'Earlier than the Bird' shoppers' extravaganza fills downtown streets before the storm

Crowds came for 7 a.m. specials, tasty treats, neighborly fun

More than 1,000 shoppers came downtown Saturday starting at 7 a.m. for a special pajama party extravaganza that filled many restaurants and stores until showers hit Pleasanton about 10 a.m.

The early bird day of deep discounts, breakfast treats and Thanksgiving Week holiday sales followed Friday night's festive "Magical Holiday Evening" that brought hundreds more downtown despite some intermittent drizzle and a chilly evening. At Clover Creek, a sales clerk said sale were the best she's seen in several years of working at this special pre-Christmas event, which was sponsored by the Pleasanton Downtown Association.

Stores and restaurants were packed most of Friday and Saturday evenings with special treats, hot cider and other refreshments served at stores throughout the downtown.

For those who'd never worn their pajamas out in public, Saturday morning gave everyone the chance to show off their favorite nightwear while also competing for discounts and free gifts. Many store owners and theeir sales staffs came to work in their pajamas and a number of shoppers also wore theirs.

The "Earlier than the Bird" shopping (and dining) extravaganza on downtown streets has been popular in Livermore for the last five years. This year, the Pleasanton Downtown Association partnered with Livemore Downtown, Inc. to hold the program in both cities with a shuttle bus offering free rides between the two downtowns.

PDA's executive director Laura Olson and the PDA staff greeted shoppers in front of the Museum On Main, where shopper discount cards were handed out. Shoppers in their pajamas also received reusable "Shop Pleasanton" shopping bags.

The fun started at 7 a.m. (even before the birds began chirping) and lasted until lunchtime, although most store and restaurant owners kept their Early Bird specials going all day long.

Coupled with Farmers Market, which always draws huge crowds on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the event added to crowded streets until the rain came.

The Early Bird designation was just that—a chance for merchants to beat the Big Box and major department store chains to the cash registers ahead of next Friday, called Black Friday because that's when a large percentage of the Christmas shopping season profits are made.

By the looks of Friday night's and today's crowds, the weekend gave downtown merchants a needed boost in early Christmas season sales.

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