The gun deer hunt opens this weekend. While the hunters are away, many others will play.
Widows' Weekend is a big tradition in Wisconsin. It also means big business.
City Grill and Bistro in Wausau is getting ready for an influx of women.
"You know how some men go hunting and sit in the hunting shack and drink and have fun and gossip? That's girls here," said general manager Ashley Rice.
Widows' Weekend is the time when men traditionally go off to hunt while their companions stay home to have some fun.
"The ladies love it, yeah, absolutely," said Rice.
For the fifth year, City Grill is promoting this weekend for a good cause. Friday night is the "Girls are Meaner" event.
"Girls night out," is how Rice describes the event. "Men are away for the weekend, so getting them here, food, appetizers, and door prizes. There's a lot of raffle items from local businesses."
The proceeds benefit the anti-bullying program at the YWCA.
"Last year was our best turnout," said Rice. "Just a little over 100 people."
At the Marshfield Mall, business are getting ready to welcome more people than usual for Widows Weekend, and for the official kickoff to the holiday shopping season.
"While the guys are out hunting bucks, the women have to hunt bargains," said Cindy Gosar, the mall's office manager. "We have a lot of vendors that come in for early shopping and craft items that you can't usually find."
And on Saturday, a big attraction—Santa Claus.
"The welcome Santa event," said Gosar. "You have to wake up Santa. He's been in slumber, and he better get up and get awake before it's too late to get ready for Christmas. So all the kids are yelling, wake up Santa!"
The mall prepares for about a thousand kids to join that event. Besides that, the halls fill with shoppers.
"It's either that or you have to cook for all those hunters," said Gosar.
Of course, some women will bypass the shopping altogether and join the hunt. So it seems Widows' Weekend has something for everyone—big hunting and big business.
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