One characteristic of Valentine’s Day I adore is that Feb. 14 puts people in the mood for love.
Cupid can be a pretty accurate shot.
This week, I found myself feeling sappy and happy as I shopped for a friend’s birthday at a store. There was enough candy there to give to a chocolate lover like me a cocoa contact buzz. I came around the corner to pick out a birthday card and encountered a man around my dad’s age alone in the card aisle picking out a special Valentine’s Day message for his wife.
There was an air of sweetness to it all.
Even when I haven’t had a Valentine, it’s not like I’ve completely disregarded the 14th of February. As a little girl, the day always meant exchanging cartoon Valentines with my classmates and friends and receiving sweet messages from my mother signed with Xs and Os. Even in my singledom, I’ve given, and received, fun heart-shaped sentiments that have involved chocolate and humor.
Those are the best medicine for a lonely heart.
Whether they are lovers or friends, Valentines can come in many forms, and I will embrace the pageantry and romance of it all. This weekend, there are activities up and down the valley that honor the couples in relationships and entertain the singles looking — or not looking — for love. The Beatles were right, I’d say.
All you need is love.
The Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts, 601 E. Sixth St., offers an option for singles and couples to paint and drink wine in perfect harmony with a Valentine’s Day Wine and Canvas event. This fun workshop from 6-8 p.m. supports community arts with a night out for painters of all types, from beginners to experts. Be creative on this colorful Feb. 14 evening with painting, wine tasting and shopping in the Center for the Arts’ gift shop loaded with presents for that special someone. Or maybe even yourself. Tickets are $30 per person and $60 per couple, all in fairness, of course. Call 945-2414, email email@example.com or visit www.glenwoodarts.org for more information.
Share the love with the community to help a valley local starting at 6 p.m. at The Gathering at the Orchard, 110 Snowmass Drive. Today’s Sweetheart Dance/Benefit in Carbondale will assist longtime Carbondale resident Renee Maggert with medical and living expenses. The fundraiser features live music with the Missing Link Band, dinner and a silent auction with the $35 ticket. Tickets are available at the door or at Alpine Bank in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs.
Chris Bank is not only my good friend Ananda’s dad, but he’s also one of the valley’s most talented musicians. Enjoy his signature musical stylings with drinks and a romantic dinner at Heather’s Savory Pies and Tapas Bar, 166 Midland Ave. Basalt. Heather’s will offer dinner specials accompanied by sweet tunes by Banks from 7:30-10 p.m. See www.heatherssavorypies.com for details.
If sushi and sake are part of the Valentine’s Day agenda, on the way home from a day of couples’ skiing at Sunlight hit up Kanpai Sushi and Bar, 3950 Midland Ave., Glenwood Springs, for the LBJ Jazz Band tonight at 7:30 p.m. Spice up your Valentine’s date night with the Purple Haze sake, the Latin Fire Roll — featuring smoked salmon, cream cheese, jalapeño and scallion — and the Yuzu wasabi steak, accompanied by sultry jazz standards. Finish off the evening with a rich chocolate cake shot or an aromatic white orchid martini with gin, St. Germain and Sauvignon Blanc.
Lovers of literature can go stag or come with a partner to the Thunder River Theatre Company’s free literary night at 8 p.m. today in Carbondale. This free outreach program, titled “The Glories of Love,” includes sweet treats and an hour of love poetry by romantic poets including E.E. Cummings, William Shakespeare and Pablo Neruda. For those who need a little comic relief on their Valentine’s Day, enjoy limericks and saucy goodbye letters from historical lovers. Better yet, there will be a cash bar. Call 963-8200 or visit www.thunderrivertheatre.com to learn more.
If you’re anything like me, there’s plenty of comedy in love. The Boomtown Players comedy improv troupe in Rifle are in line with this thinking as it presents “Cupid Returns, a Valentine’s Day Variety Show” at 8 p.m. today at the Texan Bar, 127 E. Third St. This live show includes skits and song-and-dance celebrating the lighter side of love. And, best of all, the show is free, and there will be happy hour prices and drink specials.
I’ve had many fun times at the American Legion in Carbondale as a member. The beers are cold, and the locals have always warmed my heart with their friendliness and patriotism over the years. The Legion not only celebrates America and its courageous veterans year-round, but tonight the hall salutes the lovers of the valley with a Valentine’s Day dance. Rockin’ Rob will rock out the love ballads — I recommend requesting something like “I’ll Be There For You” by Bon Jovi to slow dance to tonight. Ladies are in luck with complimentary champagne and a rose while couples can feed each other desserts dipped in a chocolate fountain. Seal that with a sweet kiss. The night begins at 8 p.m. and is $8 for singles and $15 per couple.
Romance in Carbondale can also involve a winter bike ride by moonlight, hand-crafted Colorado brews and live music to boogie down to with friends and lovers. The Confluents will play reggae, blues and soul at Carbondale Beer Works, 647 Main St., starting at 8:30 p.m. Try the Beer Works’ Dirty Blonde Ale or Mt. Sopris Milk Stout or share a root beer float in an English pint glass with two straws.
While I couldn’t love Carbondale any more than I already do, I received a Facebook invite this week to the Valentine’s Day Drag Prom at 10 p.m. tonight at Phat Thai, 343 Main St. The event is raising money for the Straighten the Rainbow Campaign, supporting equal human rights worldwide, specifically the LGBT community, through humorous imagery. The local campaign’s clever blue T-shirts with two bears straightening a rainbow will be sold. Let Them Roar, formerly All the Pretty Horses, will provide Rocky Mountain musical entertainment, and there is free admission for cross-dressers. Drag make-up artists from Blown Away Spa in Rifle will provide complimentary drag make-overs. Lovely, just lovely. Admission is $5.
Friday and Saturday
Cooper Wine and Spirits is providing free, bubbly fun before dinner dates or a single ladies night on the town. The new wine shop on the corner of Eighth Street and Cooper Avenue is popping the corks on four different champagnes from 5-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights. Give them a taste and toast to a weekend of love and friendship in the mountains.
Celebrate courtship in the late 1800s and support the Silt Historical Park’s Victorian Ball Saturday at Cactus Valley Elementary, 222 Grand. During the day, dance lessons will be offered from noon to 2 p.m., and men’s military attire and ball sashes will be issued. Starting at 6 p.m., the inaugural Victorian Ball gets the romance started with a social hour and photos. Dance music from the Victorian era will be played, and formal attire is required. Ballgoers will dress in accordance to fashion from the Victorian era circa 1840-1900. Tickets are $40 for single tickets and $70 per couple, available at BrownPaperTickets.com. Call Bill Smith at 618-4182 and visit www.silthistoricalpark.com for details and proper ball etiquette.