The weekend after Thanksgiving is the start of holiday shoping, and a mad rush of people will flock to the outlets in Rehoboth Beach. If you're one of them, consider making your stay a few hours longer to check out the farmer's market, tree lighting ceremony or visit with Santa.


Once Thanksgiving plates have been cleared, shoppers will be plotting store-to-store routes and dog-earing circulars while visions of pumpkin pies dance in their family’s heads. Shoppers making the trek to Tanger Outlets in Rehoboth Beach for post-Thanksgiving sales should consider taking friends and family along to discover what the beach town is like once it’s too cold to perch on the beach all day.

“Really, this time of year you’ll see more of the hometown feel to downtown Rehoboth,” said Jennifer Barger, executive director of Rehoboth Beach Main Street.

She said the weekend of Black Friday is the unofficial start to the area’s holiday season, and everyone’s getting ready, whether it’s by decorating storefronts, holding killer sales or visiting a certain jolly figure in red.

“It really is a very active time down here,” Barger said.

Here are some of the draws for the weekend of Nov. 26 to 28:

Head downstate for bargains
Fear not. While little ones are sleeping Tanger Outlets stores will open up to shoppers at midnight Friday, Nov. 26, and stay open through 9 p.m. that night. Saturday’s hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday’s are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.tangeroutlet.com.
Looking for a unique gift a mall might not stock? Rehoboth Beach’s participating downtown stores will launch their extended shopping hours the weekend after Thanksgiving as well, staying open until at least 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at least 4 p.m. Sundays. For more on which stores are participating and hours, visit www.downtownrehoboth.com/Seaside_Holiday_Extended_Holiday_Hours_.htm.

Stay for the tree-lighting
Family members who are feeling a little Grinch-y can try to get into the spirit with an old-fashioned sing-along and tree lighting ceremony at the Bandstand Pavilion on Rehoboth Avenue. The annual tradition starts with a sing-along from 6 to 7 p.m. with singer/songwriter Doug James and his buddy Mrs. Claus, and is capped off with a lighting of the tree at 7 p.m. In case it gets chilly, hot chocolate will be served.
Barger said the tradition brings out local guests of all ages, and visitors as well.

Visit with Santa
Santa Claus has apparently become a snowbird, flying south to Rehoboth Beach to escape those brutal North Pole winters. Santa’s House will be set up the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk at the end of Rehoboth Avenue starting from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26. Families should take their camera when they go to see Santa. They don’t need to take money, though; visiting is free, although donations are appreciated. For more dates and times on visiting Santa, visit www.beach-fun.com/holiday-fun or call 302-227-2233.

A trip to the market.
Think farmers markets are in hibernation? Think again. The Rehoboth Beach Farmers’ Market is in its fourth year of hosting a Holiday Market. This year the group moved the annual event to the weekend after Thanksgiving so they would get some people coming in for other events, such as the tree lighting or shopping, said Pat Coluzzi, market master. The market runs from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, at Grove Park, where people can stay toasty with a cup of free hot cider while shopping. Coluzzi said vendors will have a few Christmas trees, but plenty of wreaths, garlands of pine, holly and other décor. Shoppers also will find cheese, lavender products, free-range chickens and organic eggs, apples, holiday items, produce, baked goods and more.