Super Bowl Sunday was a time of pigskins and potato skins, of adrenaline-charged cheering, beer-infused parties and good old-fashioned American football.
It was also about wedding expos, dog shows, antiques fairs and real estate open houses, albeit to a lesser extent.
Holding these on a day that has risen to holiday-like status can be a challenge but comes with an upside, said people hosting the events in South Jersey on Sunday.
In other cases, such as the Boardwalk Kennel Club Dog Show in Wildwood, it was a matter of happenstance — the NFL encroached on its territory nearly a decade ago when it moved the Super Bowl to the same weekend in early February.
“It hurts us, but what we try to do is get everything in early enough,” said Susan Shomo, president of the Boardwalk Kennel Club. “We still have so many different vendors this year, so there’s a little bit of everything, and it’s early enough where they’re home in time for the Super Bowl and the parties.”
Many of the canines there prepare for next week’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which is dubbed the Super Bowl of dog shows.
In Hammonton, Tomasselo Winery hosted its Winter Bridal Preview, drawing soon-to-be brides and a few grooms to peruse the venue and wedding suppliers.
Tomasello Vice President Jack Tomasello said he noticed no difference in attendance when the bridal show is held on Super Bowl Sunday compared with another weekend.
Christina Peters, 27, of Buena, wore a 49ers T-shirt as she attended the show with her fiance, Brian Saccomanno.
“It was my mother’s idea (to come here today),” she said. “I know I’ll get home in enough time to see the game.”
Peters said she was surprised the bridal show was as busy as it was.
“I didn’t think there would be this many people at all,” she said in the front of a crowded room, just as a fashion show was set to begin.
Attending with his fiancee Kristin Sherlock, Brian Kordziel, 26, of West Deptford, Gloucester County, said since the Philadelphia Eagles weren’t playing, he was only interested in watching the commercials this year.
Events held on Sunday do not directly compete with the Super Bowl, since the game starts after 6 p.m. But the pre-shows and the parties often start well before, and the Super Bowl has a history of transcending just football.
Last year, the Nielson Co. estimated about 111 million people watched the Super Bowl, beating the two prior Super Bowls to be the most watched television event in U.S. history.
In Longport, Robin Mitchell, a real estate agent with Prudential Fox & Roach, held an open house for a three-bedroom, two-bath home Sunday afternoon from noon to 2 p.m.
“It’s kind of quiet,” she said, standing on a stairway in the two-story home.
About a half hour into the open house, no one had showed up yet.
Mitchell said she had heard interest from prospective buyers, including a woman who planned on taking her mother to look at the house.
“I’m not the only one having an open house today, although there aren’t many,” she said.
And in Cumberland County, the Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center in Millville hosted its Mid-Winter Antiques Show, where the $5 fee included admission to the Museum of American Glass.
“We haven’t seen any reluctance from men to visit the show with their wives and significant others because there’s plenty of time (until the game),” said Janet Peterson, director of marketing for the center.
“And we’ve had good attendance,” she said. “It could be people who do attend are just not interested in football or are having a party or going to party or figure there’s lots of time to do both.”
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