Siblings Weekend wraps up with pancake breakfast, carnival

Grand Rapids sophomore Bailey Campbell shares a bag of cotton candy with her niece Gabi Wazny, 4, during the carnival hosted during Siblings Week on Jan. 27 in the SAC.

Siblings young and old enjoyed breakfast as Chris Cakes of Michigan tossed pancakes onto plates of all attendees Saturday morning at Finch Fieldhouse.

The pancake breakfast is an annual event for Siblings Weekend.

Nathan Smith, 38, of Chris Cakes, a catering company, said they have been working this event at Central Michigan University for more than 10 years. 

"I love that feeling of the older sibling showing the younger sibling this is what growing up looks like," Smith said.

Malia Reger, an employee of Chris Cakes, said they easily serve 2,000 pancakes at the breakfast. Her favorite part of the event was having all the kids involved. She added she felt siblings weekend is a "community event."

Senior JD Copus, entertainment coordinator for Siblings Weekend, said this was his first time organizing an event of this size. Seeing all they younger kids enjoying themselves was the best part for him.

"That's why we do this, so that they can have fun," Copus said.

Grand Ledge junior Mary VanHoesen was happy to show her four-year-old sister Clara and two younger cousins Jane and Elliot Hubbard around this weekend. This was Jane's third time at Siblings Weekend and Clara and Elliot's second. When asked what their favorite part of the weekend had been so far, all of the young kids exclaimed "food" -- including the pancakes.

Troy sophomore Brendan Genereau, 19, brought his younger brother Blake, 9, to CMU for the weekend. 

"We don't see each other that much anymore, so seeing him up here and showing him what I do everyday, it's kind of nice," Genereau said.

Freshman Grace Lounsbury from Williamston invited her 15-year-old younger brother to stay with her this weekend. Grace said she came to visit her cousins at CMU for Siblings Weekend when she was younger and was happy to do this for her brother now. Their favorite part had been spending time on campus and getting to have fun together.

While the day of events included open bowling, swimming in the Student Activity Center, sports clinics, rock wall climbing and crafts, the carnival was one of the biggest attractions of the weekend. 

Activities and people filled the SAC as siblings ate, played and danced their way through the carnival.

The carnival consisted of inflatables, music, games and performances. Among the games were zorb racing, basketball, bean bag toss and an obstacle course. 

Two acapella groups and dance teams from CMU performed. The Central Harmony acapella group sang cover songs and the Explosive dance team danced to a mashup of songs. 

At the carnival, Deckerville senior Jenna Genoff and her seven-year-old brother Ross spent their time playing on the inflatables and eating cotton candy.

Sanford freshman John Apo was a volunteer for Siblings Weekend. He said he participated to help others have fun.

"I want to make this the best experience for everyone here since I don't have my own siblings," Apo said.  "What better way to do that than to volunteer and help make sure that other people's siblings are having fun?"

Belleville junior Jaila Johnson invited her sister Zaria Johnson, 10, to CMU for the weekend. This was Zaria's third time at Siblings Weekend. Zaria said that she has had more fun this year than any of the others and that her favorite part was hanging out with her sister. 

Pontiac senior Brianna Hughes and her brother Isaac, 10, spent the weekend attending the illusionist show among other activities. Brianna said she loved getting to spend time with her brother -- explaining they never get to spend time alone.