(Nov. 23 2018) The 36th annual Holiday Shopper’s Fair, scheduled Friday through Sunday at the Ocean City convention center on 40th Street, offers an early start to Christmas shopping with more than 150 vendors, ranging from small and large local businesses, to companies from out of state.

“There’s prices and variety for everything and everyone,” Melanie Collins, event organizer, said. “You can find a lot of things. It’s fun, the decorations are cheerful, the Christmas music is playing and it’s just a good experience.”


Ocean Pines residents Judy and Frank Cross are amused by Paisley, a 3-year-old black lab mix with Bow Wow Designs from Burke, Virginia, during the Holiday Shopper’s Fair last Saturday at the Ocean City convention center on 40th Street.

Unique merchandise including, candles, photography, children’s gifts, florals, jewelry, clothing, accessories, ceramics, household goods, pet accessories and treats, sports memorabilia, German roasted nuts, nautical wares, homemade soaps and body care, sea glass items, and Amish baked goods can be purchased while browsing vendor booths this weekend.

The Holiday Shopper’s Fair was created in 1983 to draw in visitors during the winter months, and about 2,000 people and 60 vendors attended the first event. Last year, approximately 9,000 visitors shopped for treasures throughout weekend and organizers expect about the same attendance this year, Collins said.

“People should come, because they shop under one roof in one big room … they don’t have to go store to store,” Collins said. “They can [even] shop for people who are difficult to buy for. Maybe they don’t need anything, but you just want to get something.”

Children can get their faces painted, learn how to juggle with Cascading Carlos, or color holiday scenes at the 40th Street venue.

For those who don’t want to shop or need a quick break, there will be a pair of televisions set up in a lounge area to watch football.

Several nonprofit organizations will be back this year, including Delmarva Cat Connection, Town Cats, Wags & Wishes Animal Rescue, and Greyhound Pets of Delaware. Attendees can get started on the adoption process or purchase gift items.

Also in attendance this year are the Boy Scouts of America, and the Marine Corps League will collect Toys for Tots donations. In addition, Believe in Tomorrow will collect donations and sell raffle tickets to raise money for terminally ill children.

Door-prize drawings will be held every half hour. Vendors donate prizes and winners must be in attendance to receive prizes.

Admission costs $3 for all three days of the Holiday Shopper’s Fair. Children 13 and under get in free.

Show hours are: Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, call 1-800-OC-OCEAN, 410-289-2800 or email mcollins@oceancitymd.gov.

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