Mountain Day History

Mountain Day History

Dating back to 1914, Mountain Day is the college’s annual celebration of Martha Berry’s birthday. Held traditionally on the first weekend in October, Mountain Day Weekend is Berry’s version of homecoming and family weekend all rolled up into one giant celebration. Parents, alumni, and friends as well as students, faculty and staff are invited to join in on the Mountain Day traditions. 

The weekend kicks off on Friday afternoon with the Mountain Day Parade and Olympics. As one of our largest (and loudest!) events of the year, residence hall teams, commuters, faculty and staff compete in “field day-type” events, such as egg toss and tug-o-war, for the coveted title of Olympic Champions. The highlight of this event is the creativity that goes into the parade entrance, team shirt, and displays of team spirit. Families are welcome to attend and watch the friendly competition.

Friday night KCAB, our student-run programming board, sponsors two performances of the annual Mountain Day Talent Show in the Ford Auditorium. Students perform a variety of talents and compete for first place prize. Mountain Day Olympics winner is also announced during the talent shows. Along with the talent show, the Berry College Theatre Company hosts a theatre performance Friday night, Saturday evening, and Sunday afternoon. This year’s Mountain Day Weekend theatre performance will mark the inaugural production in our new theatre facilities.

Following Saturday morning activities, everyone heads up to Mountain Campus for the picnic and Grand March. The picnic and march are the main attractions for Mountain Day Weekend. Families have the option of purchasing a picnic lunch through Berry’s dining services or elect to bring their own food, along with lawn chairs and/or blankets. Due to the amount of traffic heading up to the foot of Lavendar Mountain, it is recommended that families make their way up the 3-mile stretch by late morning.

In addition to the picnic, several campus vendors and student-run enterprises set up in the “tent village” to share information and sell merchandise, and family-friendly activities are also provided such as inflatables and snow cones. Guests may also elect to ride the shuttle buses to the top of Lavendar Mountain to visit the House o’ Dreams, though please note that seating is limited for this activity. Other historic Berry sites on Mountain and Main Campus will be open as well, including Roosevelt Cabin and the Old Mill (waterwheel), which will be in operation on Saturday.

The longest standing tradition for Mountain Day Weekend is the Student Grand March which follows the picnic. Traditionally, female students dress in a pastel pink (blue, if senior) dress or skirt and blouse; the male students wear a light blue shirt (white, if senior) and dark trousers. These colors represent the uniforms worn by past Berry students. Students also bring a certain number of pennies to represent their age. The money is dropped in a basket during the march and supports a scholarship fund in Martha Berry’s honor.

One of the newer Mountain Day traditions is Marthapalooza, which is a student-run carnival in Clara Bowl. On Saturday afternoon, Marthapalooza Family Hour is open for a small cost to faculty, staff, alumni and guests with children between the ages of 5-12. Then later that evening, the event is open to current students and their guests, as well as young alumni, and features carnival rides, food, games, music, bonfire and the opportunity to camp out on campus with friends. 

For our athletes or sports fans, an annual Golf Scramble is held on Friday afternoon and is sponsored by the Viking Booster Club. Due to conference travel schedules, this year our fall teams will be away during Mountain Day Weekend, but our schedule does include alumni games for baseball, softball and men’s lacrosse on Saturday afternoon.

You should also check out the Berry College Alumni website for a complete schedule, including registration information and events for alumni reunions.

Written by Cecily Crow, Director of Student Activities