PORT TOWNSEND — The 13th annual Girls’ Night Out will take over downtown Port Townsend on Thursday.
The Port Townsend Main Street Program is an effort to support local businesses and to raise money for breast cancer screenings.
“We started this event to really have an off-season, weekday event to encourage local business in this slower time after all the major festivals,” said Mari Mullen, executive director of the Port Townsend Main Street Program.
“Since it’s a women’s retail event and October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we thought it would be good if it also brought awareness to screenings.”
To date, the Girls’ Night Out event has raised $33,000 to help women in need receive health screenings and cancer treatment through the Jefferson Healthcare Foundation.
The theme this year is “Connect the Dots at Girls’ Night— Wear Polka Dots.”
Festivities will kick off early, with the Polka Dot Tiara Trot at 7 a.m. Thursday.
The free 1.47-mile fun run/walk will start at the Cotton Building at 607 Water St. The first 100 participants will get free T-shirts. All participants can enter to win a fleece blanket made by Nadine Jonientz.
Last year, 65 people participated. Mullen said she expects a slightly smaller turnout this year.
“We’re hoping for maybe 20 people since it is at 7 in the morning,” Mullen said.
The main event will start at 11 a.m. Thirty-four Port Townsend businesses will offer special events, in-store promotions and refreshments until 8 p.m.
Businesses stretch down Water Street, from Quimper Mercantile next to the ferry to Key City Public Theatre. Pop-ups are planned, including a Jefferson Healthcare booth at the Cotton Building.
“We’re encouraging people to walk it,” Mullen said. “It’s not a big downtown and it’s fun to walk.”
For those who would rather not walk, PTeRider will provide free rides downtown from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Gift bags will be available for $10 each. They include goodies donated from local businesses. According to Mullen, this year’s bags include Ozone socks from The Clothes Horse, polka dot scarves from Tickled Pink, earrings from About Time and a coupon book, among other things.
“They’re valued at about $40,” Mullen said. “We’re selling them for $10, but we encourage people to kick in an extra $5 for good karma.”
Proceeds will go toward the Jefferson Healthcare Foundation for breast and cervical cancer screenings as well as cancer treatments for low-income residents of Jefferson County, and to the Main Street Program, which is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
New this year will be a Take 10 Drawing. In each gift bag will be 10 tickets, which can be entered in drawings at individual stores. According to Mullen, the tickets can be divided among the stores or placed all at one store with an especially attractive prize.
Each participating store will be marked with a “Pink Dot Take 10” sign.
Connect the Dots raffle tickets, with tickets $5 in advance, will be on sale at 20 participating stores. Prizes include a stay-and-play pass at The Resort at Port Ludlow, a Deja View Photography studio session and gift certificates from Glow Natural Skin Care and Soak on the Sound.
The night ends with a wrap party at 8 p.m. at The Belmont, 925 Water St.
Mullen said a $10 donation is suggested at the door.
The party will include a no-host bar, appetizers and dessert. Raffle winners will be announced.
“You don’t have to be there to get your prize, but it’s way more fun that way,” Mullen said.
Updates and more information can be found at ptmainstreet.org.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at email@example.com.