BAR HARBOR — Nightgowns, bathrobes and stocking caps will be all the rage this Saturday, Nov. 21, as pajama-clad shoppers fill downtown sidewalks en masse, scooping up bargains galore and having a whole lot of fun while doing so.
This year’s Early Bird Pajama Sale, the 15th annual, features a virtual who’s-who of downtown merchants, with 33 shops opening their doors at 6 a.m. and carrying on with sales until 9 a.m.
The best deals likely will be found early in the morning, said chamber of commerce events coordinator Heather Jones. “Most stores are doing graduated discounts, so, the earlier it is, the higher the discount,” she said.
Shoppers are not required to wear pajamas. However, for those interested in the biggest savings, the dress code for the day is beyond casual, with most stores offering additional discounts to pajama-clad customers.
If that’s not incentive enough to turn out in your best silk pajama set, judges will present a $50 first prize and $25 second prize to the “best dressed” shoppers in town.
At 10 a.m., starting on the Bar Harbor Village Green, there will be a pajama parade through downtown. The parade, which will include 12 teams who have signed up to take part in the 2009 bed races, will wind down Main Street to Cottage Street and up Cottage Street to Rodick Street.
From there, starting just after the parade, the second annual Bar Harbor bed races will take place. A section of Cottage Street will be closed to traffic for the event, as teams of five compete against the clock for the best time racing back and forth. Four team members will push the beds while one lucky person gets to ride along.
A dozen teams have entered this year’s competition, and will compete for a first prize of $500 in chamber of commerce gift certificates and a second prize valued at $200. A prize also will be issued for the best-decorated bed.
On Saturday, the MDI YMCA’s rhythmic gymnastics team will be offering a morning of action-packed activities for kids age 3 to 9 at the Y on Park Street. While parents shop downtown at the pajama sale, YMCA attendees will be treated to a continental breakfast, craft activities, sports, games and stories. Pajamas are optional, and the event runs from 7 to 11 a.m. The cost is $10 per child. Proceeds from this event will help with the team meet fees and travel expenses. Call 288-3511 to reserve a spot.
Mount Desert Island-area youngsters once again will have a chance to pick out a free book during the Mount Desert Islander’s annual “Gift of Reading” event set for Saturday, Nov. 21.
On that day, children from toddlers to teens are invited to stop by the parlor of the Bar Harbor Congregational Church on Mount Desert Street between 9 and 10 a.m. The room will be overflowing with new books donated by the Simon & Schuster publishing company of New York. Each child will be allowed to select and keep the book of their choice from scores of titles by well-known authors.
“It’s our way of celebrating our eighth birthday and of giving something back to this island community that has been so generous in their support of us,” said Islander editor Earl Brechlin. “We hope it encourages kids to keep reading.”
Along with the free book, each child will receive a special bookmark and a bookplate with a place for their name – free. And plenty of “I am a Mount Desert Islander stickers” also will be available.
During last year’s sale and bed races, the area was blanketed in the first snowstorm of the year. Many racers are undoubtedly hoping for less slippery conditions this time around. Predictions are for mild weather so far.
Shopping during the pajama sale is a great way to enjoy significant discounts on gifts and other items, while also contributing to the local economy, Ms. Jones said.
“The sale is great for getting a jump on the shopping season, and it also gives that boost to the local merchants and reminds people to shop locally,” she said.
For more community news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.