A palette of red and purple

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:49

    SUSSEX COUNTY-Red Hatters are entrepreneurs, mothers and grandmothers, nurses, businesswomen, retirees, you name it, and over 50, years of age, that is. And they are women who like to have fun. The only rule is that there are no rules but for the red hats and purple accessories, and more than 300, including some from West Milford, gathered this weekend at the Crystal Springs Country Club to celebrate their redness. Festival organizers, queens Jane Hoffman, Barbara Laufnik, and Marlene Clements were among the 26 queens representing chapters throughout the northern part of the state with names like Crimson Goddesses, the Red Hot Hatters, the Red Hot Flashes, and the Red Hot Chicks. Hoffman, a resident of Highland Lakes for 30 years, is a registered nurse and Health Care Coordinator at the County College of Morris. The Highland Hatters are 25 strong, and she says that they take having fun seriously. Vendors came from as far away as Florida to join in the festival. They displayed every thing from "traditional" hats and boas, to shoes and socks, purses and wallets, and all the items were either red or purple. The dining room was a sea of red and purple, with only big white smiles separating the tones of color. The "organization," for want of a better word, is now allowing women under 50 to join in the fun because some of the younger gals — known as the pink hatters, were jealous of the fun their mothers and older friends were having. As Cindy Lauper sang, "girls just wanna have fun."