WELLS — Elwyn Morrow raised the stakes when he arrived at the Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest at the Wells Corner Shopping Center Sunday morning.

Sporting an elf cap, Morrow modeled a black and white knitted creation with two green felt slippers, a feathery concoction and several unidentifiable objects pinned to the front.

“We like to do crazy things,” said his wife, Rose.

The Morrows were among dozens of people who showed up to try and set a Guinness World Record for the most ugly holiday sweaters worn in one place at one time. About 30 people dressed in eye-popping sweaters descended on the scene to raise money for Goodwill Industries of Northern New England.

The event was organized by MJ Dillingham, an event planner, who said she wanted to create a fun holiday event that also benefited a local nonprofit organization.

Whether the event set a record won’t be known for some time, it was clear from the start the event attracted those who like to make bold fashion statements. Sweaters adorned with blinking multi-colored lights, sprouting Christmas trees and sparkling tinsel were in abundance. While some participants said they sifted through racks of sweaters at thrift shops to find their outfits, many admitted having to go further than their own closets.

Several participants made the trip up from Massachusetts. There was at least one sweater-clad dog in the crowd, Sissy, a Shih Tzu Pomeranian mix, owned by Joleen Mitchell of Biddeford.

Sue Pennell of Wells paraded around in a baby blue hand-knit number emblazoned with a salmon pink Santa with a beard fashioned in angora yarn. Pennell said she admired the sweater in the window of the former Hooze’s ladies clothing shop in Sanford in the early 1980s. On Christmas morning there it was under the tree, a gift from her daughter, despite the $100 price tag.

“I would wear it with stirrup pants, which I wish would come back in fashion,” said Pennell.

Tami Gower of Wells donned a Christmas tree hat and sweater combination complete with a knitted fireplace and fuzzy puppy dog.

“If you have to brush it you know it has to be a contender,” Gower said.

Brenda Mannino of Wells showed off a sky blue and white ensemble accessorized with plastic Santa pins and Bakelite-like poinsettia necklace.

“I saw it at Goodwill and I just had to have it. I do a lot of my shopping there,” Mannino said.

The three judges said they were finding their job wasn’t easy. The sweaters, they said, were weird yet strangely attractive.

“I was hoping they would be uglier,” said judge, Mike Jaffe, manager of the Wells Corner Shopping Center.

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