Seeing Purple

On the town for Ladies Night Out

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

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.

More Words...
Girls and Sex
Tackling a touchy subject

By giving her latest book a flashy pink cover and provocative title, it’s clear that Peggy Orenstein is no shrinking violet. 

In Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape, Orenstein is not afraid to tackle touchy subjects, like she did with her 2011 bestseller, Cinderella…

more »
Nature of Writing
Readings of the region

Village Books teams up with the North Cascades Institute every spring and fall to offer the “Nature of Writing” speaker series at the Readings Gallery in the storied Fairhaven bookstore. With a focus on nature writing, science and the natural and cultural history of our region, the free…

more »
Cat's Pajamas
A pint-sized protagonist

There’s something extremely charming about a miserable, sassy almost-10-year-old bent on living her dream to become a jazz chanteuse. 

In Marie-Helene Bertino’s debut novel, 2 a.m. at the Cat’s Pajamas, Madeleine Altimari is no average kid. She’s a potty-mouthed chain smoker, dodging…

more »
Handling the truth


Word Sprints

6:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

October Chores in the Garden

6:30pm|Skagit Valley Food Co-op

Crossing Zion

7:00pm|Deming Library


8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library


9:30pm|Green Frog

MBT Ben Folds Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Handling the truth


Halloween Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Anti-Inflammation Menu

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Beet Inspiration

6:30pm|Gretchen's Kitchen

Polyamorous Particulars

7:00pm|Village Books

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Raptor Management

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Northwood Steak and Crab Everybody’s Store
Handling the truth


City Club Meeting

11:30am|Northwood Hall

Finger Painting for Grownups

3:00pm|Hops 'n Headz

Salish Sea Origins

4:00pm|Wilson Library

Marry Shelley's Frankenstein

6:00pm|Blaine Library

Wildlife Photography

6:00pm|South Whatcom Library

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Winter Camping Basics


Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Basic Nutrients

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

WJMAC Concert

7:00pm|Unity Spiritual Center


7:00pm|Village Books

Family Game Night

7:30pm|DUG Theater

see our complete calendar »

MBT Ben Folds Andrew Subin Swinomish 2016 Everybody’s Store Lydia Place Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 MBT Ben Folds Northwood Steak and Crab Village Books Artifacts Wine Bar Bellingham Farmer’s Market