Shop, sip, and socialize local at 'Ladies Night Out' in downtown Farmington

What’s happening: It’s "Ladies Night Out" this Thursday, Nov. 17, from 5 to 9 p.m. in downtown Farmington. More than 20 of the downtown community’s small businesses are joining in on the festivities this year, offering specials, sales, giveaways, and more; pop-up vendors will be taking over Riley Park; and Oakland County has launched a new shop small sweepstakes where participants can enter to win a chance at $1,000.

What’s planned: Nearly two dozen of downtown Farmington’s small businesses will be participating in this year’s Ladies Night Out event, including everyone from the city’s new coffee shops to its bars, restaurants, florists, records stores, and beyond. Just a sampling includes a drop-in yoga session that’s scheduled for 6 p.m. at Bodhi Yoga, 15 percent off the bar menu at Chive Kitchen, and an open studio night is planned at the new artists' incubator Skep Space. Tolonen Family Pet will be hosting a dog adoption event and big sales are planned at retailers like Clothes Encounters, All About Women’s Health Boutique, Dearborn Music, and more.

Visit Downtown Farmington online for a complete list of participating merchants.

But wait, there’s more: Pop-up vendors will be set up throughout Riley Park, inviting more than a dozen entrepreneurs into the downtown Farmington community for the evening. Vintage clothing boutique The Lowry Estate, candlemaker Vogue Booge Candles, custom gemstone jeweler Moonlight Minerals, and plenty more will be on hand.

That’s not all: M&D Flowers has donated roses for the event, and Farmington Public Safety Officers will be on city streets passing them out. If guests purchase items from three different businesses, they can stop by Dearborn Music to pick up a free Downtown Farmington-branded shopping bag — while supplies last. And there’s always The Syndicate, downtown Farmington’s award-winning social district that allows for outdoor alcohol consumption in designated areas throughout downtown.

Uncut gems: Downtown Farmington is also included in Oakland County’s new county-wide program Local Gems. From Nov. 1 through Nov. 26, shoppers are encouraged to take a selfie inside or outside their favorite Oakland County small business (of which Farmington is included) and submit it to the county through their Shop Small & Local website. The more photos entrants submit, the better their chances of winning a $1,000 grand prize or $500 runner-up prize.

"Small businesses are still recovering from the pandemic and increasingly competing with larger online and in-person businesses," says Oakland County Executive David Coulter.  "We want to do whatever we can to help these businesses thrive during this holiday season and beyond."

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.