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Want to go out after dark? Here are my top nightlife picks for this week:

Tuesday: Whisky River (210 E. Trade St.) crowns Miss 2011 in its long-running Boots and Bikinis battle. The boot-scootin' beauty with the best bod will win $1,000, with second- and third-place contestants receiving $300 and $200, respectively. Drink specials include $2 Miller Lite bottles, $4 lemon drops, and $5 sex on the beach. Call 980-333-3923 for free cover or to sign up.

Friday: Everyone seems to have a Christmas sweater (gifted or handmade by well-meaning family members) buried in the back of their closets, at the bottoms of drawers, or in plastic bins in their attics. It's time to dig it out as The Saloon at NC Music Factory (1000 NC Music Factory Blvd.) celebrates the holidays with an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. Franc & Woodie will provide live music. 10 p.m.

Saturday: The Neighborhood Theatre (511 E. 36th St.) is offering holiday partiers a chance to work off all those Christmas cookies on the dancefloor at its Naughty or Nice Party with DJ Phalse. The adults-only holiday party is $10, or free for ladies before 11 p.m. The fun starts at 9 p.m. 704-358-9200;

Saturday: Santa might be busy piloting his sleigh Saturday night, but he'll still make time to stop by Butter, where he'll guest deejay along with DJ Ahuf for the NC Music Factory venue's Xmas Eve Party. Drink specials - $3 domestics, $4 Royal Flushes, $5 vodka drinks, and $100 vodka bottles - guarantee you'll stay warm. 10 p.m. E-mail for guest list or