HANNIBAL — Sidewalks and shops in downtown Hannibal were filled with high-energy fun as ladies of all ages from large groups to pairs enjoyed a Friday of events, promotions and gifts at The Great Girlfriend’s Getaway.
It was day one of the two-day event, which continues through Saturday, also featuring a new event in conjunction with the festivities, Rotary Riverfest.
One group of friends from Quincy gathered in Hannibal, the crew was from the Beta Zeta Sorority, which is an international service and leadership organization focused on volunteering and friendship.
It was their first time at the Great Girlfriend’s Getaway, and they were celebrating their work for St. Jude’s Children Hospital through an annual live music event they hosted in Quincy last month.
“We do philanthropic, educational and social — today is social,” said Gail Costigan.
After they saw an advertisement for the Hannibal event, they decided it was a great place to hold the group’s social day. They have spent the day getting to know downtown Hannibal and learning about shops they didn’t know were there.
“We have been walking down the street and hitting every shop as we go and we had lunch at Finn’s which was really good,” said Jean Norfolk. Girls in the group had purchased a bracelet at the Native Store, made a few clothing purchases, and purchased a kitchen item from Mississippi Marketplace.
A favorite part of their day was the kitchen gadget demonstration at Mississippi Marketplace, which was presented by owner Linda Studer.
Studer brought items from the store shelves to life demonstrating how to use a herb mincer and noodle cutter, a pineapple corer, and a gadget that takes corn off the cob.
The ladies got some education too, as Studer shared tips on finding a ripe pineapple, which is by smelling the bottom of it where it is picked. She also shared how to microwave corn on the cob in its husk, causing the moisture inside it to soften the corn, and more.
Saturday at Mississippi Marketplace will be a lesson on cooking with essential oils at 11 a.m. hosted by Miranda Sims who will demonstrate with several dishes that adding essential oils will boost the flavor and add health benefits.
Also happening tomorrow is the Antique Toy Sewing Machine Trunk Show and Demonstration hosted by Bits & Pieces.
At least 50 antique toy sewing machines from around the world of all different sizes and brands are on display. Some of them are for sale in the store while others come from the personal collection of the store owner Cindy Hannold.
Some of the small machines not only run but can be used to sew certain pieces, such as the small quilt also on display at the shop.
She demonstrated one of the machines which was from 1900 and operates with a hook instead of a bobbin. Clamping to the table, the hook grabs and twists the thread to stitch as the user cranks it by hand.
“This one would have been marketed to children but also to adults as a working sewing machine,” she said. “They wanted to encourage their girls to sew, and maybe a couple of boys along the way. Men were tailors.”
Hannold started the collection nine years ago upon opening her business, which then turned into a personal collection as well.
The display and demonstrations will be all day on Saturday starting at 9:30 a.m. at Bits & Pieces. She will also be doing the demonstrations for an extended period of time after the weekend for those who couldn’t attend the Great Girlfriend’s Getaway.
Hannold said she had also planned on doing make-and-takes but had to cancel that due to staffing issues.
Rotary Riverfest also started Friday night at Hannibal’s new riverfront featuring live bands, Steppin’ Back and Trixie Delight with food, music, beer, and wine garden.
Saturday will continue with gate opening at 11 a.m. with a karaoke competition and live bands throughout the day including Stone Hill Band, King Benny, American Standard and the
The entry fee for Rotary Riverfest is $5 but those who purchased a Great Girlfriend’s Getaway tote bag will have free admission into the event.
Tote bags, which is the ticket for Great Girlfriend’s Getaway, can be purchased all day Saturday at Java Jive. For a full schedule of downtown events go to visithannibal.com and select Great Girlfriend’s Getaway under the event tab.
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