Downtown Asbury Avenue remained a construction zone on Thursday as a collection of contractors worked to get flood-damaged businesses open in time for a weekend shopping promotion.
Ocean City’s fourth annual Earlier Than the Bird Shopping Extravaganza will run from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 17.
The record flooding from Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29 left downtown merchants with two feet of water in their stores and forced most of them to replace floors, walls and merchandise.
"Merchants have been busy cleaning up, remodeling and merchandising to be ready for holiday shoppers," Marcia Shallcross, director of Main Street Ocean City, said in a news release. "Those unable to be back in their stores may offer “Sandy Sidewalk Sales" or the opportunity to buy store gift certificates. Many have asked how they can support their favorite stores, and the answer is to shop and dine in O.C."
The "Earlier Than the Bird" event begins at 7 a.m. and offers a chance for shoppers to get a jump on the holiday season and have a little fun at the same time. Those who shop in their pajamas will have the opportunity to win a free turkey.
The event includes free coffee, giveaways (at Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue) and many early-bird specials at stores on Asbury Avenue between Sixth and 11th Streets. Santa Claus will be roaming the Avenue. Shoppers will be able to sign up in stores to win $25 gift certificates. Visitors may drop off canned or non-perishable food for the Ocean City Ecumenical Council Food Cupboard.
From noon to 3 p.m., there will be free horse-and-carriage rides, face-painting and photos with Santa. Earlier than the Bird is organized by Main Street Ocean City and is sponsored by Sturdy Savings Bank and the Ocean City Tourism Commission.
- Gingham Whale: 636 Asbury, 20% off and 1/2 price table
- Jon & Patty’s: 637 Asbury, 7:30-noon Bistro Special $3.99 (2 eggs, homefries, toast & coffee). PLUS specialty coffees — buy 1 get 1 half off
- Animal House: 705 Asbury
- Gabrielle & Co.: 715 Asbury, 7-10am 30% Off Women’s, Kids & Jewelry; 20% off till Noon
- Could Be Yours Consignment Boutique: 716 Asbury, Best Prices Ever
- Rauhauser’s Candies: 721 Asbury, 9 to noon
- Donna Gay Dillon: 725 Asbury, 9 to noon, 20% off jewelry and evening bags, plus Sale Rack
- Sun Rose Words & Music: 756 Asbury, 7 to noon, 50% off and 30% off rest of day — CASH ONLY
- Pacific Soul: 817 Asbury, 7 a.m. through the day 20% off storewide (excluding furniture)
- Making Waves: 836 Asbury, 50% off merchandise
- League Shore: 838 Asbury, 50% off all clothes
- Yoasis Frozen Yogurt: 838B Asbury, noon to 3 p.m., 50% off, try the new seasonal flavors: spiced apple pie and cinnamon sticky bun
- Sting Ray: 854 Asbury, SIDEWALK SALE
- Spinning Wheel Florist: 858 Asbury, 7-10 am, 50% off silk arrangements, 25% off after 10
- Colette: 900 Asbury
- TaDah: 925, 1026, 1038 & 1040 Asbury — Free Gift and Gift Certificate Drawing
- Flying Carp Gift Gallery: 939 Asbury, 7-9 am, 25% off; 9-12, 15% off; 12-5, 10% off
- Heritage (temp location): 940 Asbury — Inventory is 50% original price (this location only)
- Annarelli’s: 1014 Asbury, 7am-Noon
- Lucky Find: 1035 Asbury, 7-Noon 20% off
- OC Wireless: 1059 Asbury, 20% off phone accessories
Earlier than the Bird kicks off free events held every weekend in downtown Ocean City during the holiday season including free horse-and-carriage rides from noon to 3 p.m. starting at Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue.
The downtown will also offer Friday Evening HOSPITALITY NIGHTS Dec. 14 and 21 from 5 to 8 p.m., including evening shopping specials, entertainment, free horse and carriage rides, Santa and more. The annual CHRISTMAS PARADE will be held Fri., December 7 at 7 p.m. through the downtown. Breakfast with Santa will begin Nov. 24 and run through Dec. 23. For more information on the downtown, call (609) 398-goOC or visit www.downtownOCnj.com.