Sisterhood of friendship celebrated at Rockton Galentine's Day event


Terrie and Izzy Garlow created Valentines cards at Jill Rae Finally Art during Rockton's Galentine's Day.

Ladies celebrated the sisterhood of friendship during the 2023 Galentine's Day on Thursday evening, Feb. 9, 2023 in Rockton, Illinois.

Rockton businesses opened their doors to welcome friends and to present different activities to participate in.

Three Hononegah Community High School alumni - Rebecca Powers, Deena Churchill and Stacie Hudson - reconnected at their first Galentine's Day event this year. These ladies specifically chose to come to Erica's Board Creations where they painted Valentine's themed boards.

“We wanted to simply take our time and to enjoy just being with one another with no schedule and nowhere else to be,” Rebecca Powers said. She adds, “We were also hoping to make it to Sam's Pizza before they closed and we did.”

At After the Vine, bingo games were led by a drag queen dressed in bright, colorful garb. Rockton Inn Pub and Grub provided another chance to play “Naughty Bingo.” Winners took home t-shirts, giveaways or "adult" prize packages.

Two locations hosted permanent jewelry demonstrations: The Gem Shop and Diamond Source and Home On Hayloft.

Gem Shop manager Shelly Schweigart describes applying permanent jewelry as a fairly easy process to do. “We take you to the permanent jewelry table, help you pick out a chain, measure it to your wrists, then cut the chain to the right length. The final step is to solder the chain on.” Most permanent jewelry is in the form of bracelets or anklets. The Gem Shop uses gold and silver to assure a top quality product.

Katie Thompson used a gold-filled chain at Home On Hayloft to complete a permanent jewelry application.

Jill Rae Finally Art helped visitors make imaginative Valentines cards under the helpful direction of Sarah Baines. Each could be sassy or sweet, depending on what style or option was chosen. Fun props were used to create memories in a photo booth.

Frosted Farmhouse hid gift cards in the shop for visitors to find. Anna from Simply Sweet baked custom made cupcakes for sale, with an additional option of Valentine cookies created by Sweet Peach.

Also inside of Frosted Farmhouse, the Rockton Reads bookstore featured a special “Ladies Night Out” section, complete with a selection of 'swoon worthy' contemporary romance novels.

Kiss Glass offered take and bake treats in the store. Truly Treasured Gift and Thrift owner Tonya Morgan greeted shoppers as she was opened and ready to meet other women in the area.

Groups of friends stopped into DeeDee's Main Street Coffee for warm greetings, a nighttime drink and treat special. Chocolate covered strawberries were available for purchase at Pick-A-Dilly Antiques.

Many stores offered discounts on items.

Sugar Britches had specialty chocolates of a memorable design, boxed and ready to be picked up.

Ladies working on board painting projects at Erica's Board Creations received assistance from Nicole Walker and Kirsten Manci. Adding extra enjoyment to the evening, they served wine and treats in addition to providing a photo booth as a fun backdrop to capture memories.

Emily Danielson of Hi Beautiful Bridal welcomed brides for a night of special sales.

Vicki Hoiten and a group of friends joined in the Galentine's Day fun. “I just really love an evening out with my girls laughing, having fun and checking out all of the shops,” Hoiten said.

“Prior to the event I put out an invitation to a group of girls; each year it is a different group. Friends bring friends and you can meet new people and just have a good time,” Hoiten said.

Unlike past Galentine's Day events, there were no punch cards with the possibility of winning a generous prize. Many Galentine's attendees said that they missed seeing that this year. Vicki Hoiten, who has been at the event every year since its inception, hopes that bonus will return in the future.

“In the past I liked that the shops each had a nice variety of unique activities or specials;” Hoiten said. “I miss going to all of the places and getting a stamp at each one to turn it in for a grand prize. It made the event more exciting to make sure you went into each place.”

The 2023 Galentine's Day event provided chances for pure fun and a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the sisterhood of friendship.

Harper and Ann Elyse created fun paintings of a yeti at Erica's Board Creations.
Ellie York visited Home on Hayloft, where Katie Thompson applied permanent jewelry.
Friends Dawn Heavilin, Ruth Hughes, Kara Beatty, and Vicki Hoiten visited as many stops as they could during the 2023 Galentine's Day event in Rockton.
Nicole Walker (L) and Kirsten Manci (R) assisted with board painting at Erica's Board Creations. The ladies were joined by Jessica King (center).
Friends and Hononegah alumni Stacie Hudson, Deena Churchill and Rebecca Powers reconnected over board painting at Rockton's Galentine's Day event.
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