TBOX is renowned worldwide for our CEREAL SHOTS – literally, we pour scoopfuls, entire boxes, or even 10 gallon BUCKETS of sugary cereal onto and into people at our pub crawl! Think of it as “Edible Confetti”!!! Enjoy these pics and the story of how Cereal Shots came to be, as told by TBOX Founder Christopher Festa.
** Above: 2015 Opening Ceremonies Cereal Dump on our 20-Year Honorees **HOW IT BEGAN… Cereal has been a part of TBOX since Year One in 1996, and Mr. Festa had been bringing to parties as early as, well, high school! We’ll tell you all about it right here!
** Above: VIP Joanna is Under There Somewhere at 2012 Opening Ceremonies **Back at his high school in Vero Beach, Florida, Mr. Festa, believe it or not, was NOT one of the cool(est) kids. But he was at all the parties! And St Patrick’s Day of senior year, one of his friends issued a challenge…
** Above: 2018 Opening Ceremonies Guest of Honor Brett Robinson from CBS’ Big Brother **The party host filled a bucket with a healthy pour from a keg of green beer (Probably Old Milwaukee) and then topped it off with a box of Lucky Charms. Then, to me & my National Honor Society friends, he said…
** Above: An Artistic Cereal Shot from TBOX2016 **
“OK, Festa, and the rest of you, we’re going out to the driveway and we want you to chug it!” So we did … and well, we did our best, but you have probably hear the term “Technicolor Yawn”, right? Well that’s what happened! But thereafter, my party prowess was never questioned! (PS – Stay in School Kids, and follow all applicable local laws! Back in the 80s in FL, the drinking age was actually 18!)
** Above: Mr. Festa getting ready to throw cereal to the Crowd **
So, though he ate a lot of cereal at college, Mr. Festa put that memory aside until one St. Patrick’s Day a year after college. On the way to the bar with friends, he saw a box of Lucky Charms at 7-11. For fun, he bought it and took it to the bar with him….
** Above: 2 out of 3 TBOX’ers Love Fruity Cereal! **
And literally, every girl at the bar talked to him… he was giving out Lucky Charms, pouring them in drinks, just the center of attention. Wow! He was onto something here!
** Above: Cereal Shots on Clark Street **
Fast Forward to Mr. Festa moving to Chicago for his job with Accenture, and living the 90s Party Life in Lincoln Park. He had a number of house parties called “FESTAPALOOZA” and cereal was the main snack at every one! And then…
** Above: TBOX Interns Scooping Cereal in 2011 **In 1996, after having a # of quarterly pub crawls for his office friends, Festa came up with the idea for his first “12 Bars of Xmas” crawl on 12/14/96. (Read More Here on That…) – and he brought 2 boxes of Christmas Crunch with him.
** Above: A Very Stylish Cereal Shot in 2013 **
So, Cereal was at every TBOX in the Early Years, and then in 2000… a game changer happened. Mr. Festa was very excited to see an old friend he hadn’t seen in a long time, and so he screamed, told her to tilt her head back, then poured his ENTIRE BOX of Reeses’ Puffs all over her. And the CEREAL SHOT was born!
** Early TBOX Legend “Lemon Boy” in 2009 **
From then on, Cereal and Cereal Shots were EVERYWHERE at TBOX. And when we started having Opening Ceremonies onstage at Cubby Bear, we began the tradition of filling Home Depot orange buckets with cereal, and dumping them on that year’s “Guest(s) of Honor” in front of everyone.
** Above: 2 Young Ladies having Breakfast at TBOX 2010 **During the Glory Days of Cereal at TBOX, we had EVERYONE bringing their own boxes, in addition to the 1000+ we’d provide and use all around every year. It would get in your hair, your costume, down your shirt, in your bra & underwear… it was truly a glorious and carefree time. Mr. Festa’s philosophy was – well – Drinking in Moderation was Key to TBOX — so we don’t encourage people doing shots when they’re partying all day. Instead, do a CEREAL SHOT – sugar, vitamins, energy, nutrition – it’s a win-win!! And makes a great photo op!
** Above: Mr. Festa handing out Cereal Shots **Also, we started the tradition of “Officially Losing your TBOX Virginity by Doing A Cereal Shot from a Royal Court Member” — and that added a lot of fun for first time TBOXers!! Sometimes, a kiss was involved, but that was strictly voluntary!
*** Above: Girls in the Cereal Pool at TBOX2016 **Good things don’t last forever without a fight, right? Well, as the 2010s went by, we started to get compliants from the bars, the neighborhood, the city, the police, about the cereal. We have tried to keep having as much cereal as we can everywhere, but, have now set up CEREAL STATIONS in KIDDIE POOLS along the TBOX route, and also, we still have it 100% at Cubby Bear in the Morning. So, for 2021 and beyond, we ask don’t bring your own cereal, but we’ll have it for you at designated places throughout the day, and EVERYONE WHO WANTS A CEREAL SHOT WILL GET ONE!
** Above: One of Our Beloved Royal Court Members distributing Cereal from Onstage at Cubby, 2010 **
We will have up to 1000 boxes of Cereal ready to go at TBOX this year and will publish the times and locations where you can meet Mr. Festa and get your cereal shot, a photo and video of it, and be part of the TBOX tradition!! We’ll have Froot Loops, Fruity Pebbles, Capn Crunch and its varieties, Cocoa Puffs, Trix… and by Special Request, Fiber One.
*** Above: 2011 VIP Big Jason getting his onstage cereal shot! **So, that’s pretty much the whole story of Cereal Shots at TBOX! We also through the years have donated several thousand boxes of cereal to the Lakeview Pantry, and have donated almost $300,000 to local charities!
** Above: Our 2008 VIP Sarah getting her Cereal Shot! **
Pro Tip from Mr. Festa – for the best photo/video, take your shot of Trix, Fruity Pebbels, or Froot Loops – the colors are glorious. If you’re hungry, have Peanut Butter Capn Crunch – it’s the most satisfying if you’ve been drinking. And if you need the biggest sugar rush, plain Capn Crunch is best. Just have a drink to wash it down. Those sharp edges cut the roof of your mouth!!! And if you like Chocolate, get Coocoo for Cocoa Puffs or Cocoa Pebbles. I personally don’t like the combo of beer and chocolate, but to each your own!!
** Above: Shopping at Jewel in Chicago, 2 weeks before TBOX **
Finally, where do we get the cereal? We’ve trued buying commercially, but it’s best to just look for sales at Jewel or Mariano’s and stock up!! The looks you get from the Supermarket Clerks and Other Shoppers are priceless!!