Concordia University Ann Arbor’s Boar’s Head Festival returns in December

CUAA's 2017 Boar's Head Festival. (Concordia University Ann Arbor)

In honor of the return of the Boar’s Head Festival this December, here are a few things you may not know about the history of Concordia University Ann Arbor’s popular Christmas tradition – along with some you may know already.

Join us on the campus of Concordia University Ann Arbor in The Chapel of the Holy Trinity for the Boar’s Head Festival, a beloved tradition in Ann Arbor since 1978.

Show times are at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 4. For Sunday, Dec. 5, the show will begin at 4 p.m.

Tickets for the performance can be ordered by visiting cuaa.edu/boarshead.

A (very) brief history of the Boar’s Head Festival

1963

  • CUAA (known at its founding as Concordia Lutheran Junior College) hires Dr. Paul Foelber as its first choir director. None of what follows would have happened without this genesis event.

1978

  • Foelber, professor John Sturmfels, and professor Quentin Marino join forces to begin the Boar’s Head Festival tradition at CUAA. In this video from 2018, founders Dr. Paul Foelber and Professor Quentin Marino share with us how the Concordia tradition first began.

Some background: “While the tradition of the Boar’s Head Festival dates back to the 14th century in England, the actual symbol of serving boar can be traced to ancient Roman times when boar was the preferred dish at great feasts. In medieval England, Christians considered the wild boar to be a ferocious beast and a symbol for evil. They adapted the Roman feast custom of serving a boar’s head on a platter to represent the triumph of the Christ child over evil.”

1979-2017

  • Boar’s Head fever spreads through the campus and community, making it one of the best-loved traditions in CUAA history. Through the years, more than 65,000 people have attended the festival.

RELATED: ‘5 things you might not know about Boar’s Head

2018

Fun fact: More than 100 participants—including faculty, staff, students, and community members—take part in the festival each year. Ranging in age from young children to experienced seniors, roles include musicians, singers, actors, and more.

2020

2021

  • December 3-5: Boar’s Head is back for its 43rd annual performance! And there was much rejoicing.