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What's Up Magazine

Let the Holiday Shopping Begin!

Dec 04, 2014 04:00PM ● By Lisa Lewis
By Lisa A. Lewis

If you didn’t finish your holiday shopping last week during the Black Friday sales—or you wanted to avoid the crowds and didn’t even start yet—rest assured. There is still plenty of time to find that special gift for everyone on your list.

And now is the perfect opportunity to shop. Several unique shopping events are taking place this weekend. Not only can you enjoy the festivities, but you can also find special, one-of-a-kind gifts. So what are you waiting for?

Make a night of it, and enjoy Midnight Madness on Thursday starting at 6 p.m. in downtown Annapolis. Sponsored by the Annapolis Business Association (ABA), this festive annual holiday tradition features late night shopping (until midnight, of course), holiday music and entertainment, prizes, fun photo opportunities, a visit from Santa, and special offers at select retail stores. What’s not to love?

Voted one of America’s Best Towns for the Holidays by Travel + Leisure magazine, downtown Annapolis is “decked out” with even more beautiful holiday decorations this year, thanks to Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis, the ABA’s co-sponsor of the holiday decorations for the fourth year in a row.

And since one night of shopping is simply not enough, the ABA offers two additional holiday shopping events: another Midnight Madness on December 11 and Eleventh Hour on December 18 (when stores remain open until 11 p.m.). So mark your calendars now.

And while you’re buying gifts for others, why not treat yourself, too? The ABA is partnering with a local radio station to bring you The WRNR Rockin’ Stocking, a holiday grand prize worth more than $2,500. Visit participating merchants to register to win this special stocking, which is filled with gift cards from local merchants.

These holiday shopping events promise to be a lot of fun, so head downtown and start shopping. An added bonus? You’re also helping support local businesses.

For more information, visit


*Notable Quotable

“We appreciate the support of Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis in helping us continue this ABA tradition,” said Sean O’Neill, ABA president. “We want to draw residents and visitors downtown to enjoy the unique, festive atmosphere of historic Annapolis during the holiday season. We continue to add exciting new displays. Follow Snowflake Alley—a festive shortcut from Main Street to the shops on State Circle and Maryland Avenue.”


Looking for a truly unique shopping experience—and a way to avoid the stress of the malls? Then head to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge on Saturday, and enjoy a relaxing day of holiday shopping during the Friends of Blackwater’s Holiday Open House and Craft Show from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Visitor Center.

This special event features a wide variety of unique gifts from several artisans, including hand-painted ornaments, crafts, hand-painted jewelry, clothing, watercolor and oil paintings, photography, nature and wildlife carvings, and much more.

The show also includes presentations, demonstrations, children’s activities, music, complimentary gift wrapping for purchases over $5 from 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., and special surprises throughout the day. You’re sure to find the perfect gift for your family and friends. Plus, you can enjoy the beauty and tranquility of nature and shop.

For the schedule of events, visit


*Did You Know?

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge encompasses over 25,000 acres on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. As a major stop on the Atlantic Flyway, Blackwater is a vital haven for waterfowl and a sanctuary for the American bald eagle, the endangered Delmarva fox squirrel, and the peregrine falcon.

Source: The Friends of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge


If you love the monthly First Sunday Arts Festivals, which are held May through October on West Street in Annapolis, you definitely won’t want to miss the First Sunday Arts Festival Holiday Edition on December 7 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

A new and exciting event, the format is the same as the monthly festivals. West Street is closed to traffic, and coffee shops and restaurants are open. Find a table outside, and enjoy a delicious lunch. Or simply relax, and enjoy the festive environment.

Spend some time browsing the wares of the art galleries and shops. Tents filled with the works of more than 60 artists and crafters line West Street and feature unique holiday gifts available for purchase. You can also enjoy music and entertainment throughout the day. Best of all? There is no admission cost.

So bring your entire family, and since Annapolis is such a dog-friendly city, bring your four-legged friends as well. Dogs are definitely welcome. Don’t miss out on this new Annapolis holiday tradition.


*History of First Sunday Arts Festival

Established in 2001, First Sunday Arts Festival is a free Annapolis arts and craft show that features about 100 local and regional artists, live music, dance, street performers, food, and much more. Thousands of people—both locals and tourists—attend.

Source: First Sunday Arts Festival


Check out some other special holiday festivities taking place this weekend:

Annapolis/Anne Arundel County:

Eastern Shore:


To view more events taking place this weekend, please browse our online calendar. And be sure to follow What’s Up? on Twitter and like us on Facebook.