Boca Bowl Returns For Fifth Year This Month To FAU Stadium


Staff report

With a match-up set to be announced on Dec. 2, two teams will square off at Florida Atlantic University Stadium on Dec. 18 during the fifth annual Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl.

Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. with festivities beginning as early as 3 p.m.

Pre-game tailgating and free festivities at the Built Ford Tough Fan Fest and Family Midway surrounding the stadium will begin at 3 p.m. There will be plenty to do and see, including performances by live band Wolfhawk, family fun and games, activities, food trucks, a beer garden, exhibition tents featuring giveaways. Watch the friendly face-off of the marching bands and cheerleader squads from the competing bowl teams.

The traditional coin flip and the performance of the Star Spangled Banner by the 2018 Boca Raton Bowl Idol winner Adrianna Foster will take place at 6:30 on the field.

Leading up to the main event there have been several community events with more to follow this month. Local students already  participated in the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl Art Contest and foodies enjoyed tastings from local chefs at two tailgate events, one in West Palm Beach and one in Boca Raton.

When it comes to art, the top three winners  from the high school, middle school and elementary school level were celebrated at the 4th Annual Art Design Contest Winner Recognition Event held at the Florida Blue Boynton Beach Retail Center.

Guests got the chance to hear from representatives of Florida Blue, the South Florida Fair, and Palm Beach County Arts Educators. Food was provided by Chick-Fil-A along with beverages from Coca Cola and Cheribundi.

Local winners included Christine Manvelyah of Omni Middle School, Kevin Fernandez of Spanish River High School was awarded first place. Jaleesa R. from West Boca High School earned second place and Melissa A. from Spanish River High School earned third place.

Winning students were awarded with a four pack of tickets to the game and a complimentary ticket to the 2019 South Florida Fair. Additionally, the overall first place winner from each level will receive a Mega-Saver to the 2019 South Florida Fair and will be honored during the bowl game’s Head Coaches Press Conference and on the field on game day. First place students also garnered a $500 donation, courtesy of Florida Blue, that will be given to their respective school’s art program.

Food lovers enjoyed tailgate bites from about 20 different restaurants, hotels and country clubs during the Built Ford Tough Great Chefs Tailgate Showcase & College Football Spirit Night at the Renaissance Boca Raton Hotel.

A panel of judges and guests agreed on the No. 1 dish. This year it was Los Bacodos and its BBQ Brisket Tostadas served by Chef Robby Bushman and Anthony Hoff. The dish took home the Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice awards.

New this year was a Boca Bowl Beer Garden. Some of the featured brews included Robot Brewing Company & Quixotic Lounge My Picnic with Android: Peanut Butter and Jelly Brown Ale and Barrel of Monks Wizard Wit-Belgian Wheat Ale.

Boca Bowl by the numbers

1 Only NCAA-sanctioned post-season bowl game in PBC

5 Number of years

8.9 million Cumulative households tune in for live airing on ESPN

44.25 Hours on national TV  (live and replays)

4,000 Attended VIP Hospitality “Tailgate” Tent Festivities

99,568 Game Attendees

33,394 Visits to bowl websites


8 Number of teams that have kicked off

25 Boca Bowl alum players have been on an opening day NFL roster

17 NFL teams that have a player with Boca Bowl experience


80+ Bowl partners (sponsors, alliances, etc.)

40+ Executive Committee Members

80+ Community Captains (Ambassadors)

150+ Number of countdown events/engagements


$239,023+ Funds raised to benefit nonprofit Spirit of Giving

20,000 Tickets provided to community nonprofit, schools, veterans, etc.


2,400 Attended pep rallies (Mizner Park, CityPlace)

40 Chefs and mixologists at the Great Chefs Tailgate Showcase

14,000 Online votes for Idol Competitions

50 How many cherries in each Cheribundi Tart Cherry bottle.