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Downtown merchants will present the one and only Earlier Than the Bird shopping extravaganza on Sat., Nov. 21 from 7 a.m. till noon along Asbury Ave. from 6th to 11th Sts. Stores will offer cost cutting specials and will give away free coffee, coffee mugs and other freebies. You’ll have the opportunity to win one of many $25 Downtown Gift Certificates. Restaurants will feature a variety of dining specials. Merchants will be dressed in pajamas till noon time on the 21st to celebrate the early shopping hours. You are invited to do the same. Customers sporting the most unusual pj’s will win a free Thanksgiving turkey.

Ocean City offers over 100 quality downtown shops specializing in personal service. Shop locally for the best gifts and provide your personal “stimulus package” to the local economy. Marcia Shallcross has organized this event for the downtown.

The second of Norman and JoAnne Schaut’s two Huge Charity Craft Shows is set for Nov.21 and 22 at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Last week’s event was a big success despite the storm. An entirely new group of artisans offering one of a kind holiday crafts will be showcased this weekend. All profits are donated to the Ocean City Food Cupboard and other local charities. Over $100,000 has already been given to the Cupboard and $35,000 to the Atlantic City Rescue Mission. Charitable admission donation is $3, children are free. There’s plenty of free parking on lots near the Music Pier adjacent to the Boardwalk at 9th St., Moorlyn Terrace and 8th Street.

On Fri., Nov. 27, Ocean City Merchants and the Chamber of Commerce present An Old Fashioned Family Christmas starting noon along Asbury Ave. Here are some of the features: Christmas Caroling, free refreshments, free train rides all day on the Wonderland Express at City Hall Annex, continuous entertainment, plus Free Photos with Santa in an Ocean City Lifeguard Boat at 9th and Asbury Ave.,1 to 3 p.m. At 4:30 p.m., there will be a gathering around City Hall steps for Community Caroling, Lighting of the Christmas Tree and Santa’s official early arrival. He will descend from the roof of City Hall on an Ocean City Fire Department Ladder Truck. The celebration continues through the holidays.

Here’s a listing of other Holiday events:

Nov. 26: Harriers For Hounds, the second annual 5K Run/Walk and Kids One Mile Fun Run is set for Thanksgiving morning. Starts 8:30 a.m. at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn. Contact Louise Nunan, 609-398-5068 for information

Photos With Santa in a Lifeboat at the Music Pier will be available from noon till 3 p.m. on Nov. 28-29, Dec.5-6, Dec. 12-13, Dec.19-20. Call 609-399-1412 for information.

Train Show, Dec.5-6: This popular, annual event includes large train displays for children to enjoy, vendors selling trains, train accessories and memorabilia and technician, Dick Yard, doing repairs on site. Hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sat., 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sun. Admission $3 for adults and $1 for children.

Christmas Parade: Santa arrives in town to pose for photos with children and distribute treats, 10:30 a.m., Dec.5. Parade route is from 6th to 11th Streets on Asbury Ave. To register to be in Parade, call 609-525-9300.

Free Horse and Carriage Rides with Santa, Dec.5-6, 12-13, 19-20, noon to 3 p.m. from in front of City Hall steps.

Sindia Day, Dec. 5 celebrates the non-fatal, anniversary of a celebrated shipwreck at the Ocean City Historical Museum, 17th and Simpson Ave. Call 609- 399-1801 or access www.ocnjmuseum.org.

Ronan Tynan, the world famous Irish Tenor, will be featured in a Holiday Concert at the Music Pier, 8 p.m., Dec.10 to benefit the Holy Spirit High School Music Department. Tickets are $75 for the main auditorium, $50 for the Solarium and $150 for a pre-concert reception at the Flanders Hotel plus front of the auditorium seating. Call 609-525-9300 or visit ocnj.us to order tickets.

The Ocean City Repertory Theater presents the Best Christmas Pageant Ever for young audiences,6 p.m., Dec.11-16 at 908 Asbury Ave. and a Candlelight Reading of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens on Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. Call 609-231-3263.

Michael Hartman’s Ocean City Theatre Co. returns with its spectacular Holiday Revue, A Christmas Wonderland, Dec.18-20 at the Music Pier.(Dec.18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 20 at 2 p.m.) This is a fully staged production with professional singers, actors and dancers, Ocean City’s version of the Radio City show. Hartman has staged many acclaimed productions in Ocean City, most recently Little Shop of Horrors at Halloween time. Tickets are $10 for children under 12 and $12 for adults. Call 609-525-9300, access ocnj.us or stop at City Hall Annex, 901 Asbury Ave., Mon.-Fri. from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sponsored by Gillian’s Wonderland Pier.

Joy to the World, the Ocean City Pops annual orchestral and choral celebration of Christmas is set for 8 p.m., Dec.19 at the Ocean City Tabernacle, 5th and Wesley Ave. Maestro Bill Scheible will conduct and the Pops will be joined by the Heraldic Trumpets, glorious choirs, dazzling bells and musicologist Dr. Richard Stanislaw. Tickets are $15. Sponsored by Norman and JoAnn Schaut. Call 525-9300 or stop at City Hall Annex.

GET YOUR FIRST NIGHT ADMISSION BUTTONS NOW! Downtown Gillian’s, 838-Asbury Ave., across from City Hall is now selling admission buttons with complete schedules for our First Night New Year’s Eve gala. The program includes over 60 entertainment programs at central locations with fireworks at midnight. And for just $14. New this year: free miniature golf with admission button at Gillian’s Island, 4 p.m. till midnight. There’s an Angel Fund for those who can’t afford buttons, call 609-525-9300.