Pajama Party in Boothbay Harbor

Hi. Barb here.

In Boothbay Harbor, on the Saturday before Thanksgiving every year, all the shops open at 6:00 am and have big sales and everyone shops in their pajamas.


Lots of groups wear matching pajamas

Those of you who know me may be surprised that I was there, given that I don’t like a) early, b) birds, c) sales, d) crowds and e) wearing costumes.  So it kind of sounds like hell on earth for me, amirite?

Even the dogs get into the act.

But I have to admit, it’s kind of genius. The shops, many of which will close down for the season at the end of the weekend, get one more chance to unload their merchandise. Local people get to shop for the holidays at tourist-focused stores downtown that they don’t enter from one end of the year to the next, and people do come in from out of town for one last gasp of the season. Families treat it like a happy, relaxed time together, before the craziness of the holidays truly begins, enjoying breakfast out and Bloody Marys.

Santa and the Gingerbread Man. Santa apparently doesn’t sleep in those red longjohns as we’ve been led to believe.


The stores set their own rules.  Some have progressive sales—40% off at 6:00 am, 30% at 7:00, etc.  Some give a greater discount to people wearing their pjs. Some stop their sales at 9:00 or 10:00 am and some go all day.

Your intrepid reporter

After the sales, people gather at the library for a pajama parade and later in the morning, there are bed races. Everyone’s home to rejoin their normal weekend routine by lunch.


About Barbara Ross

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries. Her books have been nominated for multiple Agatha Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and have won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. She lives in Portland, Maine. Readers can visit her website at
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10 Responses to Pajama Party in Boothbay Harbor

  1. Barb–
    What fun!

    P.S. I finished reading Death of an Ambitious Woman. Excellent!

  2. Lea Wait says:

    All credit to you and Bill! (I assume someone took that picture of you, Barb!) Every year I think I’ll get to that pajama party … and every year I sleep in. Well — maybe next year! It sure does look like fun!!! And the bargains are sweet … I’ll bet there wasn’t one person with tear gas either …

  3. MCWriTers says:

    My sister-in-law and my nieces go every year…Lisa drives up from New York just so she won’t miss it. And as a result, I get wonderful presents. I’m thinking I must join them next year.

    Thanks for sharing this.


  4. John Clark says:

    As Kate noted, My wife and daughters go faithfully. Lisa and her fiance Sam really do drive up from New York. They started this way back when I was the librarian at the BBH Memorial Library. Everyone reported that this year was really good.

  5. Heather Carito says:

    Sounds like fun. Hey, are there people in the beds they race? Very intriguing concept and a little hard to picture!

  6. VIcki Doudera says:

    Love it! I definitely want to come down from Camden next year!

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