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5 ugly sweater parties for your holiday radar

December 11, 2013|By Kate Bernot | RedEye

Itchy polyester covered in bows, jingle bells and puff paint—you know you love it. The semi-ironic ugly sweater party has become something of a new tradition, with bars offering drink specials, contests and themes to encourage guests to go over-the-top with their cringe-worthy clothes. Bust out your best—er, worst—sweater for one of these bashes. kbernot@tribune.com | @redeyeeatdrink

Ultimate Ugly Sweater Party at Barcito

151 W. Erie St. 312-274-1111

When: Saturday, Dec. 14

A two-hour open bar kicks off this River North bar's tribute to tackiness complete with appetizers, a punch bowl of Spanish-style egg nog, DJ music and a chance to win a $200 Mercadito restaurant group gift card for the ugliest sweater. 9 p.m. $35.

Ugly Sweater Party at Rockit Bar & Grill

22 W. Hubbard St. 312-645-6000

When: Friday, Dec. 20

Take off your blazer and put on a sweater for Rockit's party, where festive attire earns you 20 percent off your food bill while you sip specialty drinks such as $6 Apple Jameson and Deschutes Jubelale and enjoy live music from cover band Rendition. 9 p.m. No cover.

American Junkie Ugly Sweater Party

15 W. Illinois St. 312-239-0995

When: Wednesday, Dec. 18

Maker's Mark teams up with the River North bar for a party that kicks off with an hour of complimentary Maker's Mark cocktails and free "sweaters" that fit over a Maker's Mark bottle, followed by a cash bar with drink specials and a $150 American Junkie gift card given to the wearer of the gaudiest sweater. 7-10 p.m. No cover.

Ugly Sweater Party at John Barleycorn Lincoln Park

658 W. Belden Ave. 773-348-1570

When: Thursday, Dec. 19

Raid your mom's closet for a sweater, then bring a new, unwrapped toy with you to the bar; all toys will be donated to hospitalized children with cancer through Project Ladybug. Order food and drink specials including $3 Jameson Irish whiskey and Fireball cinnamon whiskey shots, $4 craft draft beers, $4 well cocktails, $3 select domestic beers, $3 nachos and $6 half-pound cheeseburgers with fries. Gift cards will be awarded for the ugliest outfits. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. No cover.

Moe's Cantina Wrigleyville Ugly Sweater Party

3518 N. Clark St. 773-248-0002

When: Friday, Dec. 20

Snack at a two-hour complimentary buffet while sipping drink specials including $5 Candy Cane cocktails, $5 domestic bottles and $5 glasses of sangria and compete for gift cards awarded to the ugliest sweater wearer. Bring unopened, non-perishable food to donate to the Greater Chicago Food Depository for free admission; $10 cash donation will be accepted in lieu of food. 8-10 p.m.

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