Eat, Drink and Get Ugly!

USS Midway Museum’s first-ever public Parade of Lights viewing party took holiday fun and the ugly sweater contest to a new level.

More than 500 guests and members kicked off the Christmas season with a community celebration on the museum’s flight deck with holiday music, festive food and some of the gaudiest sweaters ever witnessed in public.

“I saw some really creative Christmas sweaters and a couple of weird ones too,” said Adriana Mendoza, a Los Angeles native attending the viewing party with friends. “You could tell some people put a lot of thought into their sweaters. It was tons of fun to see.”

The “Choose Your Santa” photo opportunity was a big hit.

Along with the ugly sweater contest, holiday music from a local DJ filled the flight deck and an assortment of unusual Santa Clauses joined in the fun. Hip Santa, Country Santa and Reggae Santa spent the evening taking photos with hundreds of smiling guests. 

The flight deck proved to be the perfect vantage point to watch nearly 100 boats decked out in an array of holiday lights make their way down San Diego Bay.

“This was an amazing event,” said Chelle Steely, who spent the evening on Midway with her family. “Our kids just loved it. Any chance to come to the Midway is always wonderful for us. We had a great time and plan to come back next year.”

Julie Harlan was the winner of the ugly sweater contest.

Julie Harlan, as the winner of the of the ugly sweater contest with her homemade Christmas tree sweater, was awarded two round-trip tickets from Southwest Airlines.

“I want to thank everyone who voted for me,” said an excited Julie. “I have three boys in their 20s in three parts of the country, so this is going to help me get there.”

Julie is looking forward to visiting her sons in Chicago, Orlando, Fla. and Boulder, Colo.

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