Downtown Farmington won't let the coronavirus ruin Ladies Night Out

It’s become an April tradition in downtown Farmington, hundreds of women walking the city streets, shopping the storefronts, and enjoying drinks and dinner at the local bars and restaurants.

It’s become so popular, in fact, that a second Ladies Night Out event has been held each November, its popularity rivaling the springtime edition.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have put a damper on things, but that’s not stopping downtown Farmington from holding its biannual event. But instead of Ladies Night Out, this Thursday, April 23, it will be Ladies Night In.

An additional Ladies Night Out may be held this summer once businesses re-open, filling the city streets once more. But this April’s event is happening, coronavirus or not—just slightly adapted to the times.

"I think there’s a comfort in maintaining any semblance of the seasonal calendar that we can. These are traditions and past times that we look forward to," says Kate Knight, executive director for the city’s downtown development authority.

"We’re doing all we can to keep downtown Farmington in people’s thoughts."

Here’s how it works.

Downtown Farmington is encouraging participants to order carry-out from their favorite downtown restaurants, don their pajamas, video chat with their girlfriends, and follow along with the Downtown Farmington Facebook page as the group rolls out raffles and contests throughout the night.

Each post will include ways to win gift cards to downtown businesses. A grand prize will award more than $300 in gift cards to downtown businesses.

Around 20 downtown businesses will take part in the event.

"This is about keeping dollars local and cultivating the relationships that mean a lot to us. We miss each other terribly," Knight says.

"This reminds us of community and what we’re all about."

Ladies Night In is scheduled for Thursday, April 23, from 5 to 9 p.m. and accessible via the Downtown Farmington Facebook page.

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