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12 Bars of Xmas
Photograph: Courtesy Festa Parties Inc.

To the surprise of nobody, the TBOX Wrigleyville bar crawl won’t happen in 2020

Organizers of the event applied for a permit but their request was ultimately denied by the city.

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

If you were hoping to put on an ugly sweater, stand shoulder-to-shoulder in Wrigleyville bars and take "cereal shots" with strangers this December, we've got some unfortunate news for you. Eater Chicago was the first to report the cancellation of the annual Twelve Bars of Xmas (a.k.a. TBOX) bar crawl, with the event's founder Christopher Festa admitting to the publication, "My event is literally the exact opposite of social distancing."

According to a Facebook post, TBOX organizers Festa Parties Incorporated submitted an application to the City of Chicago earlier this year seeking a permit to hold the bar crawl on December 12, despite the current restrictions on gatherings and limited indoor capacity at bars and restaurants. The city ultimately denied the permit application, reportedly telling organizers that "all 2020 events are canceled." 

TBOX has gained a somewhat negative reputation due to the drunken antics of some of its attendees, but the event was originally conceived as a way to bring customers to Wrigleyville bars during a time of the year when business is typically slow. With bars throughout the city operating at a reduced capacity (and some unable to open their doors due to the fact that they do not serve food), the cancelation of events like TBOX is another blow to their bottom lines in the midst of an already tough year.

To their credit, the organizers of TBOX don't seem too surprised by denial of their permit and the effective cancelation of this year's bar crawl. A post on the TBOX Facebook page puts a positive spin on the news, promising to "...update you if things change for the better and we are able to do something. We will be optimistic!"

And if you simply can't envision the holiday season without cheap beer and ugly sweaters, there's nothing stopping you from cracking open a few cold ones and pouring some cereal into your mouth in the safety of your own home this December.

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We know many of you have been waiting for news on #TBOX2020. The City of Chicago just informed us that our permit has been Denied and as of now “all 2020 events are canceled“. While this is unfortunate, “never say never”, and will update you if things change for the better and we are able to do something. We will be optimistic! If you’d like to be ensured of updates, or have feedback, request to join mailing list at And keep 12/11/2021 open! (We will stick to our $5 or less ticket pledge too!) #chitown #chicago #chicagoland #cityofchicago #wrigleyville #wrigleyfield #barcrawl #TBOX #TBOX2020 #2020sucks #cancelled #coronavirusmemes #nofun #chigram #christmas2020 #bahhumbug #badnews

A post shared by TBOX® Bar Crawls, Chicago (@tboxbarcrawls) on

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