SPEEDWAY, Ind. — The Indianapolis 500 and the Month of May are steeped in traditions. Some are historic and formal, while others are just plain fun. Chris Cross, also known as “The JELL-O Shot Lady,” has found herself at the center of one of those traditions.

Every May, Cross hosts a porch party at her and her husband’s Speedway home. A few dozen friends and family members come over to enjoy each other’s company and celebrate the upcoming race weekend. What sets Cross’ tradition apart is the hundreds of JELL-O shots she and her crew make.

”We try to make 500 for Carb Day, and there is usually 10 to 12 flavors,” Cross said.

Cross has been making JELL-O shots for Carb Day for more than 15 years, and in the last eight or so, she’s really figured out the process.

Making the mixture is quick enough. It’s two packets of JELL-O mix, two cups of boiling water, one cup liquor and one cup of cold water. You mix that all together and that gives you about 30 JELL-O shots.

Then comes Cross’ secret weapon — The Jellinator. It’s a funnel connected to a tube and spring that allows the user to quickly squirt out the mixture for perfect JELL-O shots.

”It was the best $19.99 plus shipping and handling I have ever spent,” Cross said with a laugh.

The Jellinator allows Cross and her team to make delicious, boozy treats quicker. After they’re in their individual cups, they get lids, labeled by flavor and then sent off to the fridge.

On Monday afternoon alone, Cross and her JELL-O shot crew made nearly 400.

Cross’ crew did have some help, though. Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles stopped by the porch party to lend a hand.

Boles first met Cross in 2018 when he stopped by her porch party and found out she’s known as the “JELL-O Shot Queen.”

“This is the Doug-approved porch party,” Boles said as he handed Cross one of his “Doug-approved” stickers.

Boles’ gesture got cheers from the porch partiers.

There was no time to waste, though. Cross had Boles in the kitchen ready to go with the Jellinator.

“This is 100% the only place I make JELL-O shots,” Boles said.

Boles worked his way through 30 shots, each of them adorned with a little gummy race car in the bottom.

Cross and her family will carry hundreds of JELL-O shots to Carb Day this Friday. She said it usually takes four coolers to transport all of them.

Cross’ group sits in section 41. Chris has made quite a name for herself over the past several years.

”They’ve started cheering that, ‘the JELL-O shot lady is here,’ because they know they’re getting JELL-O shots,” Cross said with a smile.

Cross added that she passes shots out to friends and family, but as the race goes on, the JELL-O shots spread around.

”When we get down to the end of them, my brother usually takes the bag and starts throwing JELL-O shots out to the crowd,” Cross said.

But, this is exclusively for Carb Day.

”Race day is race day,” Cross said. “You are there to watch the race. Carb Day, they are practicing, it’s alright.”

So, if you’re looking for a sweet, alcohol-filled treat on Carb Day in 10 different flavors, look for Chris Cross and her JELL-O shot crew in Section 41.

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