A Girls Weekend sign greets customers entering the Sunsations shop on John F. Kennedy Boulevard during the 2016 shopping extravaganza

By Maddy Vitale

Whether it is a getaway weekend or just a day trip, heading to Sea Isle City for Girls Weekend is all about fun.

That means delicious foods, cocktails and boutique-style shopping at a discount – and of course – a night of dancing.

Girls Weekend runs from April 13-15 and is in its ninth year and growing strong, said Colleen Buch, coordinator of the event.

“I think it is a great rejuvenation for the ladies,” Buch said Tuesday. “There is nothing better than sisterhood. There is so much laughing, eating. It just makes you so happy.”

Buch came up with the idea for the event years ago along with local business woman Jamie Heritage. Since then, it has grown into a major event for the city, officials said.

“People come from all over the country and we even have had someone come from another country last year,” Buch said.

She said there are several reasons for the well-attended weekend. Girls Weekend, which is hosted by the Sea Isle Chamber of Commerce and Revitalization has grown to more than 40 participating businesses offering specials, discounts of up to 75 percent off upscale merchandise and food and drink specials.

Sea Isle spokeswoman Katherine Custer said Girls Weekend, which is also held in the fall, is always a hugely popular event.

“The great thing about Girls Weekend is it gives people a variety of options and it is phenomenal for business owners,” Custer said. “From restaurants to boutiques and shops, it is a great weekend to be in Sea Isle City.”

From left, customers Claire Nolan and Vanessa Learnard and hair stylist Deserie Scarberry at the Shannon Leigh Salon on Landis Avenue prepare for a Girls Weekend.

Chamber of Commerce President Christopher Glancey said of the event, “This is one of our best weekends in the fall and the spring. Colleen really does a great job.”

The event helps boost the economy during the quiet time before the spring season is in full swing, officials said.

Buch said as Girls Weekend approaches, she is getting a “huge response” from women through social media platforms such as Face Book.

“We are seeing on Face Book that the ladies are very excited for a fun-filled weekend,” Buch said. “I understand that groups are already booking dinner reservations for that weekend.”

Kiwi Boutique owner Milissa Walters, right, waits on customer Peggy Dekastrozza during Girls Weekend.

One of the perks of getting out for a girls’ retreat is checking out the new arrivals for spring, she said. And there are always accessories to consider.

And if after a day of shopping you would like a spa treatment, you could get your hair and nails done at a participating salon. After that it will be time for a tasty entrée and drinks with your closest gals at one of the Girls Weekend restaurants.

For a second year in a row, Buch and the other ladies will join Sea Isle Mayor Leonard Desiderio at his nightclub Kix McNutley’s at 63rd Street and Landis Avenue for a pajama party on April 14 from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. There will be a complimentary breakfast.

Restaurants, such as the Lobster Loft, will be participating in the busy weekend and the band Insiders will be performing there at 9 p.m. April 13 and April 14.

Buch said it won’t be hard to tell the businesses that are part of Girls Weekend. Colorful flags will be out front April 13.

Local businesses flew colorful “Girls Weekend” flags at their front entrance to attract customers.

The popular event has helped establish Sea Isle as a year-round shopping destination, officials said.

“We pray for great weather,” Buch said. “Girls Weekend keeps growing. It is so much fun and it brings people to the island and in the stores.”

For more information including a full list of participating businesses in Spring Girls Weekend visit