REVIEW: The Original Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at the Commodore

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Another year, another Christmas, which means another Ugly Christmas Sweater party at the Commodore….14 years and going strong. Around this time of year, I always see multiple pictures posted on Facebook of what looks like everyone having a blast at this party yet have always been hesitant to go mostly due to the $35 price ticket. This is finally the year I’m biting the bullet in and effort to see just what all of this hype is about.

Knowing that partial proceeds from the event go to a charity like The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada is well worth the ‘ugly’ experience and the ticket price thankfully includes one free drink and unlimited cookies… I think I got my money’s worth in cookies. Who doesn’t love dressing up to look as ridiculous as possible this time of year, any excuse to throw on a costume and Vancouver is there! Some kept it simple in their Christmas sweaters and others went all out in from head to toe in red and green Christmas suits. I was happy someone told me about the photo booth, a party favour that included Christmas decorations and a photographer so that everyone could take home an ugly Christmas 2015 souvenir. I was impressed by the turn out and even though there were a lot of people in attendance because the commodore is so big, feeling over crowded was never an issue. Always a good thing when the guests are all over dressed in wool Christmas sweaters.

There were a lot of great parts to the night but I have to admit I expected a lot more from this annual event. The live band was great but when they weren’t on, there could have been more crowd interaction and entertainment instead of feeling like an oversized house party.  I learned my lesson and have some important tips for any guests going next year. First of all, even though the party starts at 8 p.m, most people show up later. This is understandable considering the season but since it was a special event it is still fun early on and worth showing up long before 11 p.m. Also bring a big group of friends who are fun, high energy and love to dance. You can talk to friends any night for free but this is a night you can enjoy yourself and have some fun…in costume. If I end up going next year I plan to wear the most embarrassing outrageous Christmas gear I can find, always overdress as a rule of thumb.

As an annual Vancouver tradition, I suggest you put The Original Ugly Christmas Sweater Dash on your bucket list.  The five-kilometre Ugly Sweater Run run occurs prior to the party at the Commodore and acts as the ultimate warp party.  The Ugly Christmas Sweater movement, including The Dash and party are events I will continue to support. Whether you attend just one or both events in the coming years I can say from experience, they mix fun with paying it forward…perfect for this time of year. Last year the event $60,000 towards Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada.

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About the author  ⁄ Jacqueline Bradley

Back in Vancouver after studying journalism at Ryerson University, Jacqueline is a true weekend warrior. Get inspired as she shares Vancouver's latest and greatest adventures!

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