ugg classic leather boots clad shoppers get early shopping start in Ocean City

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OCEAN CITY Bundled into overcoats with their pajamas on top, shoppers waddled along Asbury Avenue in the early morning chill Saturday, gobbling up savings and prizes in the fifth annual Earlier Than the Bird promotion designed to jump start the holiday shopping season.

Some visitors to the resorts downtown shopping district got into the spirit with elaborate ensembles, including Phyllis Turner, of Ocean City, her rescued show dogs Francesca and Lolita, and her cousin, Jean Kling, of Sewell, who all dressed as scarecrows.

Others, such as Brittany Barcliff, of the Beesleys Point section of Upper Township, literally rolled out of bed and into town wearing the very outfit she had slept in.

A lot of people are here in their pajamas, and they look great, said Rose Savastano, who handles special events for the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, co sponsor of the half day promotion with the citys Downtown Merchants Association. Weve had a great turnout. It seems like a lot of girls together doing their shopping.

The Santa triplets Shelly Marchozzi, of Linwood, and her sister, Patty Wacker, and friend Renie Malason, both of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania were among those enjoying what they called a girls weekend. The trio, clad in mens Santa suit pajamas purchased at Target, also sported identical Santa caps with a Marines theme, handmade by another friend in honor of Malasons son, a Marine.

Marchozzi had snatched up some Ocean City sweatshirts, Malason had gotten a 20 percent discount on Uggs and Wacker had purchased soap and jewelry. They were hitting the avenue for a second sweep, having stored what they had scored in the first 90 minutes of the four hour event. Pointing at her wrist, indicating time was short, Malason hustled her companions on their way, saying, Were on a mission: To shop.

Every year, it gets bigger and bigger with more people dressing up in their pajamas and shopping, said Debbie Guerriero, owner of five Ta Dah! locations in the 900 and 1000 blocks of Asbury Avenue. People are very festive today. The chill in the air has them thinking of Christmas and the holidays.

Its exciting to walk around in my pajamas, said Tori Tomlin, 15, of the Goshen section of Middle Township, who was sporting red pajama bottoms with a dog pattern. She was pretty pleased with her purchase of a jacket for $10, too.

Its a nice day out, said her mother, Donna, who was wearing red Walt Disney World pajamas. Its girls time together.

Joan Vicari, the librarian at Ocean City High School, was dressed for the weather and the days theme, wearing two pairs of slippers, socks bearing the message Santa, I can explain, rose patterned pajamas she had purchased in Vermont (so you know theyre warm!) and a white terry cloth robe.

Among her purchases were books she for use at school and a black satin purse with sequins she picked up for $3 at a thrift shop for her daughter, Laura, to use as an accessory at an upcoming University of Pittsburgh 1920s themed dance.

A five year veteran of Earlier Than the Bird, Mason said she knew the place to begin her journey was at Ocean City Coffee Co., where, armed with a free small coffee, she plotted her path using the cheat sheet that listed the participating stores and their promotions.

Today, it has been very well orchestrated, said Ione Talese, owner of Artisan Body Products in the 900 block of Asbury Avenue. People are out, and the weather is co operating.

She was wearing snowman PJ bottoms. Sales associate Samantha Stone, of Ocean City, was dressed in fuzzy, black and white, zebra striped footie pajamas. They were among the few shopkeepers to dress for the event.
ugg classic leather boots clad shoppers get early shopping start in Ocean City