Father’s Day is a day typically dedicated to grilling, fishing, attending restaurants and cookouts and giving gifts to dads. With COVID-19 cases spiking in Brazos County however, this year’s celebration may need to adapt for families to stay safe.

To keep this day special in the midst of a pandemic, Texas A&M students are coming up with creative plans to make their fathers feel loved.

Psychology senior Abby Patterson said her family normally celebrates Father’s Day by going to a restaurant. Unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions have changed this plan so they decided to go away on a private family trip and spend the day together.

“My family and I are driving to our ranch a few hours away where we will spend the day doing some of my dad's favorite things, such as grilling steaks, target shooting, riding four wheelers and spending quality time outside on the front porch talking about everything,” Patterson said.

While Patterson’s family did get her father some steaks for the occasion, Patterson said she has another special gift in mind.

“This year I plan on writing a letter asking my dad to present me with my Aggie ring this upcoming fall,” Patterson said.

Patterson said throughout her time at A&M, her father has been one of her biggest encouragers, supporters and motivators.

“He even sat with me for eight hours straight and taught me accounting before my accounting final,” Patterson said. “My dad is one of my best friends and the reason I am where I am, which is why I am so thankful to be getting a day to spend doing all of his favorite things and celebrating him.”

For some, COVID-19 didn’t really impact their celebrations, like communication senior Amanda Ernst who said her family enjoys being together at home.

“We will cook an awesome meal with artichokes, steak and apple pie to finish it off,” Ernst said. “My dad loves apple pie so my mom and I will bake that day. Weather permitting, we will go out on the lake and drive around in our boat and water surf.”

Communication senior Halle Rossi and her family plan on celebrating Father’s Day grilling and going jet skiing at Lake Austin.

“My dad has three grills and cooks the most amazing food. Steaks, lobster tails, he can do anything,” Rossi said. “Last year we went out to dinner which we won’t do this year because of COVID-19. It’s nice to have the whole family at home, though.”

This year, Rossi said she got her dad a chair to help his back problems.

“Obviously at this point in my life I can’t give my father everything, but he desperately needs updated furniture and I know he wouldn’t do it for himself, he is too selfless for that,” Rossi said.

Father’s Day is meaningful and important to Rossi, who said she admires her dad’s work ethic and selflessness.

“My dad is truly my hero and inspiration,” Rossi said. “Not only has he worked harder than anyone I have ever known, he puts absolutely every single person before himself. I think he deserves to be celebrated every day, but it’s nice to have a holiday dedicated to him.”

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