MARQUETTE — The holidays are right around the corner and Downtown Marquette gave local ladies an opportunity to get a jump on their shopping.

Tonight was the annual Ladies Night Out. Over seventy businesses participated offering deals, promotions, raffles and more for happy shoppers.

“The whole idea is to get ladies excited about the Christmas season that’s coming up, start thinking about shopping with their friends and family and to take a little time for themselves as well before the holidays are fully upon us,” said Tara Laase–McKinney, the Events and Promotions Coordinator for the Downtown Development Authority.

“I came up to be with family and I think that’s part of the Ladies Night is when you’re downtown and you feel like it’s a little family reunion. You see people that you haven’t seen in a long time and there’s really good deals and some good food and the weather…not so much but it’s just plain fun!” added Susan McQuaid, who came up from Traverse City to enjoy the event.

While the event is fun for women in the community, it’s also a great time for businesses in the area.

“Ladies Night encourages participants to explore businesses they may not have been in before. There’s all sorts of really great participating businesses that people may not have thought of,” added Laase–McKinney.

“We usually see a lot of new a lot of new customers. I think last year we had over a thousand ladies walk through and tonight should be even better than last year because the weather’s a little nicer,” said Yubi Ghiardi, who owns Che Bello on Washington Street.

Shoppers could also buy a passport for $2 to be stamped at participating businesses. Ten stamps enters you to win one of three gift baskets and the proceeds go to benefit the Marquette Women’s Center.