There was no missing Nancy Hinton's hat Friday as she stood amongst other Red Hatters in front of Petranek's Pharmacy.
The Lake Villa resident's wide-brimmed hat was decked out with pumpkins, leaves, purple and red feathers, ravens, and silver trim. She said was inspired by a creepy-looking wreath covered with ravens on Pinterest.
Hinton's creativity resulted in her winning "Best Seasonal" during a Red Hat contest at MainStreet Libertyville's first Red Hat Day. She and the "Best Overall" winner, Alberta Bethley of Huntley, each won gift certificates from Great Lakes Credit Union.
Red Hatters descended on downtown Libertyville to enjoy special promotions—like coupons and samples—at more than 30 businesses.
"I've been a Red Hatter for 11 years," said Nancy Musselman of Grayslake. "It's fun and friendship after 50. That's our theme."
The Red Hat Society was founded by Sue Ellen Cooper 15 years ago and was inspired by the poem "Warning" by Jenny Joseph. The poem states, in part, "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple, With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves, And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter."
Musselman said it's all about saying, "I'll do whatever I want to."
Musselman attended a similar event in Genoa and suggested that MainStreet Libertyville follow suit.
"It's a celebration of life," said Musselman. "It's just women having fun together."
Women who are under age 50 are welcome to join as well. They are known as Pink Hatters.
"When you turn 50 and you're a Pink Hatter, it's a big celebration," said Musselman.
Friday itself was a big celebration as the women walked a makeshift runway in front of Petranek's Pharmacy. The women cheered each other on as they modeled their hats. Mayor Terry Weppler announced the winners of the Red Hat contest.
Be sure to check out the video of the contest here!