SOMERVILLE. NJ - The sidewalks were crowded, stores were open beyond their regular closing time and the wait staffs were busy the restaurants while bartenders kept busy mixing signature drinks.

A crowd of more than 1,000 - mostly females - enjoyed the annual Girls' Night Out celebration hosted by the Downtown Somerville Alliance, with more than 60 retail establilishmlishments and restaurants throwing out the welcome mat Thursday night from 5-9 p.m.

The ladies checked in at the DSA welcome center on Division Street, where they could pose for pictures and pick up roses. Once checked in, they received a gift bag from the DSA and downtown merchants. A brochure was included with a map highlighting a variety of activities, including merchandise specials, palm readings, yoga, live musical performances sampling wine and chocolates, and a visit from the "ladies" from Drag Queen Entertainment.