For the first time since 2008, the University of Central Arkansas will host Family Day — an event meant to showcase UCA’s academics, recruit students and engage families, UCA officials said Wednesday.

President Tom Courtway discontinued the tradition during a previous stint as interim president, but he said Wednesday that discontinuing the event was a mistake.

The event Saturday will include concession stands offering funnel cakes, caramel apples and other carnival-type fare, horse rides, an obstacle course, sand art, a balloon artist, booth games and academic tables set up to show people about their "premier programs," according to the UCA website.

Spokesman Jeff Pitchford said he expected a lot of children and families to attend the event.

This year, Family Day is held the same day as Bear Facts Day, which is a day set aside to allow high school students to "get a glimpse" of UCA, according to the UCA website. Courtway said Wednesday he expected about 500 prospective students on campus taking tours and learning about academic programs.

Events for Family Day start at 2 p.m. at the practice field, but tailgating starts at noon on Bruce Street for the game that starts at 6. Residence Life Open House is 3-4 p.m., and sometime after 4 p.m., Courtway is expected to speak.

For a full list of activities happening at UCA, visit