By LOIS HASSELL
Women’s night at ZCMI mall in Salt Lake City was filled with book signings, crafting specials, refreshments, drawings and competitions — all to entertain the women while the men attended the priesthood session of conference.
“I enjoy this because of the women, old friends and making new friends,” said Sister Chieko Okasaki, former first counselor in the Relief Society. “Everyone is so grateful. There is a lot of joy in the air, everyone is happy … without their husbands,” she said with a laugh.
Women’s night, started in 1970, continues to grow larger each year.
“Now we do it at all of our stores during priesthood,”
said Boyd S. Ware, Deseret Bookstore Regional Manager, from Salt Lake City.
“We provide a party for women and also wonderful entertainment. About 3,000 women have been here. As a single evening for just three hours, this is our greatest night of the year, along with October,” he said.
Generally, Deseret Book passes out 600 cookies during women’s night, but this year Deseret Book ran out of 2,400 cookies during the first hour.
“The draw for me is sales,” said Trina Brumble, 24, from Ogden. “This also says something about the Mormon attraction to refreshments.”
The store Mormon Handicraft handed out kits for quick projects.
“Everyone is looking for fast fun things to do and we try to make it that kind of night,” said Doris Peterson, a Mormon Handicraft employee from Magna.
Throughout the evening, there were book signings by authors Okazaki, John Bytheway, Janice Kapp Perry, Anita Stansfield, Susan Arrington Maden, and Heidi Swinton.
“Most book signings go slow, but tonight there is electricity in the air,” said Janice Kapp Perry, singer and songwriter from Provo.