By RENEE FITE
Tahlequah’s main street shined Thursday night with colorful lights as women laughed, chatted and shopped.
A number of businesses up and down Muskogee Avenue extended hours for Tahlequah Main Street Association’s “Ladies’ Night Out,” including Meigs Jewelry and Cashmere Lane. The event took place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday.
Women strolled from store to store in pairs and groups. Businesses took advantage of the season, and many were decorated for Christmas, and offered light refreshments to shoppers.
Karlie Hubka, Haley Wilson and Mikaela Bolejack were among the crowd at Cashmere Lane.
“We came to the Wines of Winter festival and had a lot of fun at that, and thought this would be as fun,” Bolejack said. “This is our first stop.”
Like most businesses, extra help was called into assist the influx of customers. Tammy Murray was helping out at Cashmere Lane, and talked with Suzanne Myers.
“The crowds are great; everybody is happy and having fun,” Murray said.
Myers said she appreciates TMSA’s vision in putting the event together.
“And I appreciate the community for supporting the event and our local economy,” said Myers. “It makes you want to go home and put your [Christmas] tree up, and get an early start on the holidays.”
Carrie Lane, owner of Cashmere Lane, liked the camaraderie.
“This is great that Tahlequah, as a whole, is doing something tonight as Main Street,” Lane said.
The store usually closes at 6 p.m., but plans to stay open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays throughout the holiday shopping season.
Cherokee County Election Board Secretary Connie Parnell works during the day, and believes the event is a relaxing way to see what the new stores have to offer.
“This is meeting the needs of the women; you don’t always see that,” Parnell said.
Meigs Jewelry was spectacular in both ambiance and elegance, and was packed with female jewelry admirers, dreamers and those making Christmas lists, including Paula Burris and Nancy Smith.
“I love the glitter and the exciting atmosphere, and it’s just fun to try all the foods, and most of all wishing for different pieces of jewelry,” Smith said.
Smith loved the Ladies’ Night Out concept.
“It introduces us to new shops, and the old shops people haven’t been into in a while,” Smith said. “And it puts you in the Christmas mood. And it’s fun to run into friends you haven’t seen in a while.”
Burris was doing “a little dab” of Christmas shopping.
“I think it’s a real plus for Tahlequah,” said Burris. “You can tell what a success it is with all the people out. And it’s better than sitting and watching TV.”
Women were encouraged to use the valet service at the Armory Municipal Center, where maps and information about the event were available. Lisa Pinnick helped TMSA Director Drew Haley register everyone who came to check in and if they wanted, ride a limo bus to do their shopping in style.
“It’s been non-stop since before 5 p.m.,” Pinnick said. “And now that I’m here, I see there are a lot more people here than we registered. We have a box full of tickets.”
Jo Ann Millican, co-owner of the new Dos-Okies Emporium, talked with every visitor, and said she was enjoying the opportunity to meet the women and get more informed about Tahlequah.
“It’s great Tahlequah supports ladies with an event like this,” Millican said.
Carolyn Talley greeted visitors at Edie’s Fashions
“I’m enjoying seeing all the people; this has brought a lot of people in tonight,” Talley said.
Michelle Deason and Angie Hayes chatted as they walked from store to store.
“I work during the day, so this is great to be able to relax and shop after work,” Deason said. “I like what the Main Street Association is doing with downtown. We try to attend all the events.”
Hayes likes what it does for the local businesses/
Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director David Moore was pleased with the turnout.
“We’re glad the merchants agreed to open, and have offered specials and give-aways, it brought a lot of ladies downtown,” he said. “It’s good to see all the local support for our merchants.”
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