Lifestyles, Local

Girls’ Night Out embraces women, promotes small businesses

Sidewalks and businesses throughout downtown Siloam Springs overflowed with women participating in Main Street Siloam’s quarterly event known as Girls’ Night Out.

On March 8, businesses such as Café on Broadway, Bathetopia and Cari’s Closet had deals and treats for the record-breaking crowd enjoying the event.

Kelsey Howard, director of Main Street Siloam, helped coordinate Girls’ Night Out, which happened to fall on the same day as International Women’s Day.

“Girls’ Night Out is a great way to familiarize women to downtown businesses and a great way to celebrate women, friendships, and family,” Howard said.

Howard said Girls’ Night Out is an event that the community has embraced. Downtown is a pleasant walk from their homes or workplaces for most people in town, and Howard encouraged more people to check out the downtown area through this occasion.

Taylor Hansen, a participant in this month’s event said her favorite part was seeing women from across town come to the unique downtown area and spend time together.

“I went with some girls from campus and I thought it was such a good way to get to know each other better while being pampered,” Hansen said.

According to the Girls’ Night Out map, there were three categories for participation: play, shop or dine.

One station included free hand massages for all women to enjoy, while another sold boutique items on sale and yet another shared recipes and home decorating objects for sale.

“I think that GNO is a great way to get people out and enjoy themselves without any other stresses. I personally enjoyed Girls’ Night Out and plan on going again when they have one,” said Hansen.

Hansen said, “I know for me that having the stores open later [during GNO] made me feel blessed to be in such a small town.”

When women arrived at the event, they signed up for door prizes at Fratelli’s Wood Fire Pizza and received a map of all participating businesses.

“Going to Girls’ Night Out allowed me to see more of downtown and go into stores I probably would have never gone into,” Hansen said.  “There was a lot of stores and companies that I didn’t even realize were there, so it was so fun to get to go into those.”

Howard said, “We love seeing JBU students and faculty there because the university is such an important part of the community.”

Because college students bring life to the downtown area, Howard said she hopes to see more people in that age group in upcoming events.  This was a great event for people to come sit outside or walk their dog around and enjoy good company, Howard said.

When they put together events, Main Street Siloam has three main goals to accomplish, Howard said.

Their goals are historic preservation, economic development and community building.  Howard said these three goals tie together and work to improve downtown businesses.

“People don’t realize what a beautiful place we have downtown,” Howard said.

The next downtown event is The Big Event where people can enjoy a night of dinner, dinks and dancing on Friday, April 6, according to the Main Street Siloam Website.