Clinking Drinks & Historic Antiques: Covington Girls Night Off
Covington’s Historic Square just has that quaint feel. The brick of antique shops and one-of-a-kind restaurants is chipped skillfully by Father Time’s hand; the abundant growth of trees shields the roof of the county courthouse from Mother Nature’s warm summer rain. Birds chirp cheerfully as they glide onto the tops of businesses, while a distant rumble of motors can be heard from cars zooming down the highway. Hanging contently from light poles are perfectly arranged flowers, keeping watch over the passers-by strolling on the sidewalk in search for something that catches their eye.
So it’s clear why Girls Night Out is hosted here every year. The chatter, laughter, hugs, embraces, and conversation of the women who attend add to the Square’s unparalleled old-timey atmosphere. Sisters, mothers, and daughters drop their labels, simply becoming friends enjoying an evening away from normal life. As GNO continued, the crowd of women grew, and the parking lot quickly filled as women eagerly waited to join their friends for a night of fun. “We never do this!”, one woman told her friend before entering into a store to shop.
However, the night would not be what it is without the support of the Square’s successful businesses. At Belle’s Bayou Boutique, employees Kinsey Johnston and Lulu Smith commented that Girls Night Out is their all-time favorite event at the store because “the people who usually aren’t able to come in, like busy moms and women who work late” can finally enjoy what the Square has to offer as a result of the extended hours of the event. Buff City Soap’s employee Benjamin Hawkins mentioned something similar, saying that their “bakery feel” of the store makes the shop feel more personal and inclusive.
That hospitality was not only felt in the service, where customers were greeted with a warm smile from employees in shops like Something Special or Lydia’s, but also in the food, drinks, prizes, and sales crafted especially for the annual occasion. Every store had something to offer, adding to the already exciting experience of a night on the town. Patina’s margaritas and homemade dip were welcomed by everyone who walked in, the delightful smells floating to those walking outside of the store. Music could also be heard as a live saxophonist serenaded customers browsing, wine in hand from Delta Blues Winery, in Upscale Antiques. A charming photo booth stood within the heart of the square, serving as a backdrop for cute pictures of the evening.
What Girls Night Out also represents, though, is the necessity to shop local. For many businesses, like Court Square Antiques & Decor, events like Girls Night Out enable store owners to “get to know the regulars as well as meet first-timers”. Without locality, there is no personality. There’s no personal touch or getting to know customers by name. Girls Night Out is not only a way to give women a chance to relax and to foster relationships, but a way to recognize their impact on the local community. And judging by the check-out lines out the door, the women of Covington, and the area from which they draw, have a huge impact on the local businesses.