The early forecast calls for clear weather on Saturday – ideal conditions to kick off the holiday season along downtown Asbury Avenue. In Ocean City, that means shopping in your pajamas for the Earlier Than the Bird celebration.
The annual downtown shopping extravaganza takes place 8 a.m. to noon Nov. 23 – the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Anybody (pajama-clad or not) can take advantage of early-bird shopping specials at stores on Asbury Avenue between Sixth Street and 11th Street. But free turkeys will be awarded to the best-dressed, and shoppers can text in to win gift certificates and prizes from downtown merchants. Free coffee will be available at Jon & Patty’s (637 Asbury Avenue), Ocean City Coffee Company (917 Asbury Avenue) and Starbucks (1061 Asbury Avenue). Shoppers also can enjoy a free standard doughnut at Drip ‘N’ Scoop (960 Asbury Avenue).
Free horse-and-carriage rides will be available starting on the weekend of Nov. 23 and 24. Ride the downtown the old-fashioned way noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Board in front of City Hall at Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue. Seasonal beach tags for summer 2020 will be on sale at the City Hall Welcome Center (9th Street and Asbury Avenue) starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.
ALSO COMING UP
COMMUNITY THANKSGIVING SERVICE (Nov. 26): The interdenominational Ocean City Ecumenical Council invites everybody to come together for the annual Thanksgiving Prayer Service 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26 at the Ocean City Tabernacle (550 Wesley Avenue). The service is sponsored by the Ecumenical Council and the churches throughout Ocean City — “Though we come from different traditions, we stand united in giving thanks.” A dessert reception will follow the service. Attendees are encouraged to bring canned goods for the local Food Cupboard for those in need.
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AND BUSINESS AWARDS DINNER (Nov. 26): The Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce will honor Ocean City Primary School teacher Carrie Merritt as 2019 Citizen of the Year at its annual dinner 6 p.m. Nov. 26 at the Flanders Hotel. The Chamber also awards local businesses in a variety of categories. For more information and reservations, call 609-399-1412 or email firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>.
POTTERY & MOSAIC SALE (Dec. 2 to 14): The Ocean City Arts Center (1735 Simpson Avenue) will host its Pottery and Mosaic Sale 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. A meet-the-artists reception will be held 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5.
FAST AND FURRIEST 5K TURKEY TROT (Nov. 28): The 12th annual Fast and Furriest 5K Turkey Trot goes off at 8 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. The course for this 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) race is on the Ocean City Boardwalk, and proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Ocean City. For more information, call 609-398-9500 (ext. 4) or visit www.hsocnj.org/events<http://www.hsocnj.org/events>.
CHRISTMAS IN THE DOWNTOWN (Nov. 29): Ocean City’s small-town version of “Black Friday” takes place 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 29. “Our Miracle on Asbury Avenue” will be a warm and entertaining time featuring carolers and performers throughout downtown Asbury Avenue between Sixth Street and 11th Street. Downtown stores will offer discount shopping for gifts, and many Asbury Avenue restaurants will be open. Free horse-and-carriage rides will be available. Entertainment and Christmas carols will begin at 4 p.m. on the steps of City Hall at Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue. The event culminates around 5 p.m. when Santa Claus will emerge on the rooftop of City Hall. With the help of an Ocean City Fire Department ladder truck, Santa will descend and help light the City Hall Christmas Tree and illuminate City Hall.
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY (Nov. 30): The shopping discounts will continue on Nov. 30 as downtown merchants celebrate Small Business Saturday.
HOLIDAY POPS: MUSICAL SOUNDS OF THE SEASON (Nov. 30): Music lovers can enjoy a special performance of the Ocean City Pops Orchestra. “Holiday Pops: Musical Sounds of the Season” will feature popular holiday and special performances by vocalist Scott Coulter and his cast of Broadway soloists. Children of all ages will enjoy the classic Christmas songs. Joining the show will be professional dancers from the Atlantic City Ballet’s production of the “Nutcracker.” The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier. Tickets are $25 and $20. Call 609-399-6111 or visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice<https://oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice.html>.
CHRISTMAS PARADE (Dec. 6): Save the date for the annual parade at 6 p.m. along downtown Asbury Avenue.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, CHRISTMAS: 2019 HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR (Dec. 13-22): Tickets are on sale now for Ocean City Theatre Company’s annual holiday show. Visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice<https://oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice.html>.
HOLIDAY BOOK SALE (Dec. 13-14): The Friends and Volunteers of the Ocean City Free Public Library will hold a holiday book sale 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 13 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 14 in the atrium outside the library.
ANGELUS CHORUS AND TENOR JOHN TAYLOR (Dec. 14): Tenor John Taylor joins the 55-voice Angelus Chorus directed by Richard Stanislaw in a concert of traditional Christmas music at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec.14 at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, 8th Street and Central Avenue. The concert is free; an offering is received.