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Chico State Builds on Last Year’s Success With 2023 Wildcat Weekend

A pair of red and white decorative ribbons that say Wildcat Weekend
Jason Halley / University Photographer

Chico State’s inaugural Wildcat Weekend last year was a smashing success—this year, hopes are even higher for another fun and positive event.

Wildcat Weekend 2023 will take place from Thursday, October 12 through Saturday, October 14, mostly at Chico State but also in select areas around Chico. It will be headlined by the signature events Homecoming, Alumni and Family Weekend and Chico Preview Day. With nearly 20 events to choose from, there will be something for everyone, from comedy and musicals to Wildcat Athletics and events for alumni, prospective students and their families.

Mark Hendry, president of the Chico State Alumni Association Board of Directors, noted this fall reunion is not only a chance for alumni and families to reconnect, but a major opportunity to roll out the red carpet for prospective students to show them everything that makes Chico State an incredible choice for college—something the University’s 183,000-plus alumni know all too well.

“There are few ways to experience the magic of Chico State better than Wildcat Weekend,” said Hendry (Communications, Industrial Technology, ’85). “With thousands of alumni back in town and thousands of prospective students with their families, there is no better time to see all that makes Chico State so great.”

The entire three-day slate of events can be found at the Wildcat Weekend website. Here are highlights:


Chico Chapter Fall Event at the Meriam Park Barn at 5:30 p.m. at 1930 Market Place, with fan favorites The Kelly Twins performing their wildly popular dueling piano show. Tickets are $15 apiece and include hors d’oeuvres—a no-host bar will also be available. Tickets are on sale now.

Over at Harlen Adams Theatre, Chico State’s School of the Arts will perform “Head over Heels: The Musical” featuring the music of The Go-Go’s. Performances run Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. with two shows on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now.

Finally, the Golden Grad Reunion celebrates Chico State’s Class of 1973 with events throughout the weekend.


The sixth annual Joy of Learning kicks off Friday’s events. This teach-in is a signature showcase designed to energize and excite the curious about the academic wonders happening at Chico State. The virtual presentations begin at 9 a.m. and can be viewed live at the Recital Hall in the Arts and Humanities Building or on the Chico State livestream page.

Chico State’s three museums will showcase their new exhibits. The Janet Turner Print Museum, located in the Humanities and Fine Arts building, will be open from noon to 8 p.m. featuring a pair of exhibits—“Northern California Horizons: The Reed Applegate Collection” and “Proof of Concept.” The Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology, inside the Meriam Library Breezeway, will be open Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. showing the exhibit “Deeply Rooted: How Soil Connects Us.” And the Gateway Science Museum, located at 625 Esplanade, will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with two new exhibits: “Bombus! The Natural History of Bumble Bees” and “The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.”

For an evening of wine and beer tasting, art showcases and live music, there will be an Art and Wine Walk through downtown Chico from 5 to 8 p.m.

For those with a hankering for competition, the Chico State women’s volleyball team faces conference foe Stanislaus State at 5 p.m. inside Acker Gym.

Rounding out Friday’s events is an evening of comedy courtesy of Sheng Wang. Sheng Wang is a comedian, actor and writer originally from Houston. His first Netflix special, “Sweet & Juicy,” was released in September 2022 and was produced and directed by Ali Wong. He was also a featured stand-up on HBO’s “2 Dope Queens” special and wrote for the ABC show “Fresh Off the Boat.” Brought to you by Chico Performances, Wang performs at Laxson Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.—tickets are on sale now.


Saturday’s main event is Wildcat Preview from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Prospective students and their families can check out Chico State and explore academic open houses, an information fair, guided tours and a student organization fair. It is also an event to welcome Chico State alumni and their families back to their alma mater to reminisce, reconnect and re-engage with the campus community.

Wildcat Preview also includes the Alumni and Family Weekend BBQ and a concert on the lawn from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Kendall Hall Lawn. Participants can enjoy some live music by JAMM! beginning at 11:30 a.m., followed by welcome remarks from Chico State President Steve Perez at 12:30 p.m. and more live music from Decades at 1 p.m. Tickets for the barbecue are on sale now.

Finally, the Wildcat Recreation Center (WREC) will be open to alumni and families.

Those who require accommodations to participate in any on-campus events or who have questions about accessibility may contact the University’s Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959.