What is the history of Krunkfest?

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

“Krunkfest” (also known as Crunkfest) is an esoteric annual Swarthmore tradition involving an elaborate scavenger hunt that includes searching for objects, locations, and behaviors. The event is not typically advertised or widely discussed, as its aura of mystery is prized by the organizers.

According to alum Aaron Strong, ’06, who was both a participant and organizer in past Crunkfests, “It occurs in April when the flowers start to bloom and when the rains fall.” He mentions that one mythology explaining the tradition links it with “similar spring-time rites” like Easter egg hunts.

According to Strong, “It is an ancient Swarthmore tradition going back decades which was summarily resurrected two years ago [April 2005] by several enterprising students…. This resurrection may or may not have been with the knowledge of decades-old tradition.” Strong was supportive of those who wanted to investigate further, but he urged them to consider that part of what gives Crunkfest its unique character is that it is not widely publicized or discussed.

Curious about some other chapter of long, lost Swat history? Ask the Gazette at dailygazette [at] Swarthmore [dot] edu .

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