It’s that time of year again. This Saturday, Nov. 23, Boothbay Harbor will be bustling in the early hours for its 31st annual Early Bird Sale & Pajama Party. Upwards of 50 businesses will take part in the pre-holidays shopping extravaganza, most with deals only between 6 and 9 a.m., others with a percentage off during business hours.
On the tail end of early bird sales in Wiscasset, Damariscotta, Bath and beyond, what makes Boothbay Harbor’s so unique? It all began in 1989 with 35 businesses, including many that continue the tradition: Abacus Gallery, Boothbay Region Greenhouses, Conley’s Garden Center, Custom House, Enchantments, Gold/Smith Gallery, Gimbel and Sons Country Store, Grover’s Hardware, House of Logan, Mung Bean, Palabra Gift Shop, The Ritz, Sherman’s Book Store and Smiling Cow.
Looking back to the first years of the Early Bird Sale in the Boothbay Register is a hoot and a half. Most referred to the event as “Early Bird” – quotations and all – as if the event was a one-time anomaly. Would Mark Gimbel ever have expected to see lines for a deal at the crack of dawn decades later? That probably seemed as likely as watching a Burger King come and go.
Among those joining the tradition this year will be Nathan’s Pharmacy and Apothecary, Maine and Ivy, Windjammer Emporium, Skincare Room and Brady’s: Nathan’s will hold a $100 gift card door prize; Maine and Ivy, 30-50% all day, starting at 6 a.m.; Windjammer Emporium, $100 gift card door prize; and Skin Care Room, 15% off gift certificates, 7 a.m. to noon. Brady’s door prize will be priceless – something every local will covet and those from away will learn to cherish: Dinner with Rusty Court.
To those new to the Boothbay region early bird custom: The pajamas are no joke. Some of the deals will require evening or morningwear to qualify. The bathrobes, slippers, flannels, sleep-caps and more are a tradition and are often required to collect any bounty. If it’s a cold one – and it is shaping up to be – there are bound to be some interesting-looking shoppers out and about.
Be sure to visit the several local nonprofits which will be out continuing their hard work, and as you gear up for a fun morning of shopping, be sure to turn every page of this week’s issue to find your favorites stores’ best deals!