An Tostal

An Tostal at Notre Dame began in 1967 by students Jimmy Brogan, David Ryan, and Ron Mastroni [Scholastic 1988/0414, page 14].  Its name comes from the spring festivals held in Ireland during the 1950s.  At Notre Dame, it is a student organized event through the Student Union Board, and thus the events vary from year to year, but it is generally a week-long festival of games, prizes, music, and food.  Other events such as the Fisher Hall Regatta and the Bookstore Basketball Tournament are held in conjunction with An Tostal.

An Tostal program cover featuring a leprechaun, 1970.  The Hall Presidents’ Council (HPC) and the Saint Mary’s College (SMC) Social Commission organized the event.
Map of some of the events near St. Mary’s Lake from the An Tostal Program, 1970
An Tostal April 1973 – A student wearing a suit of armor and riding a horse

List of Scheduled Events from the An Tostal Program, 1992

Events have included movies, concerts, picnics, pie-throwing contests, kissing marathons, tug-o-war contests, mattress races, chariot races, and lots of mud…

An Tostal Chariot Races through a mud pit near Stepan Center, Spring 1978
An Tostal Tug-o-War, c1970s
An Tostal Pig Chase, c1970

Sources:
Scholastic
PNDP 70-An-02
GRMD 5/39
GPHR 20/09
GNDL 33/11
GPUB 13/01

4 Replies to “An Tostal

    1. Notre Dame does still have pretty cool activities and the folks over at Student Activities do a fantastic job organizing events. There has been grumbling in the past few years that Notre Dame events, particularly the Pep Rallies, do not have the fever-pitch atmosphere of generations past. My guess is that liability issues are always in the minds of the Administration. The millennial generation is a different breed that has different expectations in regards to entertainment. Nostalgia can also color things differently than from what they might have been.

      This year’s An Tostal (http://issuu.com/brandonkeelean/docs/antostalprogram) maybe didn’t have as many events in the past, but some of the old standards were there, including mud volleyball on Muddy Sunday (http://www.nd.edu/~keenan/mud/).

      1. Well, that, and most of the events just aren’t cool anymore. I understand the liability issues, but overreaction has led to an atmosphere where only official, centrally-planned “fun” is allowed, and students can only consider the limited possibilities within such a constricted zone.

        This is coming from a current student, if that makes any difference to you. I will say that I heartily appreciate all that you at the Archives do, though, especially with this blog. Keep up the good work!

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