2014-10-30 / Living

Carousel of Creativity: Parks alternative spin on ladies night

By Carrie RaCosta
810-452-2645 • cracosta@mihomepaper.com

Some of the participants in Ladies Night Out at Crossroads Village. 
Photo provided Some of the participants in Ladies Night Out at Crossroads Village. Photo provided GENESEE COUNTY — Amy McMillan, Director of Genesee County Parks and Recreation came up with the concept for Ladies Night Out at Crossroads Village eight years ago.

On Nov. 17 she welcomes readers to break the 2,000 mark in visitors for the highly successful event that offers women from near and far, a chance to create memories together and shop for one-of-a-kind holiday gift items too.

“Women are big decision makers in how their families spend their leisure time. I felt this would be a great sneak peek for them, by rolling out the red carpet in their honor, as a lead in to the Christmas season in the parks,” she said.

The first year was an instant hit. Last year nearly over 1900 women attended the event, some from as far away as Oakland County with their girlfriends, sisters, daughters, and co-workers along for the ride to the village.

Some groups even rent limousines or party buses for the highly anticipated evening held every winter.

“Ladies Night Out has become our favorite event of the year. It is just gorgeous. We start plans for the following year, the day after,” said McMillan.

“This year we have added another component. Somerset Salon and Day Spa will be on site and ladies will be selected in the audience to receive free make-overs,” she said.

Visitors will also get an opportunity to get their photo taken with Handsome Harry The Train Conductor, sample “wickedly fantastic homemade candy,” bask in the creative variety of scents and visuals galore, and hop on a free carousel ride.

“Nine out of ten women take advantage of the special spin,” said McMillan with a smile.

In regards to why McMillan paired with Flint Handmade for the event, she said, “They are a positive movement in Genesee County. It is beautiful.

The products are so well-made too. It felt right to marry the group with the village.”

Flint Handmade is comprised of many local artists of various mediums. Products from participating vendors are of a vast array. There will be jewelry, clothing, paintings, organic toiletries, and many innovative products made locally.

The perfect holiday gift items are crafted with great skill and designed with invested love in their creation.

McMillan also feels blessed with the help from The Master Gardeners who volunteer each weekend to transform the grounds of the park with their landscape artistry. Combined with the work of The Genesee Herb Society, “It is this virtuous cycle of giving. There is such passion there,” she said.

Millan said, “Ladies Night Out is a really great event for women. Plus, we love to promote the wonderful female business owners, artists, and volunteers in the county. This is an opportunity for girlfriends to go out and enjoy the village all to themselves for one evening.”

Ladies Night Out at Crossroads Village will be held on Nov. 17 from 4-9 p.m. Tickets are only $5.

Reservations and further details: genessecountyparks.org, 800-648- PARK, ext.6.

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