The Richard J. Currie Center experienced some serious girl power this weekend.
At 9:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday cars were flooding into the UNB gates as the third annual Fredericton’s Women’s Show got all primed up for the days’ events. The show didn’t officially get rolling until 10 a.m., but that didn’t stop an eager gaggle of over 100 ladies from piling up outside the fourth floor doors. The first 200 people in line received a decent sized purple sack filled with free loot.
Once the doors creaked open the crowd swarmed into the large room which had over 90 vendor booths set-up for browsing pleasure. The two day affair was reminiscent of the ever popular Boyce Farmers Market, but on steroids and specifically directed towards women.
“It’s just something that’s fun. It’s the middle of March and we just had International Women’s Day gone passed, so it’s a good time of year to have something for women to be able to come through and spend a lot of time with their friends,” said the event’s organizer Sandra Deveau. “We call it the best girls day out. You can be entertained, you can shop till you drop and learn something new.”
Walking down the first aisle was like winning some kind of weird lottery. Women with fantastic eyebrows and glossy lips reached out to passersby, offering them free makeovers and 15 minute massages. A few feet down, along the sea of booths was a bouncing lady with a hot pink tent. Women were encouraged to hop on in and get their proper bra measurements—important business in the realm of women.
After a fitting and a soothing rubdown, attendees were handed ballot after ballot to fill out as a chance win auto advice, maid services or a session with a chiropractor.
“It is everything and anything a woman could possibly want to know and see,” said Deveau.
Deveau started the event as a way for local businesses to gain some recognition around the community. She has a little company of her own and is always seeking creative ways to sell her herbal skin care products.
“Not everyone necessarily knows all those little places around Fredericton to get something like a massage. So, it was just sort of the combination of me wanting to know things, wanting to sell my own product and doing something fun with other women,” said Deveau.
Over the last few years the event has grown to include more vendors, seminars and interactive group activities. Attendees had the opportunity to soak up some knowledge about cosmetic dental procedures, aromatherapy and even get in touch with their inner psychic with a group session by local medium Michelle Russell.
“We have a little group of retirees who get together and go out to dinner and do stuff like this. Everything has been amazing, there’s been so much to learn,” said Glendine Moore, a first time attender.
The Women’s Show isn’t all about shopping and seminars. At the entrance two women held giant jugs stuffed with cash—all donations for the Women in Transition House, a local organization for abused women and their children.
Last year the event raised around $5,600. This year, Deveau is hoping to reach the $6,000 mark to offset the unexpected heating bills this winter has brought.
“The sort of motto is women helping women,” said Deveau. “It’s a really good charity to help because abused women and women in that situation are not looking for a handout they just need a helping hand.”
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