Fish Tales Welcomes Santa, Decorates For Christmas In July

Fish Tales Welcomes Santa, Decorates For Christmas In July
Santa is pictured arriving to Fish Tales Tuesday. Photo by Charlene Sharpe

OCEAN CITY – Onlookers cheered this week as Santa arrived by boat to make an appearance at Fish Tales for Christmas in July.

On Tuesday, July 25, Fish Tales welcomed Saint Nick to the dock as the bayside restaurant marked July 25, also known as Christmas in July. The establishment has been hosting the annual celebration for the past 23 years.

“All the toys are donated to Toys for Tots and we usually have hundreds each year for donation,” said Manager India Bandorick.

Since 2000, Fish Tales has been celebrating Christmas in July. Patrons who arrived Tuesday afternoon found the bar and dock decked out in stockings, adorned with inflatable Santas and covered in red and green décor. Staff, recognizable by their Santa hats, wore their favorite holiday attire.

Bandorick said Fish Tales employees enjoy the decorating.

“It starts when we close at 2 a.m. and continues until we open at 11 a.m.,” she said. “We add a little something different every year so it’s always exciting to see the faces on the kids and the big kids too.  It’s a fun day – we serve Christmas Dinner all day and night.”

Popular holiday tunes emanated from the speakers as patrons waited eagerly on the dock to catch sight of Santa arriving by tiki boat. Dozens of children waited in line to get their photo taken with Santa, who in a nod to the weather wore shorts.

“Santa talks to each child and gives them a small gift,” Bandorick said.

The event includes the collection of toys to be donated to Toys for Tots, a program that collects new and unwrapped toys to distribute to less fortunate children. Bandorick said the event yields a significant number of toys.

“We do not have many financial donations, but when we do, the staff usually goes and buy more toys with what is donated,” she said.

Bandorick added that employees loved the annual event.

“We have a staff costume contest, secret Santa and we have a staff prize raffle, where the top prize is an electric bike.  Our staff is the best, the front of the house buys tickets for our J1s so that everyone is in the raffle.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.