Ugly sweaters, Catholic gilt and holiday events

Arts and cultural picks of the week

By Brad Allen on November 22, 2007


Bad Xmas Sweater

You knew there was a reason to hold on to the Christmas-light-laden and obscenely geometric printed green-and-red sweater. You once thought even the one with reindeer had potential. Now it’s time to explore your closets because, ladies and gentlemen, the ugliest holiday sweater contest will be held at Doyle’s Wednesday, Nov. 21.

The ugliest holiday sweater contest prizes will be shelled out for the worst male, worst female and worst couple/group. Doyle’s co-owner Russ Heaton says, “This aint no Cosby contest, this is strictly holiday sweaters.”

Belgian beers Stella, Hoegaarden and Leffe Brune will be featured. — Brad Allen

[Doyle’s Public House, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 8 p.m. to midnight, 208 Saint Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.7468]


Fantasy Lights

Although the holidays are a time for joy and light, Bobble Tiki will spend hours trying, unsuccessfully, to string lights around the hut in some presentable fashion. Bobble Tiki’s fingers will grow raw and numb as family members shout orders through a bullhorn. This is Dante’s second circle of Hell for Bobble Tiki. And you’ll drive by Bobble Tiki’s hut, point and laugh. Don’t risk driving by after my third eggnog — head to Fantasy Lights. Billed as the largest holiday drive-through display in the Northwest, it features nearly 300 elaborate displays and thousands of sparkling lights. While enjoying the sparkly two-mile drive along Spanaway Lake, be thankful you’re not in charge of this holiday light display. — Bobble Tiki

[Spanaway Park, Nov. 22-Dec. 31, 5:30-9 p.m., $13 per vehicle, just west of 152nd Street and Pacific Avenue., Spanaway, 253.798.4177]


Catholic gilt

Saturday, the magic of theater and a little suspended disbelief can take you to Catholic school. In “Late Night Catechism,” the character known as Sister goes from being a kindly instructor who rewards the audience for correct answers (prizes include glow-in-the-dark rosaries and laminated saint cards) to being more of a disciplinarian. It’s a show that’s been lauded by The New York Times for “[speaking] to an audience much broader than the membership of any one church.” — Suzy Stump

[Washington Center, Saturday, Nov. 24, 7:30 p.m., $15.75-$31.50, 512 Washington St., Olympia, 360. 753.8586]


Gingerbread a Go-Go

Admit it: the biggest damper on holiday cheer is your adulthood. Whether it’s because of the intellectual elitism that makes cynicism a virtue or a beleaguered if-you-only-knew-what-I’ve-been-through fatigue, your adult self cannot turn on glee the way your child self used to. Banish the grown-up. Admit you like the blinking lights or the sight of blue-and-silver boxes or eggnog or Charlie Brown specials. Better yet, throw on your elf hat and head down to the Gingerbread Jamboree at the Hotel Murano. The Children’s Museum of Tacoma provides everything you need to create a unique gingerbread house. — SS

[Hotel Murano, Sunday, Nov. 25, and Sunday, Dec. 2 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 1:30-4 p.m., $35, 1320 Broadway, Tacoma, 253. 627.6031]


Tree dance

Long before kids had actor Will Ferrell stuffed into yellow elf tights and pointed booties to laugh at, my brother, sister and I amused ourselves for hours on end dancing around the Christmas tree lip-synching to a cassette of kooky Christmas classics. So much fun. It just so happens that my brother, sister and I will all be in Tacoma this weekend. Say, isn’t the Festival of Trees at the convention center? I’m thinking the three of us might dance around one of the 70 hand-decorated, themed Christmas trees on display. It’s a benefit for Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital’s Critical Care so we’ll be doing it for the kids. How could they kick us out? — SS

[Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, live entertainment, raffles, Jingle Bell Jam dinner and dance (Dec. 1, 6:30 p.m., $125), Nov. 29, 5-9 p.m., Dec. 1, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Dec. 2, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., $2-$6, 1500 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.403.1368]