The annual Women's Fair may be proof that, whether they're 17 or 70, girls just wanna have fun.
That's one of the reasons the Women's Fair has enjoyed the immense success it has had the past 12 years, says Deanna Wheeler, one of the two women who founded the show and run it today.
"Women tell us it's something they really look forward to every year," she says. "It's a day out for them and a girlfriend, or a group of sisters, or women from work. We've seen mothers, daughters and grandmothers make a day of it."
The Women's Fair has plenty of entertainment, that's for sure. There's everything from fashion shows to cooking demonstrations, hairstyling to eyebrow shaping, home decorating to motivational speeches, live music to interactive games.
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Shopping is abundant. Showgoers will find clothing, jewelry, handbags, home decor, food, gift items, bedding, professional services, and more.
There's also a more serious side to the show for anyone looking for information or services on personal finance, home buying, getting fit, improving health, finding employment or pursuing education.
"Regardless of your background, your interests, your personal circumstances, there's something for everyone," Wheeler says.
For the third year, one of the show's biggest attractions — on-the-spot hair cutting and styling by Eric Fisher Salons — will be offered all day, every day. Cost is just $20 a person, with proceeds going to Mid-Kansas Affiliate Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Hundreds of women take advantage of the service, standing in long lines as they wait their turn to get on stage and have their hair cut and styled in full view of women milling about the show.
Another big draw is Girls Night Out, from 4 to 8 p.m. today. Showgoers can get food and drink from Wichita restaurants, listen to live music, and watch fashion and cooking shows.
"It's a great time to shop because it's usually not as crowded" as Saturday and Sunday afternoons, Wheeler says.
Wheeler and her partner, Chris Veazey Brown, started the Women's Fair 12 years ago. The first year, about 85 vendors signed up for floor space at the fair. This year, there are about 385 vendors, Wheeler said. About 15,000 people turned out for last year's three-day show.
Wheeler attributes part of the growth to the year-round research that she and Brown do to stay on top of trends and issues affecting women.
"We stay in touch with women and what they're thinking," she says. "We spend most of the year doing formal or informal research."
To get detailed information about vendors who will be at the show, as well as a schedule for events such as fashion shows, cooking demonstrations and workshops, go to www.womensfair.com.
A 12-page guide to the Women's Fair also was published in The Eagle last Sunday.
If you go
What: Shopping, exhibits, live entertainment, demonstrations, workshops
Where: Century II Expo Hall
When: Noon-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun.
How much: Tickets $7.75 (discounts available). Information, 316-264-9121, online at www.womensfair.com.