Seeing Purple

On the town for Ladies Night Out


The first rule of Ladies Night Out is: You do talk about Ladies Night Out. The second rule is that sometime during the course of the evening, you share an amusing story about your significant other (or lack thereof).

A third rule has just surfaced, thanks to Downtown Bellingham’s 5th annual Ladies Night Out, which happens from 5-8pm Thurs., May 16 throughout the urban core. While this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule—merely a suggestion—the powers that be are asking that if you’re getting together with your gal pals that night, you make an effort to wear the color purple.

“Attendees are encouraged to wear purple, painting downtown with the color that represents power, passion and purpose for empowering women,” organizers said in a recent press release. This is apropos, as funds raised during the course of the evening will support the YWCA, Lydia Place, Women Build (an extension of Habitat for Humanity), and Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services.

Whether your purple posse is large, small or somewhere in between, there’ll be plenty of events to choose from. Attendees are encouraged to “Primp, Shop, Sip!,” and the night’s happenings feature both shopping and food and drink specials at a variety of businesses such as Mi Shoes, Gary’s Men’s and Women’s Wear, the Greenhouse, Bayou on Bay, Buffalo Exchange, Ideal, Kids Northwest, Downtown Emporium, Backcountry Essentials, Brandywine Kitchen, Toni & Guy, Kulshan Cycles, Honey Salon, the Real McCoy, Lulu, Sojourn, Bellingham Jazzercise, Shrimp Shack, Perch & Play, and Hilton’s Shoes.

For a mere $5 each, your canny crowd can also join the history hussies known as the Good Time Girls for 30-minute tours of the Downtown Arts District. The saucily costumed tour leaders will discuss how the lives of early “modern” Whatcom women influenced fashion in Bellingham, as well as visit the sites of former department stores and view photos of what area women were doing—and wearing—all those many decades ago.

It’s inevitable that after traipsing around for two or three hours, you and your Ladies Night Out crowd are going to want to settle in somewhere afterwards for some serious party time. When the festivities come to an end at 8pm, either continue to hang out with your friends at one of the bars and restaurants on the roster, or patronize one of the many other fine establishments populating downtown Bellingham.

If you’re a mom who wants to take part in the festivities, but can’t find a sitter, the humanitarians at Perch & Play will allow you to get in on the fun. Women who want to participate can drop off their youngsters and, for $20, employees at the kid-friendly State Street venue will feed them dinner, lead them in craft time and show an age-appropriate movie.

Now that you know what’s happening, all that remains is to get on the phone and start finding out who’s available to join you for Ladies Night Out. Tell them it’s for a good cause, and sweeten the deal with promises of quality gossip and drink specials. That gets them every time.

An earlier version of this article touted a Ladies Night Out after-party at the Underground. Please note that there is no after-party at this year’s Ladies Night Out in downtown Bellingham—other than the ones your create yourselves. The list of participants has also been updated. We regret the errors.

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