The goofier the design or the tackier the pun often makes for a better ugly Christmas sweater. The fun of this holiday tradition returns to 115 Bourbon Street this season.

The Merrionette Park venue brings back the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, which offers prizes for most creative, brightest, most original, sweater vest and best overall, on Dec. 23.

“It’s really as creative or humorous as they’d like to be. I know there’s quite a few with puns on them,” said Bernadette Dunterman, promotions and special events coordinator for 115 Bourbon Street.

“We are giving away at least one pair of tickets to the New Year’s Eve party with the prizes. For sure we’ll be doing that for the best overall ugly sweater. We’re going to do gift cards and other little prizes with the different categories that we choose.”

RockStar Rodeo ( perform on the front stage for the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.

Toni Keith, of Oak Lawn; Missy McBride, of Norridge; Michael McGraw, of Orland Park; Scott Williams Jr., of Waukegan; and Tim Yoakam, of Downers Grove, play top 40 country favorites and rock classics from the 1980s to now.

“They’re really great people. They really know how to engage the crowd,” said Dunterman, of Chicago Ridge.

“We can get up there with them. They can emcee for us a little bit. They’re really good to work with. They’ve got a great following. We really enjoy having them at Bourbon Street so it’s a really good fit for us.”

Ryan O’Malley and Morgan Morris appear as Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, where there will be a designated area for photos.

“We’re going to set up a backdrop for everybody to take their own pictures. We’ll pull out props. When there’s a theme people are more excited about having something to rally around. They say, ‘Hey, we’re all going to wear ugly sweaters and it’s going to be fun for pictures,’ ” Dunterman said.

“We’re so dependent on our phones that we have lost a personal aspect in our lives. When you give people a reason to come together like this Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, as silly as it might be, it’s something to connect.

“It brings everyone together on a light, entertaining level and it’s just really great to be able to see people express themselves through something else.”

After doing her internship in 2016 with the private party department at 115 Bourbon Street, Dunterman was hired to work in the catering department. January will mark a year since she was asked to step over and fill in in the promotions department.

“We’ve got a little bit of something for everybody between our nightclub and our country evenings, which are Wednesdays and Fridays. We do weddings and fundraisers. We literally have something for everyone,” she said.

“We love our community and we want to be able to be there for our community as much as we can. Just having these different things for everyone to do is a little bit of something for everyone. It really captures the neighborhood.

“Being on the South Side and such a big presence on the South Side, we really want to take care of people and we really just want to have fun.”

Jessi Virtusio is a freelance reporter.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

When: 10 p.m.-1 a.m.


Where: 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W. 115th St., Merrionette Park

Cost: free if wearing ugly Christmas sweater; $5 otherwise

Information: 708-388-8881; www.115bourbon