The University of Notre Dame leans into its traditions – from the pomp and circumstance of commencement weekend to the revelry of a home football weekend. These are the activities that stir nostalgia and keep people coming back to campus for years after visiting for the first time or graduating.
Interested in taking part yourself? Explore the different campus traditions that draw people in from all over the world.
Notre Dame home football weekends are an event unlike any other with a pep rally, the Midnight Drummers Circle, player walk and more leading up to kickoff.
Football Friday Stadium Tunnel Tours
Ever wondered what it would be like to run out of the North Tunnel and onto the fabled field inside Notre Dame Stadium? Fans can do just that (or walk, if you prefer) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on football Fridays. It's the same tunnel the team has used since 1931 to make its entrance before kickoff.
Trumpets Under the Dome
The marching band's trumpet section gathers inside the famed Golden Dome just after 4 p.m. on Fridays to play "Notre Dame Our Mother" and the "Notre Dame Victory March."
Friday Pep Rally
If you're not already pumped up for kickoff, you will be after leaving the pep rally. Join fellow fans to cheer on the Fighting Irish as they gather on the eve of the game.
Midnight Drummers Circle
Every Friday of a home football game weekend, just before midnight, the Notre Dame drumline convenes in front of the Main Building. After the bells of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart chime for midnight, members of the drumline circle up to break the campus quiet for 45 minutes as they play cadences.
Parking lots open at 8 a.m. for tailgating. As the grills get fired up and the cornhole games take flight, anticipation for kickoff builds.
Head coach Brian Kelly and the team arrive at the Guglielmino Athletics Complex on Saturday morning for final preparations. They later walk from the Gug to the Hesburgh Library, then turn south toward Notre Dame Stadium and enter through the Tunnel gates. Fans line the walk to catch a glimpse of their favorite players and fire up the team one last time before kickoff.
Marching Band Step Off
Anticipation for the game builds Saturday as the famed Notre Dame Marching band gathers in front of the Main Building (with the Golden Dome fixed atop). The band starts playing then marches toward the north tunnel of Notre Dame Stadium. It’s the soundtrack that leads you into kickoff.
Scheduled for May 14-15, 2022, commencement marks one of the most important events on the Notre Dame calendar. Make sure to book your hotel (link to hotels page) in advance if you and/or your family plan to attend the ceremonies. Many restaurants around The Bend (insert restaurants link) will take reservations in advance over commencement weekend.