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12 Days of Christmas: One ugly Christmas sweater party

’Tis the season to be jolly… and to do your best impression of Clark Griswold.

Ugly Christmas sweater parties are a fun way to get into the holiday spirit without getting too serious, and one Elkhart restaurant owner is spreading the joy.

Cam Snyder is inviting diners to visit Flippin’ Cow, 51330 S.R. 19 in Elkhart, dressed in their most festive, tacky outfit and participate in Tacky Trivia on Thursday, Dec. 18. Guests are welcome to come in at any time to eat or drink. Trivia starts at 7 p.m.

“Wear a sweater, wear a funny suit, just dress awkward, have fun and have a reason to celebrate,” Snyder said in a phone interview Sunday afternoon.

Those who dress up will earn bonus points towards their final trivia score, which could help them win the top prize of the evening.

The Flippin’ Cow staff will also be dressed up in wacky outfits and ugly Christmas sweaters.

It’s the second ugly sweater party Snyder is throwing this year.

On Thursday, Dec. 11, almost 150 people donned their gaudy apparel for the Festivus party at his other Elkhart restaurant, Chubby Trout.

What started out as a fun way to celebrate the holidays about five or six years ago turned into a big event for the restaurant.

Craft beers from Three Floyd’s Brewing Company in Munster were featured on tap. There was also a contest to find the best ugly Christmas sweater in town.

A lot of regulars get into the contest and try to outdo each other every year, Snyder said. This year, Jeffrey and Rose Laurer won the title.

The two ugly Christmas sweater parties tie into a two-week long effort to raise money for the food bank at Church Community Services, Snyder said.

“It’s a friendly little competition between the two restaurants to see who can raise the most money,” Snyder said. The ultimate goal is to collect $5,000 for CCS to use for groceries, food and other items that people need during the holidays.

At Chubby Trout, diners can decorate a cutout of a chubby trout to hang up in the restaurant in exchange for a donation. At Flippin’ Cow, guests are asked to go “cow tipping” — or leave an extra tip that will go directly to CCS.

“The spirit of giving is a big part of this time of year and to throw a party at the same time is great,” Snyder said. “It’s just a ton of fun to see people in the giving spirit.”

Follow digital producer Krystal Vivian on Twitter at @krystalvivian.

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