5th Annual BeadQuest Provides a Joyous Mardi Gras Experience for Chicago
Feb. 24, 2013
-- Festa Parties, a Chicago-based event planning company known for its festive pub crawl events including TBOX, The Twelve Bars of Xmas in Wrigleyville, has just completed hosting another successful and entertaining event. BeadQuest, Festa's 5th Annual Bead-Collecting Mardi Gras Pub Crawl, took place on Saturday, February 16th, with over 3,200 revelers enjoying the flair of the “Fat Tuesday” tradition on the North Side of Chicago. Festa Parties has been planning and organizing great Chicago party events since its first TBOX back in 1996.
The BeadQuest participants celebrated the festive holiday by dressing to the nines in purple, green and gold, the colors of Mardi Gras. Colorful wigs and spectacular crowns were the order of the day among the pub crawlers, bringing the flash and dazzle of New Orleans to Chicago for one afternoon. Despite the frigid temperatures, many of the bead collectors sported tutus, leggings, and other gala party apparel. And there was no shortage of sequins and sparkles either! Adding to the sartorial splendor, a renowned local face painter designed masterpieces upon facial canvases to give an added personal touch to those who wanted their costume to have a little something extra special.
Excitement, energy and enthusiasm filled the day as everyone visited the participating taverns and restaurants collecting the highly coveted numbered beads One through Nine. Participating local establishments included Murphy’s Bleachers, Dugout, Full Shilling, Trace, Yak-Zies, Bernie’s, Casey Moran’s, Vines on Clark, Sluggers, Mullen's, Red Ivy, Bar Celona, John Barleycorn, Irish Oak, Red Ivy Sports Club, Moe’s Cantina, Merkle's, Rockwood Place, Deuces & the Diamond Club, Stretch, Redmond's, Rebel, Clark St. Beach Bar, Beer on Clark, Houndstooth Saloon, O’Malley’s Liquor Kitchen, Dark Horse, Nisei Lounge, Dugout, Sports Corner, Exedus II, Wrigleyville North, and Roadhouse 66, with DS Tequila and Roscoe’s on Halsted hosting a pre-event brunch fiesta. Bead-collecting hopefuls enjoyed beverages throughout the day from Festa Parties sponsors Miller Lite, Pinnacle Vodka, and Red Stag Flavored Bourbon. “BeadQuest brought droves of people to the neighborhood during the slowest time of the year. We were able to offer our staff extra shifts due to the influx of business. The crawl does an amazing job of showcasing Wrigleyville to people who have never been to our neighborhood,”
comment Rebel Bar owner Danny Latino, “The event was extremely well organized and the attendees were on their best behavior. The extra security and temporary washrooms made things run very smooth.”
BeadQuest began at Murphy’s Bleachers at 1pm, and every hour, the Festa Parties Bead Distribution team zealously passed out one of the numbered disc beads to the frenzied crowd. In addition to the numbered beads, the Festa Parties team gave out over 40,000 other fun and fancy Mardi Gras style throw beads, while participants danced, mingled and reveled in the Bourbon Street atmosphere. First time Bead Distributor, Christy Roman commented, “BeadQuest was some of the most fun I have ever had! I met so many great people while handing out beads and the energy was insane. People, beads, dancing and fun, who could ask for more?” It was also the first time for participant Melissa Orozco who expressed a similar sentiment, “BeadQuest was so much fun! I love that you get to see bars that you might miss when you hang out in Wrigley, and all the people you get to meet throughout the day. The handing out of the beads was my favorite part, especially when people had to dance off for them! I am definitely looking forward for BeadQuest 2014!”
The event concluded with a Karaoke party at Murphy’s Bleachers where triumphant partiers had the chance to belt out some of their favorite tunes. “Our customers might not be the next featured participants on American Idol,” said BeadQuest organizer Christopher Festa, “but we like to give everyone who comes to our events the chance to be a star and have their turn in the spotlight.”
Those who were successful in collecting all nine numbered beads were given 10 days to submit their photo with their badge and collected beads to Festa Parties to be entered into a contest for great prizes including Cubs rooftop tickets, hotel stays, and a multitude of gift certificates to participating establishments.
In addition to bringing these spectacular cultural events to Chicago, Christopher Festa, Owner and Founder of Festa Parties, enjoys contributing to worthy charitable causes in the Chicagoland community. For the third year in a row, Festa Parties is sponsoring and participating in the CHICAGO Dance Marathon, and through BeadQuest, Festa found an additional way to help the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. Volunteers set up a table at O’Malley’
s Liquor Kitchen, collecting donations for the famous limited-edition TBOX sunglasses donated by Festa Parties. In addition, participants missing a bead or wanting still more beads could make a small donation as well to contribute to the pot. Along with the table, Casey Bloomer came up with the “Beads for Kids” Campaign, where he travelled to the participating BeadQuest establishments collecting donations in exchange for the plain beads. “It was a simple idea and was wonderful to see that so many people were willing to chip in, even a dollar apiece to help the kids,” stated Bloomer, “What made it even better were the people that just wanted to donate like ‘Grandma Jan’ and wanted nothing in return.” Thanks to these efforts, BeadQuest helped raise an additional $1,200 for the Dance Marathon benefit in addition to the over $40,000 Festa Parties has raised and donated to the cause over the past few years.
Festa Parties is looking forward to continuing producing the lively and popular events like TBOX, BeadQuest, and Cover Your Bases and contribute extensively to the local charities and community organizations. Festa’s upcoming events include its St. Patrick’s / Lucky Charms Edition Cereal Donation Party at Irish Oak on Thursday, March 7th, benefiting Lakeview Pantry, and the next pub crawl, Cover Your Bases 2013, the 5th Annual Baseball-Themed event on April 27th, 2013 in Wrigleyville.