Holiday fun downtown tonight, pajama party tomorrow

Back-to-back holiday extravaganzas to showcase downtown shopping specials, tasty treats

Even if it rains, Pleasanton downtown's festive "Magical Holiday Evening" will get under way at 6 p.m. with the street, stores and even some of the merchants dressed up for Christmas.

Then at 7 a.m. tomorrow, store and some restaurant owners will be back with their "Earlier than the Bird" shopping (and dining) extravaganza on downtown streets. If you've never worn your pajamas out in public, tomorrow's your chance to show off your favorite nightwear and compete for discounts and free gifts.

Both events are being sponsored by the Pleasanton Downtown Association.

Each year, "Magical Holiday Evening" marks the start of the Christmas shopping season in downtown Pleasanton. 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. Tonight's event is focused on providing fun, entertainment and a look at special gifts only downtown merchants provide for the entire family.

Santa Claus and his helpers are making a special trip to Pleasanton's downtown tonight, where they will be visiting with children at the Museum On Main. Letters to Santa can be left there, too.

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 favorite holiday song in his gig in front of the museum.

The "Earlier than the Bird" shopping (and dining) extravaganza on downtown streets has been popular in Livermore for the last five years. This year, it's being sponsored by the PDA 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, Girlfriends & 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 American Harvest, folk artist Debbie Thibault will be signing one-of-a-kind Christmas collections while at Gamma Salon, all hair products will be selling for 20% off.

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. Apparel & Co. will offer $75 and $50 gift card drawings along with homemade Portuguese sweet cakes

On North Main, Sincerely Yours Cards and Gifts will be offering Baklava and tea forte with an in-store raffle of a Vera Bradley product gift basket. The Bracelet Bar @ Serenity on South Main will feature 10% off any single item along with hot cider and cookies. Nearby, Serenity Stoneworks will be holding holiday princess tea parties.

For fudge lovers, Bicycles! Pleasanton will be offering free pieces all evening along with "Crazy Larry" sale discounts on bikes, parts, accessories and clothing. Alexander's Fine Art will feature hand-blown glass ornaments by glass artist Gigi and Christmas tree wood carvings by Dan Dresser.

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 well known by those into facial and body makeovers.

Given the short time span between the end of "Magical Holiday Evening" late tonight and the start of the PDA's "Earlier than the Bird" shoppers' special at 7 a.m. tomorrow, some merchants have said they might even hold sleepovers in their stores. In case you're one of the lucky ones to be invited, be sure to bring your pajamas.

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