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Witches’ Night Out

Our family picked up a new Halloween tradition a few years ago – attending the Witches’ Night Out event at Gardner Village near Salt Lake City.

Gardner Village is one of our required fall outings. It is a collection of historical buildings, a mill and some pioneer homes, which have been made into shops, a restaurant, and a petting zoo. They also have a venue for dinner theater.

We stumbled into the whole Witches’ Night Out spectacle accidentally. A few years ago we ventured there on a Friday evening in mid-October, only to discover several elaborately costumed women dressed as witches wandering around. Thinking that they were employees adding to the festive atmosphere, we shrugged it off and made our usual stops – Sweet Afton’s, for delicious homemade fudge, caramel apples, and retro candy, Down to Earth, a cool furniture store, and the aforementioned petting zoo.

However, as the evening wore on, more and more women dressed as witches arrived, until we were completely surrounded. No dull Wicked Witch of the West apparel and green face would do here – we’re talking satin, lace, tulle, feather boas, fabric of every color in the rainbow, and very glam make-up. It was Wizard of Oz meets Moulin Rouge.

Fascinated, we stayed all evening as they held a parade, prize drawings, and a dance. Witch makeovers and spa treatments were also offered.

Billed as a “ladies night,” I have violated the spirit of the event in the ensuing years by going with my husband and our young sons. It is intended to be a time for women to get out and let loose. However, the past couple of years I have noticed some warlocks trying to cut in on the action and children dressed in other traditional Halloween costumes making the scene.

But, the night still belongs to those fabulous witchy ladies of all ages and sizes who have the gumption to go public.

Maybe next year I’ll leave the boys at home and really get my witch on.

lindaLinda Peterson is a wife, mother, public relations specialist, former newspaper reporter, and aspiring novelist. Her writer’s group blog is located at

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