ISHPEMING - Cars packed Ishpeming parking lots Tuesday night as hunters' widows and other shoppers arrived at stores for the annual Ladies' Night Out.
In contrast with last year's event, held during a snowstorm, business owners said they were pleased with this year's turnout.
"It's a fabulous, fabulous turnout," said David Aeh, owner of Main Street Antiques. "At this point I couldn't be more pleased."
From sporting goods to antiques, businesses in both downtown Ishpeming and the Country Village catered to the ladies during the annual Ladies’ Night Out Tuesday. Above, Mari Keto of Ishpeming gets a painting purchased from the John Voelker estate appraised by Main Street Antiques owner David Aeh and amateur appraiser Nona Heikkila.
Businesses in both the downtown and Country Village areas offered later shopping hours and special deals during the event.
"Not only does it bring some much needed revenue, it brings an awareness of what we have here," Aeh said.
Other business owners agreed.
"With the weather cooperating, there's people filling the stores," said Kathy Magnuson, owner of Ezekiels Christian Books. "It encourages people who aren't ordinarily downtown shoppers."
From antiques to craft items to sporting goods, those shopping during the night out had a lot to choose from.
"I came because of the appraisals," said Marie Keto of Ishpeming. Keto was having several items, including several pieces purchased from the John Voelker estate, appraised at Main Street Antiques.
New this year was the Butler Marketplace, located in the former Butler Theater, which included a variety of vendors. For crafters or businesses without a store front, the market place was a place to reach a larger number of customers.
"I'm a stay-at-home mom and this is what I do to keep myself busy," said Jessica Karnack, who makes children's hats and bath towels, usually with animal themes. Popular this year were her snowman hats, complete with an orange "carrot" nose.
"I didn't know what to expect," said Leslie Allen, who was selling homemade beeswax candles and ornaments. "There's a nice crowd."
Music and refreshments were also available during the marketplace.
Also new this year was a joint advertising campaign with the Marquette Ladies' Night Out, which is set for 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday.
"It was just a huge plus," Aeh said. "I think all of that has just gone very well."