Pleasanton Weekly

Column - November 19, 2010

Holiday fun downtown tonight, pajama party tomorrow

by Jeb Bing

If you've never worn your pajamas out in public, tomorrow's your chance to show off your favorite nightwear as Pleasanton merchants hold their "Earlier than the Bird" shopping (and dining) extravaganza on downtown streets. The event, which has been popular in Livermore for the last five years, is being sponsored by the Pleasanton Downtown Association whose executive director Laura Olson will join many store and restaurant owners in stylish pajamas. Since Olson is only a month or so away from delivering her second baby, she says she'll be among the more visible at the downtown PJ party.

The fun starts at 7 a.m. (before the birds start chirping) and lasts until lunchtime at noon with merchandise and service discounts that rival those offered on Black Friday, which comes the day after Thanksgiving. Everyone should start at the Museum On Main where Olson and others will offer free gifts and a scratch-off card listing all participating merchants that can bring even more discounts.

To add to this event, the PDA and Livermore Downtown Inc. will offer a free shuttle service between the two downtowns so you can see what the Livermore crowd wears to bed. The shuttles start at 7:30 a.m. in the Domus parking lot across from the Museum On Main and then will run every half hour until 10:30 a.m.

Besides merchandise discounts, Pleasanton merchants are planning wake-up treats and entertainment. At Little Valley Winery, Steve Gary will provide music as shoppers enjoy sparkling wine and sweet treats from Bibiane Bakery. Jeweler Gallery will offer hot cider and cookies for those just waking up along with a pair of earrings to the winner of its best pajamas contest. Waffles and juice are being offered along with discounts at Pans on Fire, and Murphy's Paw has a 20% sale from 7-9 a.m. on all doggie items for the holiday and 25% off on all advance orders of doggie holiday pastries. Even limited edition and signed comics, trading cards and posters will be offered at prices ranging from 10-50% off at Heroes & Villains on south Main Street.

Clover Creek, Gourmet Works, Girlfriend & Co. and A Touch of Health are joining in Saturday morning's "Earlier than the Bird" program with major discounts on Christmas tree ornaments, specialty foods, gift cards and a wide assortment of holiday gifts. At Berry Patch, the early birds can use their scratch off card to receive 20% off on entire purchases and 50% off 1928 Jewelry. Pacific Gold buyers will be paying dollars on the spot for your old, broken or unwanted gold, silver and platinum jewelry. While you're waiting for an appraisal, Berry Patch will be serving fresh, hot Starbucks coffee and other refreshments.

Discounts, tasty treats, coffee and other breakfast drinks will also be center stage at Studio Seven Arts, Passionate Athlete, Towne Center Books, Savvy Seconds and at the Stork's Nest on West Angela Street. For those a bit self-conscious about how they look in their pajamas, MD Laser Spa will have specials from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Botox, DermaSweep, Juvederm and Radiesse, brand names not in this writer's spell check just yet but apparently well known by those into facial and body makeovers.

The PDA's "Earlier than the Bird" shoppers' special starts a few hours after most of these merchants and many others have just finished tonight's "Magical Holiday Evening," another PDA-sponsored event held each year to mark the start of the Christmas shopping season. Main Street and many of the side streets will be alive with music, refreshments, carolers and festive decorations as merchants compete for best window displays and holiday treats. Unlike the "Early Bird" extravaganza, tonight is downtown at its holiday-decorated best for the entire family with stores and restaurants focused on the spirit of the season as we start our holiday shopping. From hot spiced cider and discounts up to 50% at Rick's Picks to free goodie bags at Leslie Marie Body and Skin Care, it promises to be a festive evening.

Here for tonight's event, Santa Claus and his helpers will be visiting with children at the Museum On Main and letters to Santa can be left with him there. Gentle miniature horses from horizon East Stables will be on Main Street along with merry music by the Silver Wind Flutes, Valley Concert Chorale, the Singing Blue Stars and DJ Amos who will play your favorite holiday song in his gig in front of the museum.

We'll be there, camera in hand, for photos to post online both tonight and at 7 a.m. tomorrow. We might even post a few of the best pajama photos on Facebook, but only with your OK, of course.

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