Reborn Downtown Prepares for 'Family Christmas' on Black Friday

More flood-damaged stores are reopening as Ocean City prepares for its 'Old-Fashioned Family Christmas Celebration' on Friday, Nov. 23.

Less than four weeks after the ocean and bay swept through downtown Ocean City, filling stores with a couple feet of salt water during the record flooding of Superstorm Sandy, the Asbury Avenue shopping district is on the rebound.

Merchants have been working around the clock to gut their stores, remediate damage and replace merchandise.

Rallying to open in time for the holiday season, downtown Ocean City stores will celebrate "An Old-Fashioned Family Christmas," starting at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23. The traditional Black Friday promotion takes place on Asbury Avenue between Sixth and 11th streets and includes Christmas caroling, horse-and-carriage rides, shopping and dining specials, photos with Santa Claus and a variety of other family activities.

With each day, a new Ocean City institution reopens its doors. Wards Pastry opened on Wednesday with a limited selection of baked goods. B&B Department Store will be open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday, then 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekdays next week.

B&B's Brian Wright said the interior of the store had been stripped to bare walls and concrete floors — with almost its entire inventory of merchandise discarded. But the entire staff was on hand Wednesday to restock the store in time for Black Friday and the "Family Christmas" celebration.

The local community rallied around the local merchants last weekend during a crowded "Earlier Than the Bird" promotion. Roslyn Lifshin said last Saturday was one of the busiest in all her days as co-owner of Sun Rose Words and Music. 

The city encourages residents and visitors to "shop local" as merchants try to recover from the storm.

"It's important that we continue our special events like the 'Old-Fashioned Family Christmas Celebration,' " Ocean City Public Relations Director Mark Soifer said. "It sends a message to the world that Ocean City is still a vital community."

The promotion on Friday will include the lighting of a Christmas tree and the City Hall building, music and entertainment, shopping and dining specials, free photos with Santa 2 to 4 p.m., and a chance to meet the Phillie Phanatic from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Santa arrives at 5 p.m. and descends from the roof of City Hall on an Ocean City Fire Department ladder truck.

Holiday lighting and decorations were recently installed in the downtown district of Asbury Avenue and the gateway section of Ninth Street — with the help of a grant from Cape May County.

“I wanted to return Ocean City to the nostalgic feel of Christmas with decorations similar to what the city had when I was a kid," Mayor Jay Gillian said. "My hope is that the generations of families coming to Ocean City as well as our new visitors, will make this experience part of their holiday tradition. It is also important to thank the city team members who led this project — and Michele Gillian and Paul Cunningham for their input.”

Some other holiday events include:

  • Christmas Parade (Dec. 7)7 p.m. from 6th to 11th streets on Asbury Avenue.
  • Photos With Santa in a Lifeguard Boat (every weekend through Dec. 23): Noon to 3 p.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier
  • Free Horse-and-Carriage Rides (every weekend through Dec. 23): Noon to 3 p.m. at City Hall
  • Hospitality Nights (Dec. 14 and 21): 5 to 8 p.m in the Downtown
  • Breakfast with Santa (every weekend through Dec. 23): At a different downtown restaurant, 8:15 to 11:15 a.m. Call (609) 398-4662 for information.
  • First Night (Dec. 31): Ocean City's gala New Year's Eve Celebration is set once again for the holiday. Enjoy an extensive entertainment program beginning at 4 p.m. and concluding at midnight with fireworks. Buttons are $15, available now at the Chamber of Commerce Building on Ninth Street across from TD Bank, call (609) 399-1412. There is an Angel Fund for those who cannot afford First Night Buttons, call 609-525-9300.
  • Joy to the World (Dec. 1): The Ocean City Pops presents a symphonic and choral celebration of the joyous sounds of Christmas at the Hughes Performing Art Center. Tickets are $15. Call 609-525-9300. Sponsored by Norman and JoAnne Schaut.
  • 2012 Holiday Spectacular (Dec. 14-16): The annual favorite returns in a new production.  A cast of professional singers and dancers celebrate the season with a fully staged musical revue of holiday hits. High energy choreography, spectacular costumes and outstanding talent come together on the Ocean City Music Pier stage to create a highlight of the holiday season. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and children under 12. Call (609) 525-9300. 
  • Christmas at the Tabernacle (Dec. 8): The Angelus Choir with instrumentalists and soloists, 4 p.m. at the Ocean City Tabernacle, 550 Wesley Ave., free admission. For more information, call (609) 399-1915. The Tabernacle will also present a live Nativity Scene on Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. presented by Tabernacle Youth. This event is set for the Tabernacle grounds, 550 Wesley Ave. 

The following are Ocean City businesses that have reopened since the storm:

  • 16th Street Seafood
  • 7th Street Surf Shop Asbury
  • A Bella Salon and Spa
  • A&A
  • Acme
  • Again on Asbury
  • Alyse's Shoes
  • Animal House
  • Annarelli's Bike Shop
  • Artisan's Alcove
  • Asbury Kitchen & Bath
  • Atlantis Inn
  • Augies Omelette, Waffle House & Grill
  • Avalon Carpet, Tile and Flooring
  • B&B Department Store
  • Bakely's
  • Beach Grill
  • Bennie's Bread
  • Bernie's Barber Shop
  • Best Tire
  • Biscayne Suites
  • Blitz's Market 34th Street
  • Bongo Café & Grill
  • Boyar's Market
  • Brown's Awnings
  • Brown's Nostalgia
  • Butterfly Boutique
  • C. Melini
  • Cake Studio
  • Car Caress Professional Detailing
  • Carew Optical
  • Casa Del Dolce
  • Cathy's 14th Street Bakery
  • Cerruti Beauty Shop
  • Cinco de Mayo
  • Colette's
  • Copiers Plus
  • Could be Yours Consignment Boutique
  • Creative Window and Design Center
  • Curlie's Cutting Crew
  • Divine Images Salon and Spa
  • Donna Gay Dillon Boutique
  • Dunkin' Donuts
  • Express Pizza
  • FINAtics
  • Flander's
  • Flying Carp Clothing Gallery
  • Flying Carp Gift Gallery
  • Gabrielle and Company
  • GG's
  • Gingham Whale
  • Gleeson's (by phone 399-4910)
  • Grass Roots
  • Harbor Outfitters
  • Henry's Landmark Jewelers
  • Heritage Surf & Sport (West Ave)
  • Heritage Surf & Sport Winter Sale Store (Asbury)
  • Hoy's 5 & 10
  • Hula Grill
  • Humane Society of Ocean City
  • Impala Island Inn
  • Inn the Gardens
  • Island Beach Gear
  • Islander
  • JaTori's Gems
  • Jay's Crab Shack
  • Jilly's Arcade
  • Johnson's Appliances & Bedding
  • Johnson's Popcorn 14th Street
  • Jon & Patty's
  • Kelly's Creations Salon
  • La Bottine Boutique
  • League Shore
  • Lindsy James Salon
  • Local Gym and Fitness
  • Lucky Find
  • Making Waves
  • Mallon's
  • Manco and Manco, 9th & Boardwalk
  • McDonald's
  • Northwood Inn
  • OC Mansion
  • Oc to Shining Sea
  • Ocean City Coffee Company, Boardwalk & Downtown
  • Ocean City Community Center
  • Ocean City Mansion
  • Ocean City Wirelss
  • Ocean Pharmacy
  • Old Salt
  • Onni
  • Original Fudge Kitchen
  • P. Francis (opening Saturday)
  • Pacific Soul
  • Pink Mermaid
  • Port O Call Hotel
  • Positively Fourth Street
  • Prep's Pizzeria & Dairy Bar
  • Randazzo's
  • Rauhauser's Candies
  • Ready's Coffee Shop & Restaurant
  • Red's Jersey Mex
  • Rojo's Tacos
  • Sack O Subs
  • Salon DelMare
  • Shoemaker Lumber Company
  • Shore Medical Center Quick Care
  • Shriver's Salt Water Taffy
  • Spinning Wheel
  • Sun Rose Words & Music
  • SunSeekers (above Jon & Patty's)
  • Super Fresh
  • Surfers Supplies
  • TaDah
  • Terry Ivory
  • Tuckahoe Bike Shop
  • Uncle Bill's 21st Street
  • Varsity Inn
  • Wallace Hardware
  • Ward's Bakery
  • Watson's Regency Suites
  • We R Wireless
  • Who's on First
  • Wild Dunes
  • Yoasis Frozen Yogurt


robert November 21, 2012 at 11:44 PM
So everyone knows Hoys 5 & 10 has a 50% storewide sale.


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