Several Homewood residents participated in the annual ghoulishly fun Witches’ Night Out event on Thursday, Oct. 19, and mentioned there were bewitching reasons for that.
“How often do we have this opportunity?” said Homewood resident and participant Sharon Sedgwick. “A group of my workout buddies are meeting me here, and then we’re going out for dinner because it’s witches’ night out!”
Albeit a single night only, sponsored and hosted annually by the Homewood Business Association and the Village of Homewood, Witches’ Night Out strives to bring community members together to experience light-hearted, spooky festivities with a night of shopping and help support downtown Homewood businesses, according to Homewood Event Manager Marla Youngblood.
“Most Homewood Business Associations (gatherings) are of retail service businesses, so community engaging in further exposing our town’s based companies is wonderful and has supportive turnouts,” she said.
Ready and prepped with their finest witches hats and costumes, community members and local shoppers all flocked near Martin Square, downtown Homewood, to join in on some tasty witches brew cider and treats at the event tent/booth setup.
Interested members had a chance to enter and win the best hat witch contest. They got first glimpses of opponents’ witch hats, some sporting bottles with poison warnings on them, feathers, and pumpkins.
Contestants also received a goody bag stuffed with coupons and treats from local businesses and restaurants.
Residents and neighbors of 40 years, Anne Kolb, Carlyn Coleman, and Erica VanSchaik took advantage of the community evening event by tilting their witch hats and enjoying the social aspects.
“Any reason to get out with friends, get some drinks, and do some witchy stuff,” added Kolb. “is reason enough to get festive with good friends and shop!”
Marie Chmieleksi and her friend Amber Fealey have been taking part in the event for years, “Witches’ night out is serious, and that’s what this is, a night to shop, take a shot, and wander around with my girlfriends,” Fealey said.
“I left my grandkids at home for this,” added Chmieleksi.
Hat contestant Homewood resident Kaylen Mushier worked three to four days on her witches hat debut. The first-time participant sought a much-needed distraction from life.
“I needed to invest in something that would distract me, it’s been tough,” said Mushier. “Buying little festive props, choosing certain colors, fabrics, all made this a creative outlet and helped a mind frame of I’ll not only enter, but I’m going to win that hat competition.”
All participated “good” and “bad” witches who entered the best hat portion of the “Witches’ Night Out” were posted on the Homewood Facebook page. Community members voted, commented and reacted to their favorite witch-hat design.
With an impressive 749 votes and reactions, the Witches’ Night Out hat contest winner was Madison Fath. About 3,000 votes were cast for the 15 entered contestants overall. (post)
With possibly more than 100 attendees supporting local small businesses, Youngblood said, “It is a testament to our local small businesses. Our residents and visitors will come out on a cold, rainy night and still walk around to so many stores. The Homewood Business Association is doing amazing things for all businesses in town.”