At Juniata, we believe change is good ... except for this stuff!

Like many other colleges and universities, we sponsor events such as Homecoming and Family Weekend. But, in addition, we have a number of traditions that are unique to Juniata.

Lobsterfest Madrigal May Day Breakfast Mountain Day
Mr. Juniata Springfest Storming of the Arch  

Unique Traditions


Established: 1988

Sponsored by the Office of Student Engagement & Campus Activities and Juniata Dining, Lobsterfest is held at the end of the first week of fall semester classes to welcome the students back to campus after summer break. Lobsterfest is a picnic that features whole Maine lobsters as the main course and live music as the entertainment.

In addition, the Student Organization Fair is held during Lobsterfest. During the Fair, many of the College's student organizations set up display tables so that new students have the opportunity to see the many activities available to them.


Established: 1970

Madrigal, Juniata College

Madrigal Dinner is one of our most popular traditions, with 600-700 students in attendance each year. Taking place on the last Saturday of fall semester, this holiday tradition starts with a first-class meal served to the students by the faculty and staff. After dinner, the guests are entertained with performances by members of the campus community and the entire group participates in holiday caroling. This sing-along culminates with the singing of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" with various sections of the dining hall acting out the different parts of the song.

Students camp out for days just to sign up for Madrigal Dinner and try for seats in their favorite section, especially the "Five Golden Rings" section. The Madrigal line is as much a part of the fun as the dinner itself—students build an elaborate tent city on the lawn around Ellis Hall, complete with furniture, TVs and VCRs, and video games!

May Day Breakfast

Established: 1916

On the morning of Reading Day in the spring, a very special breakfast is held to recognize outstanding women on campus and to celebrate their contributions to campus life. Featuring a keynote speaker or performer, May Day Breakfast culminates with the announcement of the Senior Woman of the Year.

Mountain Day

Established: 1896

Mountain Day is the oldest tradition at Juniata, in existence in some form since the late 1800s. On a beautiful fall day, classes are canceled and everyone flocks to one of the state parks in the area for a day of outdoor fun including a picnic lunch, nature walks, crafts, music, tug-of-war, and the spirited faculty/staff vs. seniors co-ed flag football game.

The most unique element of Mountain Day is that no one knows in advance when it is going to occur! Trying to guess the date of Mountain Day is one of the most-popular topics of conversation among the students and faculty in the weeks leading up to the event.

To Sign-Up to be called on the morning of Mountain Day, please click here


Mr. Juniata

Mr. Juniata

Established: 1997

The Mr. Juniata Pageant is a tongue-in-cheek spoof of beauty pageants with men from each class competing for the coveted Mr. Juniata crown. Complete with formal wear, talent, and interview competitions, the guys keep the Oller Hall audience in stitches with their hilarious antics.



Established: 1986

Springfest at Juniata

In April, Springfest is jam-packed with activities allowing   students and staff to enjoy a break from their preparations for final exams and to get a little crazy! The weekend consists of a mud volleyball tournament, carnival activities organized by the Registered Student Organizations, outdoor picnics for both lunch and dinner and other activities which can include anything from laser tag to tie-dying t-shirts to a break dancing demonstration.


Storming the Arch

Established: Late 1940's

To date, no freshman class has made it through the Arch successfully.

Storming of the Arch takes place on the second Wednesday of fall semester and is an optional rite of passage for first-year students. First-year students from across campus gather on North Lawn with the intention of charging the Cloister Arch and making it through to the other side. This mission is complicated by the group of upperclass students who serve as "defenders" of the Arch. The students discuss their strategy and then charge the Arch until they are all knocked down or someone gets through the gauntlet of upperclassmen. This event is organized by the men's and women's rugby teams.