Women’s History Month is in full swing and if you’re looking for a good way to celebrate, you can do so while also shopping local. This Saturday, the Oak Park Arts District is having its annual “Women Owned Works!” event, aka “WOW!”

The Oak Park Arts District (OPAD) on Harrison Street is home to many of the village’s women-owned businesses, making it uniquely situated to host such an event. Nine area businesses have so far signed up to participate in WOW, with each featuring some sort of promotion for shoppers. Buzz Café, 905 S. Lombard Ave., is offering a lunch special of quiche, soup, salad and lemon shortbread cookie for $13, so no one will have to shop on an empty stomach.

“Every single year I look forward to this event,” said Buzz Café owner and OPAD president Laura Maychruk. 

The whole district will be decorated in yellow this Saturday to match the event’s promotional fliers and posters. The sunny color was chosen to brighten up the bleak March weather. Maychruk is taking the theme in stride by decorating Buzz Café in yellow, white and black and putting daffodils on all the tables. Even the café’s signature cookies will be yellow.

Val’s halla Records, 239 W. Harrison St. and formerly woman-owned, is offering discounts on female artists. Singer-songwriter Cheryl Lynn Tomblin will be performing at the record store beginning at 2 p.m. 

The event originated with Elevate Creative hair salon owner Gail Coughlin in 2017, following the inauguration of President Donald Trump, whose attitudes toward women prompted many to believe that the new administration was anti-women’s rights.   

“The community vibe was that we were disappointed,” said Coughlin, whose salon is offering deluxe mini-bottles of hair products with all in-store and online purchases.

Elevate Creative is at 321 Harrison St.

The first event served as a way to uplift and empower women, as well as women-owned business ventures. While that sentiment remains, the event has grown each year to become an evolving tradition for arts district businessowners, about 90% of whom are women, according to Maychruk.

“It’s just very unique for us to be able to celebrate this with so many women-owned businesses,” she said.

The entire event goes from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 18, but hours may vary depending on the individual business. More information about participating businesses can be found on the Oak Park Arts District website and Facebook page, but you can also just follow the yellow-decorated road. 

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