A Day for the Ladies

By WEEK Reporter

October 30, 2010 Updated Oct 30, 2010 at 9:49 PM CDT

If you were out and about in Central Illinois today, you may have noticed a shortage of women.

Thousands of them were packed into Peoria's Civic Center for the 19th Annual Women's Lifestyle Show.

And the event took no chances catering to all women in Central Illinois.

The modern woman. It's an ever-evolving concept, and if you were to take just a quick look around the 19th annual Women's Lifestyle Show in Peoria's Civic Center, you'd see it's a concept that's broader than ever.

Sure, at this year's show, you see the standard staples.
Make up booths, Clothing giveaways, Riding lawn mowers. Wait, what?

Jillian Smallenberger of Tri-County Mower and Tractor says "some women are surprised because they commonly think of their husbands as the ones taking care of the grass."

Workers at Tri-County Mower and Tractor in Morton say they keep women on staff to put female customers at ease when buying major mowers.
And it seems to work.

We have a big yard so it'd be nice. (would you be the one to mow it?) No my husband does, stated Event attendee, Karen Clark.

Smallenberger added that "they [women] come in and make the purchase and they come in and talk with us. Their husband may use the equipment but they make the decisions."

Okay but what about women who prefer lace over their lawns?
Meet the Surprise Party Booth, lingerie and all.

Lisa Kerr of Surprise Party says "some people are a little more timid than others, so we keep them back here [behind booth], but a lot of people are like 'let me see that green one!"

But if those feminine frocks are too frilly for your tastes, this year's show comes complete with an edge.

An edge on wheels.

Samantha Boehle is with the Peoria Push Derby Games.
"The Peoria Push Derby Dames are a group of women and men who play roller derby."

The Roller Derby Dames meet four times a week, to practice what is basically a physically brutal roller-skating race.

They say, no matter what kind of modern woman you are, their game has the same message as the 2010 Women's Lifestyle Show.

"You have this whole life as a responsible adult, but that doesn't mean you can't do something fun and empowering. There can be more to you than what everybody else expects of you," said Boehle.

In other words, it seems being a lady ain't what it used to be.

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