Powassan Home Hardware took Ladies Night to a whole different level Thursday night.
Women were lined up outside the store long before the doors opened for the after-hours event.
Once the doors opened, there was a rush to get inside.
As one woman jokingly remarked, it was the Powassan version of Black Friday.
Standing outside in the drizzle with the other women, Laura Topham said she had such a good time last year, she made sure she was one of the first to be in line.
“We were on time last year but being on time isn’t good enough. There was such a long line up that we are early this time,” she laughed.
“What I enjoy is the comradery with the ladies, as well as the scavenger hunt where you have to look for certain items. You get them free if you find them. And there’s also raffle draws at the end. And you can get things for the hubby for Christmas.”
This is Lynn Restoule’s third year.
“It is chaos but it is fun chaos. Last year it was full of people. It was so much fun. I usually come to this for my husband’s Christmas present. But I also like coming to visit with people. All my friends come. I’m from Powassan and I like supporting our hometown, “said Restoule who noted the irony of having a ladies night in a hardware store.
“It’s not a man’s store, it is an everyone’s store,” she said with a grin.
“This is where I go to for all my go-to shopping actually. There is everything in here. There’s stuff for the house, there’s pet items, stuff for the kids, games, knickknacks you name it.”
By the time the store closed for the night, it was estimated that roughly 200 women went through the business in a two-hour period.
“We registered about 175 but it has been really heavily advertised this year, so I didn’t know how many to expect,” laughed Dianne Morrow one of the store owners.
This is the hardware store’s 5th annual Ladies Night.
Once in the store, each woman was handed a large bag with various samples inside.
At the checkout, they received 15 per cent off every item they could fit in the bag.
There was a 50/50 draw with half the proceeds going to the local food bank, as well as a toy drive. This year $350 was raised for the food bank.
Adding to the experience were tables filled with all kinds of sandwiches, and sweets, and something to wash it down with.
“Home Hardware promotes it and there are quite a few stores that have a Ladies Night this time of year and we thought we would like to give it a go and see how it worked out and so far it has been successful,” said Morrow.
“It is more of a social event because it is a small town. The men are off hunting and whatever and the ladies get together. They have some food, they have some coffee, they chit chat with their neighbours and friends they haven’t seen in a long time, they do a little shopping and then they go home.”
Like Topham, Mercedes Vaillancourt learned from last year and got there well before the doors opened.
“I just enjoy the fact you get together with all of Powassan and you get snacks and raffle tickets. It is exciting at the end with the raffle tickets because you really want to win, but then you’re like, at least it is a night out because we don’t get out much. It is a night to kick back and just relax and hubby stays home with the kids and I get to go out,” she laughed.
Mary Bainbridge was looking to repeat after winning one of last year’s scavenger hunt prizes.
“I won the biggest prize, the Kuraidori pots and pans. It was very exciting. Tonight, I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of my friends here too.”
Kathy Hogan, events coordinator at 250 Clark, a community centre in Powassan credited the business owners for being passionate about supporting the local community.
“The municipality of Powassan is incredibly thankful to have Powassan Home Hardware and Building Centre in our community. They are community partners and they are champions for the food bank as well as deeply involved and supportive of all the events that happen at any time at 250 Clark just to be supportive.”
Morrow says it is something the owners enjoy doing.
“I just like to see everybody have a good time. I’m getting to know a lot of these women in town and it is nice to see their smiling faces come in and just say hi to them on the street and see I’m coming to ladies night. It is fun. It is exciting really.”
As it turns out, Vaillancourt’s strategy to get in line early paid off.
“I’m actually surprised I won something this year. It is kind of nice,” she beamed.
“I won a chopper set but it is basically a mandoline. It makes fries, chops vegetables, things like that. I will use it every day.”