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AnTostal: Then and Now

Marissa Frobes | Tuesday, April 20, 2010

AnTostal began as an Irish tradition in the 20th century. Inaugurated in 1953, the event carried through until the 1960s when it fizzled out in Ireland. Initially, the celebration of Irish culture was an attempt to attract tourists during the Easter off-season.


Today, Notre Dame holds a monopoly over the term AnTostal, which means “the festival,” since it has become an annual campus tradition since 1967. Taking place during the last full week of classes before summer, AnTostal is meant to help students relieve stress and let loose before they have to hibernate for finals.


However, the AnTostal of 2010 looks nothing like the uproarious festivals of the 1970s. Comparing the weekly schedules of this year to the AnTostal of 1977 illustrates the mellow and, quite frankly, boring nature of this year’s festivities.


In 1977, the 10-year anniversary of AnTostal began on “Wicked Wednesday” with a bar crawl. If you bought a Happy Hour ticket, you were good for cheap (if not free) drinks at a number of local bars, including Fat Wally’s, Corby’s and Bridget McGuire’s.


This year’s “Wiggity Wiggity Wednesday” features games on South Quad and trivia in LaFortune. Hark to tradition, SUB. Take a note from 1977!


1977’s “Gentle Thursday” was jam-packed. A full-out circus act came to campus, you could throw your friend in jail for a quarter and at the annual Mr. Campus competition, President Jimmy Carter was rumored to be making an appearance. By the way, Bruce Jenner and Farrah Fawcett were invited too! And students had to be careful, at a random point in the day, 500 ping-pong balls were going to fall from the sky as tokens for prizes.


Flash forward to 2010’s “Thabulous Thursday.” A carnival is planned on South Quad and the best of AcoustiCafe is coming to Legends. We all enjoy a little jam session, but what about flying ping-pong balls?  Can’t Obama show up for a few minutes?


1977’s “Frivolous Friday” was comprised of some truly unique events that SUB should have no problem resurrecting in the future. The organizers planned an event centered on an attempt to break a record by fitting over 32 people in a car. Keg toss contests covered South Quad. Sleeping bags were laid out on North Quad, where students were invited to have a slumber party.


This “Freedom Fri(es) Friday” is highlighted by events like Howard Hall’s Cake Walk and the Battle of the Bands. Quite the lackluster line-up in comparison to the AnTostal Fridays of yore.


The rest of the weekend in 1977 must have been a strain on the Notre Dame student’s body. Beginning at 6 a.m. on “Sunny Saturday,” there was an athletic competition, a road rally, chariot races, mud volleyball, quad soccer matches and Bookstore Basketball. They capped off Saturday night dancing to disco at the Stepan Center at an Irish Wake.


“Serene Sunday” gave the students a bit of recovery time in the morning, beginning at 1 p.m. with a last Bookstore game. Then came quite possibly one of the most hilarious activities Notre Dame has seen, which needs to be made a tradition immediately. In the “Jocks vs. Girls” Basketball game, boys had to handicap themselves to even out the playing field. Common impairments were boxing gloves or grocery bags over their heads. A 1970s take on Battle of the Sexes that should be reincarnated.


2010s “Showstoppin’ Saturday” will probably be modern AnTostal’s day of glory. The Blue-Gold game will excite the Notre Dame community, and one unofficial AnTostal event can’t be forgotten — PigTostal. Probably the biggest party of the year at Notre Dame, it’s a glimpse into an average spring weekend at a state school. Also, it’s probably a peek at what South Quad may have looked like during AnTostal in 1977, but it’s not technically even a part of AnTostal celebrations at Notre Dame.


One cannot deny that this year’s plans do include some awesome charitable events, such as “The Bald and the Beautiful,” where students will shave their heads for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a cancer research non-profit. Additionally, college students never say no to free merchandise: T-shirts, sunglasses and food will be passed out throughout the week.


Yet even the number of events planned in 1977 was far greater than the arrangements made for this year’s AnTostal. A bit of drinking and danger was involved in their outrageous ideas, but if developers of the festival could minimize the risk and maximize the fun of old AnTostal plans, students might actually participate and get the stress-relief they so direly need this last week before finals.



2010 schedule:


Melodramatic Monday

11:30 a.m. T-Shirts and Tied-Dye at O’Shag

5 p.m. Greek Food in the Dooley Room

9 p.m. The Domer Dating Game in the Ballroom

12 a.m. Quarterdog Eating Contest in LaFortune


(P)terodactyl Tuesday

3 p.m. Games on North Quad

7 p.m. Grill on Fieldhouse Mall

8 p.m. Brink! On North Quad


Wiggity Wiggity Wednesday

3 p.m. Games on South Quad

9 p.m. Trivia in LaFortune


Thabulous Thursday

3 p.m. Carnival on South Quad

10 p.m. Best of AcoustiCafe at Legends


Freedom Fri(es)day

8 p.m. Battle of the Bands at Legends


Showstoppin’ Saturday

1:30 p.m. Blue-Gold Game

10 p.m. Parachute and The Carter Twins at Legends


1977 Schedule:


Wicked Wednesday

Irish Wake Happy Hour

2 to 5 p.m.  Fat Wally’s

            With a Happy Hour ticket, you get

                        -all you can drink beer

                        -Two mixed drinks for the price of one

                        -One dollar off pitchers

6 to 9 p.m. Corby’s and Bridget McGuire’s

            -Two beers or mixed drinks for the price of one


Gentle Thursday

9 a.m.            Trivia Bowl on South quad

3 to 5 p.m. Emmett Kelly Jr. Circus Performance at SMC

            50 cents for admission

6:30 to 8:30, O’Laughlin Auditorium

            Goldfish Swallowing

            Dunking Booth

            Jail a Friend for 25 cents

                        Pay your way out or get pied in the face

Evening: 21 and over party at SMC Clubhouse

9:30 p.m. Mr. Campus

            President Jimmy Carter might stop by

            Bruce Jenner and Farrah Fawcett also invited

P.S. At some point during the day, 500 ping pong balls will drop from the sky! Win a prize if you grab one!


Frivolous Friday

12:30 p.m. Activities

            Break record by fitting 32+ people in one car

            Egg toss

            Jello toss

            4 man sack race

            Keg toss

            Blind-folded football kicking

            Frisbee Throw

4 p.m. Impersonation Contest in front of Alumni

9 p.m. Recess 103

            Bicycle races, ice cream, jacks, baby powder fights

11:30 p.m. “Sleep Out” on North Quad

            Bring sleeping bags and let soft music lull you to sleep!


Sunny Saturday

6 a.m. “Superstars” competition

            100 yard swim

            Free-throw shooting

            Golf, pool, pinball

7:30 a.m. Road Rally

11:15 a.m. Campus Wide Picnic at NDH and SDH

12:30 a.m. “Parade of Chariots”

1 p.m. Ben-Hur Chariot Race

2 p.m. Mud Vollleyball finals

2:30 p.m. Earthball Soccer Match, North vs. South Quad

3:30 pm. Tug-of-War, North vs. South quad

4 p.m. Bookstore Basketball

9p.m.-1 a.m. Irish Wake in Stepan Center

            Live band, disco dance floor


Serene Sunday

1 p.m. Bookstore Basketball Consolation Game

1:30 p.m. Jocks vs. Girls Basketball Game

            Boys must play girls with boxing gloves, bags over their heads, or some sort of handicap

2:30 p.m. Bookstore Basketball Finals

3 p.m. Slam Dunk Contest