Gal-apalooza: Have fun, shop on women’s day out

  • By Theresa Goffredo Herald Writer
  • Monday, October 19, 2009 8:43pm
  • Life

It’s no wonder women return each year to Gal-apalooza: vintage clothing items to peruse and funky new styles, free massages and hair styling, networking with other women, and a chance to win a free cake made by a local culinary genius.

It’s the wearable arts fair — sponsored by the Arts Council of Snohomish County — that’s been drawing in women by the droves for 12 years to downtown Everett.

Not even a faltering economy is going to keep these women away, as vendors will keep today’s savvy shoppers in mind, said Elizabeth Smith, Gal-apalooza organizer and arts council gallery store manager.

“There will definitely be a lot of things reasonably priced and affordable,” Smith said. “Each one of these vendors is well aware of the economy, so they are doing what they can to make things affordable for everyone.”

At least 30 vendors will fill the ballroom and lobby of the Historic Monte Cristo Hotel Saturday during this year’s Gal-apalooza, promoted under the banner of “Everything for the Girl.”

That’s not too far from the truth.

Coming back for a fourth year, vendor Tricia Watson provides one of the constants at this event. Watson spends the year collecting vintage clothing for the event and brings everything from silks and satins to home decor.

Other clothing options include Engaylas Designs, ethnic attire made from African mud cloths; Marmalade Originals, a line of women’s skirts for the younger, hip dresser and children’s clothes made from vintage fabrics; Barbara Depiro’s whimsical party hats; and Kate Seabeck, owner of Funky Country Clothing.

Local artists, who call themselves the “Gals of Wetmore Avenue Artspaces,” are holding openings at their respective studios in conjunction with Gal-apalooza.

The five women will be at their studios from 3 to 7 p.m. serving refreshments. They are E.A. Sanchez and Cheri O’Brien at 2829 Wetmore Ave., Janet Wold and Jane Steel Meagher at 2831 Wetmore Ave., and Carol Chen Lord at 2811 Wetmore Ave.

Though some women may go to Gal-apalooza for the art or the clothes, others come for the cake.

Every year, Gal-apalooza holds what is known as the cake walk contest where women actually do more dancing than walking to win the prize cake. This year, there are three cakes: Two are edible and one is a nonedible work of art. Women can also win goodie bags filled with treats, Smith said.

“I think it’s not so much the winning of the cake as getting loose,” Smith said. “Sometimes you need to shake it off and shake it loose.”

At Gal-apalooza, women feel safe doing all that.

“Women look forward to this every year,” Smith said. “It’s a safe place for women to be themselves and see other women being themselves.”

Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424;

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