Living in New York City, Helen Mohney couldn't get to Saturday's Early Bird sale in Wiscasset. But an Instagram she shared that one of the participating businesses, Rock Paper Scissors, sent out, tipped off sister Emma and their mother Melanie, both of Gardiner.
“We love Wiscasset and we love this store” and have been to it a lot, Emma said as she and her mother checked out some jewelry in a case. She said her sister was jealous they were getting to go Saturday; but it will still work out well for Helen because they were going to find Christmas gifts there to get her, Emma added, smiling.
Wiscasset identical twins Gabrielle and Angela DiPerri were shopping their first Wiscasset Early Bird. They came to experience it as a community event and to support local businesses. "And it's a chance to see people after the busy summer," Angela said. "We only ran into about – a dozen people we know," her sister said, smiling.
The early morning rain, still letting up, did not deter the sisters' shopping. Under umbrellas, they said they just bundled up and brought the right gear for it. They got holiday cards at Rock Paper Scissors and mini Christmas trees at BIRCH.
At DebraElizabeth's, Pat Stauble, owner of Patricia Stauble Antiques in Wiscasset, bought a blue rug with stars, just like another she got there. The new Edgecomb resident forgot about the Early Bird until she woke up about 6 a.m.
It was a very good Early Bird, with customers lined up waiting for the business to open, owner Deb Schaffer said.
Other merchants interviewed were also pleased with Saturday's turnout. "It's been very busy," Rock Paper Scissors owner Erika Soule said. She went through all 80 sets she put together of assorted cards as an Early Bird giveaway. She thought her Instagram helped, adding, some others also did instagrams announcements.
BIRCH co-owner Brad Sevaldson said the shop also put on a sale Friday night, Early Bird eve, for its email customers. "We called it Night Owl." Both did well. He expressed optimism for the holiday shopping season, including year two of Holiday Marketfest. He and others Saturday said they also get a boost from Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens' annual attraction, Gardens Aglow. Travelers stay overnight in the area and stop in Wiscasset to shop, Sevaldson said.
Also taking part in the Early Bird were In the Clover, Treats, Moulinette, Sarah's Cafe, Ames True Value Supply, Big Al's Super Values and Big Al's Fireworks Outlet. Carl M. P. Larrabee Insurance Agency and Chris Almasi, Bean Group real estate, encouraged people to shop the Early Bird. And Boothbay Register and Wiscasset Newspaper have a Wiscasset Early Bird deal on subscriptions Nov. 12-16.