by Gravitational Bull will perform under the music tent from 1 to 2 p.m. and the talented Aileen Wintermantle and Daveen Horton of The Honey Punks will perform between music acts.
This year’s Bonagany Festival will share its Main Street stage with “Fireball Run,” an entertainment series that describes itself as an eight-day, 2,000-mile, life-sized trivia game. Traveling back roads and visiting America’s “under-discovered” places in search of interesting historical ties and artifacts, 40 teams in vintage vehicles go from destination to destination along the 2,000-mile route.
This year’s 10th anniversary season features a course taking participants from Allegany and Western New York to Massachusetts. At each of eight stopping points along the way, teams solve trivia clues that reveal specific destinations in and around each locale, then drive to those sites, camera crews in tow, to complete a task and earn points.
The main mission of “Fire Ball Run,” which works in partnership with Child Rescue Network, is to aid in the recovery of missing children. Each team is assigned a missing child from its hometown and distributes posters along the rally route.
It all starts at 9 a.m. Saturday with a Red Carpet Event in front of Allegany Town Hall on Main Street. Area residents are encouraged to attend to meet the drivers and photograph their multi-million dollar assemblage of vehicles.
Red Carpet Events are streamed live at fireballrun.com. Footage of individual team missions during the day will be part of the upcoming 10th season’s 26 episodes. “Fireball Run” is streamed online in the U.S. and televised internationally.
The public is also invited to a Green Flag Send-Off at 8:30 on Sunday, as teams and drivers head off on their next destination, Curwensville, Pa.
For more information about “Fire Ball Run,” go to www.fireballrun.com.
For more information about Family Weekend at SBU, go to www.sbu.edu/FamilyWeekend.
St. Bonaventure has chosen the nonfiction book “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson as its common read for 2015-2016. This All Bonaventure Reads selection explores the inequity embedded in the U.S. criminal justice system.
“Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” was released in October and focuses mainly on the work of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., a legal practice Stevenson founded as a young lawyer that is dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need.
One of Stevenson’s first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. It transformed the lawyer’s understanding of mercy and justice forever and illustrates numerous ongoing challenges in work advocating for social justice.
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7 p.m. | Monday, Oct. 26
Address by: Anthony Ray Hinton (above, right), an exonerated death row inmate, and Charlotte Morrison, senior attorney with the Equal Justice Initiative
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