Downtown Asbury Avenue is decorated for the holidays, and a full schedule of special events is coming up quickly!
The celebrations in Ocean City begin “Earlier Than the Bird” on Saturday, Nov. 23. The annual downtown shopping extravaganza takes place from 8 a.m. to noon on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Jump-start your holiday shopping and shop in your pajamas for early-bird shopping specials at stores on Asbury Avenue between Sixth Street and 11th Street. 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.
The 12th annual Fast and Furriest 5K Turkey Trot goes off at 8 a.m. Thanksgiving morning on Nov. 28. 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.
Ocean City’s small-town version of Black Friday takes place on Friday, Nov. 29. The Christmas in the Downtown “Our Miracle on Asbury Avenue” takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. The event 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.
The shopping discounts will continue on Nov. 30 as downtown merchants celebrate Small Business Saturday.
The festivities continue with the annual Christmas Parade on Dec. 6, Ocean City Theatre Company’s Lights, Camera, Christmas: 2019 Holiday Spectacular from Dec. 13 to 22, the First Night Celebration on Dec. 31, and the First Day Celebration on Jan. 1.