BLUE EARTH - Get ready to have some fun, visit local businesses and contribute to a good cause during the Second Annual Girls Night Out in Blue Earth from 4-9 p.m. Friday.
"We just wanted the retail businesses to have a night to get people in the stores and have fun," said Michele Hard, owner of Michele's Sewing.
Twelve businesses will have their doors open along the downtown corridor and offer discounts on purchases, gift certificates, demonstrations, free samples, snacks and make 'n take projects.
Other participating businesses are Armon Decorating, Cossairt Photography & Design (temporarily located in the mini mall), Dikken Furniture & Decorating, Gartzke's Floral & Gifts, Heartland Embroidery, Juba's Super Valu, Lisa's Sewing, Rainbow Food Co-op, "R" Impressions, The Treasure Chest, and Weathered & Worn.
Bud's Angels will be set up in the Wakefield Room of Hamilton Hall from 5-8 p.m. serving walking tacos and cheesy chicken sandwiches. Proceeds will benefit Relay for Life.
To help visitors find the stores that are part of Girls Night Out, participating businesses will display a dress - and they can choose what kind of dress.
"Something fun, that's what the night's about," Hard said.
Having fun is what organizers and business owners have already been doing.
"Good group of people," Hard said.
"It was Pam Olson and Helen Peterson that really started it," she added.
Olson had an open house for Weathered & Worn, which was in the mini mall at that time, right next to "R" Impressions, so Peterson decided she'd join her.
"I said if you do it again, let me know," Hard said. "Denny (McTamaney) was in here and I said you should come downtown and join us."
McTamaney and his wife, Diana, moved some stuff from Gartzke's Greenhouse on Holland Street and liked being on Main Street so much they made the move permanent.
Last fall's inaugural Girls Night Out involved seven businesses, and Hard is happy to see the ranks have grown.
"This is a good night for people to see who's out there," she said.
Hard knows from experience it will be a lot of work, and hopes it will be as active as the first one.
"We were busy until after 8 p.m.," she recalled. "It was non-stop. It was a lot of fun."
But all the work is worth it in the end.
"Our main goal is letting people know we're here and what services we offer," Hard said.