OCEAN CITY, Md. - The Holiday Shopper's Fair in Ocean City has returned for it's 35th year, kicking off the same day as Black Friday.
The unique three day event features more than 140 vendors.
Hundreds of people opted out of Black Friday shopping to go to the fair to support small and local businesses.
RJ Batts, inventor and C.E.O. of Tip Tough, said, "People are here ready to spend money, but they aren't all crazy like the Black Friday at malls and stuff. So we have that great option."
The annual event provides visitors with a unique Christmas atmosphere and offers plenty of gift options.
Carson Riley, the owner of Sea Glass Originals said, "People down here get the opportunity to shop for unusual presents. My wife and I do all our Christmas shopping here."
Diane Tacka, a shopper at the fair added, "It's different stuff. It's not like you go to Walmart and you find the same stuff. It's just different and it's local and you want to support your local businesses."
The fair offers a more relaxed environment where shoppers can take their time.
Anne Murphy, another shopper, said, "I don't like Black Fridays. I usually don't shop that day. I like to be home relaxing and this is something you know you could buy things if you like, if not, you just get in the spirit."
The fair does more than just provide people with the holiday spirit, it also helps out local businesses in the area.
Chester Shaffer, the owner of Pleasures of the Pallet, said, "What I like is when they're coming in I have to constantly cook and I don't get a break. That's what I like because that means we are making money."
Many businesses said this is one of their most successful shows of the year.
Riley said, "This is our eighth year, this is one of our five biggest shows of the year. My wife and I do 45 shows a year, but this is one of our top five."
You can get more than just your average Christmas gift at the fair, you can also take home a four legged friend in need of a home.
The Greyhound Pets of America, Town Cats of Ocean City, Wags and Wishes Animal Rescue and more were all in attendance at the fair.
Even if you're not interested in adopting a furry friend, you can still help out the organizations by buying some of their merchandise or making a donation.
The non profit organizations said the fair helps them raise awareness about local animals in need.
Sue Nevins, a Wags and Wishes Volunteer, said, "There's several groups here. We have different cat groups and dog groups. It's very important that people realize that there are a lot of homeless pets out there. These groups take them in, vet them, get them spayed and neutered, all their shots, and it's very important to get them forever homes and for everyone to spay and neuter because there is such an overpopulation."
If you're interested in learning more on how you can help these organizations, you can visit the following links:
The fair will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $3 for the weekend, but children 13 and under can get in for free.
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