Is it time for the ugly sweater backlash?
Dressing up for a bar crawl in holiday sweaters decorated with sequined snowmen and gold lamé Christmas presents isn't as fun (or challenging) as it was four or five years ago, when you had to scour thrift stores or your aunt's closet to find one tacky, mothball-scented cardigan that would fit. But now, when you can grab your choice of a "Vintage Ugly Christmas Sweater" off the rack at Urban Outfitters, donning this hilarious holiday apparel doesn't have the same appeal.
That said, if you've got an ugly Christmas sweater you just need to show off, there are numerous chances to do so this week.
Thursday, Dec. 19
Flying Dog takes over the bar at RedRocks on Columbia Pike during an Ugly Sweater Party. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., you can try the Frederick brewery's seasonal beers, including the new Cinnamon Porter and the beer/cider hybrid Orchard Ale. The ugliest holiday garb wins Flying Dog swag and other prizes.
The Rams Head Tavern branches in Annapolis and Savage are hosting their annual Christmas Extravaganza from 6 to 9 p.m., pouring Dominion Brewing's new seasonal Millennium Ale for $2.75 a pint and making hot cider cocktails with the new Jack Daniels Winter Jack cider. There's a chance to win ornaments and prizes during an ugly sweater contest, and everyone receives free eggnog all night.
Friday, Dec. 20
Seasonal Sam Adams beers take center stage at the Bier Baron's Ugly Sweater Party, including Old Fezziwig Christmas Ale, Chocolate Squirrel Brown Ale and White Christmas Witbier. The party runs from 4 to 9 p.m., and all beers will be $1 off from 4 to 7. The ugliest Christmas sweater wins a $25 gift certificate.
It's a night to dress to "impress" at Phase 1. The D.C. Gurly Show burlesque troupe takes the stage at 9:30 p.m. for its "Best of 2013" revue, with performers revisiting their top routines of the last 12 months. Then, at midnight, there's a runway contest for "heinous holiday fashion" with $100 for the worst offender.
Saturday, Dec. 21
Does your ugly sweater wick sweat? Then sign up for the Ugly Sweater Run through National Harbor, a festive 5K that features holiday music at the starting line, cups of hot cocoa served on the course instead of sports drinks, and two Sam Adams beers awaiting each runner at the finish. Don't worry about winning – worry about taking home prizes for best sweater, worst sweater, best mustache and best fake mustache at the after-race party. There's a $44 entry fee for the race ($50 on race day) and all participants are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.
The Ugly Mug's Ugly Sweater Party, which runs from 9 p.m. until last call, features $50 cash prizes for the ugliest, dirtiest and most festive sweaters. Whether you're judged tackiest or not, the bar pours $6 mugs of hot spiked cider or, more to the point, $3 cinnamon whiskey shots.
Monday, Dec. 23
Santa and his elves visit Gaithersburg's Dogfish Head Alehouse between 5 and 9 p.m. on Sunday. Bring the kids on the early side; From 7 to 9, Saint Nick and friends will be passing out Dogfish Head glassware to the good girls and boys. Try the seasonal Piercing Pils and wear your ugliest sweater; the "winner" takes home a Dogfish Head gift basket worth more than $100.