By Sara E. Martin, Army Flier Staff WriterFebruary 21, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (February 21, 2013) -- The Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation invites women to enjoy the fifth bi-annual Girls Night Out at the ballroom in The Landing March 1.
Women are invited to leave their husbands and children at home for this lady's expo and event that has been revamped, and features dancing, shopping, browsing and entertainment, all of which are specifically catered to women, said Leigh Ann Dukes, DFMWR sponsorship and advertising sales manager.
The event is open to the public for ages 18 and older with tickets currently on sale at The Landing Zone. Tickets are $10 and will also be available at the door the night of the event. Ticket price includes entrance to the expo and one adult beverage or fountain drink.
"Girls Night Out is a ladies-only event that provides local women the chance to meet business owners and employees in a relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere that is devoted strictly to them. They can browse booths, shop, learn current trends, discover new self defense techniques, get an update on women's health issues, meet with friends and just have a good time," Dukes said.
The vendor portion of the night is from 6-9 p.m. while the entertainment portion of the night is from 9-11 p.m. This year the expo will have six vendors where patrons can purchase merchandise.
"The vendor portion is more of an expo or a showcase event. People are basically window shopping, but this year cosmetics, makeup, jewelry, hair products and lingerie are some of the things patrons can buy," said Dukes.
For the booths that are not selling at the event, Dukes said that it's a chance for women to see what the local vendors have to offer.
"It lets women who may be new to the area know where these businesses are located and encourages them to explore the Wiregrass," she said, adding that women wear everything from casual jeans or date night clothes to business attire.
The focus changes from business to pleasure with the opening of the dance floor for everyone to hang out, let loose and have a good time with friends. This year men are encouraged to attend the DJ Dance Party for free.
"The DJ Dance party will have a club atmosphere. It will be like going to a club for no cover, so make sure you stick around for the after party because DJ Dave will keep the party going all night. It is the event that you don't want to miss," said Brian Jackson, DFMWR program manager.
The Southeast Alabama Medical Center has made the night possible, according to Dukes, supplying the 100 door prize hipster bags as well as giving away all sorts of goodies to patrons.
More than 40 other vendors that cater to women will be present at the event and each participates in the fun-filled atmosphere. They also provide door prizes to those who stop at their booths.
Door prizes range from designer bags to gift certificates to baskets filled with women's products. Patrons must be present to win the door prizes.
"Each vendor or booth gives out a door prize, some even give away several, so in addition to the 100 we give out, almost everyone will get a door prize," said Dukes.
Vendors that will be in attendance include: salons, retail stores, spas and boutiques.
"Mary Kay, Scentsy, 2 Girls and a Spa, Uptown Cheapskate, Lock-N-Load and the Pink Poodle are some of the businesses that will be there, and a lot of photographers will be in attendance also," said Dukes.
Adding to the experience is a fashion show that will be held at 7:30 p.m.
"The You Nique Boutique and Stilettos show will last about 30 minutes and [the boutique] has a lot of cute things, so women will really enjoy the showcase," she added.
The demographic of the women who attend is large, with attendees ranging from 18 years old to 65 years old.
"It gets women out of the house and experiencing what Fort Rucker and the local area has to offer. We welcome women of all age, ethnicity and occupations; young female Soldiers to older female civilians, we want everyone to come," said Jackson.
Women who have busy or stressful lives are encouraged to take a break and take a night for themselves.
"It's a good way for women to get away from work and the stress of the week. It's a morale-boosting event because women are going to be with their friends and will be able to live it up as well as get some insight on women's issues and do some window shopping," said Jackson.
The Women's Medical Center is bringing back the instant photo booth, which was missed by patrons last year.
"Not only are we bringing back the photo booth, but there will also be two karaoke booths this year as well. During the expo, not the dance party, patrons can go into a booth shut the doors and sing karaoke," said Dukes.
A special event food menu and beverage specials will be available for purchase all evening in Legends, but are not included in ticket price.
The high-energy night is the perfect time to get a babysitter, dance and shop with girlfriends, according to Dukes.
"You get so much for 10 bucks. You get all these chances to win about 160 prizes, you get the opportunity to meet new friends, to shop and window shop, to see an amazing fashion show, to get sample massages and information pertinent to women, to attend the dance party and even a free drink," she said.