Many women arrived in downtown Hannibal in groups of two or three on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 26 to 29, for the 11th annual Just Girls Weekend, which several merchants believed was the busiest ever.
“It is one of the better ones we have had,” said Carie Higdon, owner of Pudd’Nheads Antiques, Collectibles & Crafts. “A lot more people are learning about it each year.”
Among her customers were Jessica Steuhm of North Liberty, Iowa, and Mona McCulley of Muscatine, Iowa. “Everybody is really friendly and helpful,” McCulley said. “We have been shopping.”
Patti Stott from Salt Lake City was surprised to learn about Just Girls Weekend as she was passing through Hannibal on Saturday. She was enjoying Hannibal, Stott said. “I love the history and friendly hospitality, and the antique shops are fabulous.”
This won’t be her only Just Girls Weekend, she said. “I hope to come back and bring a friend. ... It’s a clean, friendly city. I go all over and I love old historic places. I’m so glad I‘m here, I’m staying an extra day.”
The weekend was sponsored by the Historic Hannibal Marketing Council (HHMC) in cooperation with the Hannibal Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“It was a really good turnout,” said Sheena Rolsen, manager of The Main Street Kitchen Store. “I’m pretty sure this was our best weekend.” Rolsen, Sherri Steinmann and Tina Sanders had planned Just Girls Weekend as members of the executive portion of the HHMC.
They knew it would bring a big crowd, Rolsen said, because “we sold out of the Goody Bags two weeks before the event.”
One of the most popular events was the program by Josh McVicar, a comedy hypnotist from St. Louis, according to Rolsen. When McVicar performed Saturday at Kerley’s, 170 people attended, she reported.
Another busy place Saturday was LulaBelle’s restaurant, where the chef, Bill Moore, said the women were not the only patrons coming that evening. Hannibal, Palmyra and another area city were having their high school proms, and LulaBelle’s had many reservations. “We had prom kids for lunch,” Moore added. “We had not seen that” in previous years.
Among the women at LulaBelle’s were a mother and daughter, Dr. Cara Bainum of Hannibal and her mom, Norma Bainum.
On North Main Street, three friends paused to share their activities Saturday. Melissa Allen of Hannibal had received a facial, manicure and pedicure at the Powder Room and also enjoyed wine tasting. She was with Amanda Veihl and Amy King, both of Quincy, Ill. Veihl was looking forward to attending the hypnotist’s show.
Page 2 of 2 - Another trio was Renee Hinkebein of Jackson, Mo., Christina Gray of Scott City, Mo., and DeAnn Pappageorge of St. Louis.
They had been busy shopping at Danni Nicole’s, the Main Street Kitchen Store and the Powder Room. Hinkebein also had found new shoes, a shirt, jewelry and sunglasses at Cougar Country, which she said had provided “an awesome coupon.”
Gray had enjoyed watching gelato being made at Chocolaterie Stam, where “we got to sample lots of different gelatoes. They were very nice.” Gray also made pottery at Ayers Pottery, but said “I was not a natural.”
Steve Ayers, owner of Ayers Pottery, said he had “great response” from the women attending. “It’s a fun weekend and seems to grow every year.”
Java Jive was busy as usual, and the customers had a special treat, when they met an employee dressed for the Hannibal High School prom. Kiley Harold came in for her co-workers to take her picture.