What in the World is TBOX Anyway?
TBOX (SM) stands for… (T)welve (B)ars (O)f (X)mas, an annual event held the Second Saturday in December in the Wrigleyville Neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. It started out as just another Pub Crawl, and over the years has evolved into one of the largest and most spectacular events of its kind in the world. The event was founded in 1996 by Chicagoan Christopher Festa as a “just for fun” event for a few of his friends from work, and has grown from about 60 people the first year to one of the most successful events of its kind in the world. TBOX2013, the 18th Annual Twelve Bars of Xmas, is being held on Saturday, December 14, 2013.
Originally a sequential tour of 12 bars (based of course on the “12 Days of Christmas” carol), TBOX is now an all-day event, beginning at 8AM and going through closing time (19 hours), and encompassing over 36 bars in the Wrigley area in the 3400-3800 Corridor of Clark and Sheffield, between Roscoe and Grace. Since 2007, the event has started and ended with Opening and Closing Ceremonies and a finale party at the world-famous Cubby Bear at 1059 W. Addison.
The event is now owned and produced by Festa Parties Incorporated, and tickets go on sales beginning in late August/early September on the Festa Parties Web Site. Participants then come in to the Festa Office in Chicago to pick up their Participant Kits including Gym Bag, T-Shirt, Badge, Lanyard, Schedule Card, Coupons, Stickers, and other included items. The poster for TBOX2012 – “TBOXOPOLY” – is shown below, and the theme of TBOX2013, we guarantee, will blow you away – stay tuned!
TBOX has been sponsored by Miller Lite from 2003-present, and other past sponsors/partners have included Chicago Costume Company, SceneTap, Uber Limo Service, Jagermeister, Stolichnaya Vodka, Sailor Jerry Rum, Jim Beam, Effen Vodka, 4 Rebels Vodka, Hyatt Regency Chicago, Pajama City, Pauly’s Pizza, Wrigleyville Rooftops, Cool Santa Suits, and many other local bars and restaurants. Full details on sponsors can be found here, and information on becoming a sponsor can be found clicking here. Festa Parties and Owner Christopher Festa have also donated and raised over $90,000 in cash, clothing, and other merchandise to local and national charities over the past years of TBOX, including School Street Playlot Project, Lakeview Pantry, Chicago Dance Marathon, Children’s Memorial Hospital, Mercy Home for Children, and the former Lakeview Shelter. A more detailed listing of charitable involvement can be found here.
What has set TBOX apart from similar events is Founder Christopher Festa’s passion, creativity, and commitment to continually expanding and improving the event. It starts insanely early in the morning; people dress up in outrageous costumes; there is cereal flying around everywhere; hundreds of thousands of funny stickers are distributed during the day; VIPs and loyal long-time attendees are pompously awarded the designation of being on “The Royal Court”; each year’s event now has a funny and relevant theme to add a new spin to the proceedings; and Mr. Festa and his cohorts continually promote the event year-round, at ALL TIMES knowing exactly “How Many Days ‘Til TBOX?” We’re glad you’re interested in TBOX, and can’t wait to see you at this year’s edition! It’s a mind-blowing, life-changing phenomenon, and something you have to experience for yourself to truly understand. Wire to Wire, Baby!