Coming to The Bend for a Notre Dame football home game means taking in one of the most tradition-rich experiences in sports. Few things compare to the buzz during these weekends. While there are many things that should be on your itinerary, these are the bucket list traditions you can't miss. 

If you're going to a game during the 2021 season, make sure to know the guidelines and protocols in advance.

Trumpets Under the Dome

From 4:10-4:20 p.m. on the Friday of a game weekend, the Notre Dame Band trumpet section plays in front of the Main Building (with the Golden Dome on top). Typically held inside the Main Building, this tradition will be in front this year.

Pep Rally 

Pep rallies the night before home games are a longstanding tradition. Head coach Brian Kelly leads the team to the stage in front of students and fans to get everyone fired up before the game. Pep rally locations tend to vary, so it's best to check out the details before attending. Locations for 2021 haven't been released yet.

Midnight Drummers Circle 

Just before midnight on Fridays, the Notre Dame Drumline gathers in front of the Main Building (with its golden dome on top). After the bells at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart ring, the Drumline breaks into cadences. The energy carries right into game day.

Tailgating 

Tents go up, grills move into position, cornhole boards get set up — these are all signs that tailgating is about to get underway. Fans collect in the parking lots early in the morning and the revelry carries on all the way up to kickoff. Read our full tailgating guide for the know-before-you-go details.

Player Walk 

As gets into full swing, players and coaches gather at the Gugielmino Athletics Complex on Saturday for final preparations. They walk from the Gug to the Hesburgh Library before turning toward Notre Dame Stadium and entering through the Tunnel gates. Fans can catch a glimpse of their favorite players by lining the path they take.

Alma Mater

The game is a tradition unto itself, but that goes without saying. Staying for the whole thing offers the chance to take part in something else — singing the Alma Mater. Win or lose, the team sings the Alma Mater with the student section after every game. You can (and should!) do the same.