This year's big romantic holiday happens on a Friday night. You won't be able to escape it if you venture out.
Here's a guide to help you find the tastiest treats in the giant sampler out there — things to do for singles and for families, too.
At the top of our list:Tears for Beers
at New World Brewery. Charles Doan and David Waterman are giving a big middle finger to traditional V-Day b.s. with songs, poems and high school diary readings — sort of like The Muppet Show
with Doan and Waterman as Statler and Waldorf.
Longtime Tampa bartender and artist extraordinaire Doan says the show is an “invitational performance event, with an open mic feel.” Performances by seasoned professionals (as well as rank emotional amateurs) will provide perspective on the nature of love itself, he says, with hard-won romantic wisdom revealed in song, sketch, and monologues. Doan and Waterman, a voiceover artist and Renaissance fair Gravedigger Dug Canbury, invite the public to sign up for 10-minute slots to perform. Sign up at New Worlds Valentine page on Facebook. Art by Doan. newworldbrewery.net
. New World Brewery, 7 p.m. Fri., Feb. 14. —Stephanie Powers
More Valentine's-themed events ...
Arts Splash – Love is in the Air
Six galleries host an open house for a big, romantic post-Valentine's event. Attend a "For the Love of Cats" Wire Cat Sculpture demo with Judy Vienneau (pictured) and more. Sat., Feb. 15, noon-5 p.m. Click here for more info. aasp.org
The Art of Women
Show some love for local female talent with visual art by Mishou Sanchez, Nikita Glueck, Calan Ree and many other mighty women, plus a homecoming performance by Geri X, live painting, food, drinks and DJ Just Steph. 7 p.m.- midnight. $4 cover at the door for men only. The Oleson Gallery, 685 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg. facebook.com/theolesongallery.
Eat Your Heart Out: A Zombie Apocalypse Valentine’s
This party takes loving you to death to a whole new level. Enjoy an undead art show by 30-plus artists and music by Noctamulo and Hussar. Door prizes and raffle will be featured, and costumes are encouraged. No cover. Fri., Feb. 14, 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Octave, 661 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg. facebook.com/OctaveStPete.
Kelly’s Valentine’s Day Dinner
Still looking for a date spot? Kelly’s is ideal because of its scenic location, where the Dunedin Art & Wine Walk helps create a romantic mood for Valentine’s Day. Make a reservation for fresh Maine lobster tail and Petite Filet de Boeuf. Pair your meal with a chilled bottle of something bubbly, and to top it off in true Kelly’s tradition, try the restaurant’s white chocolate cake and dark chocolate mousse, served with assorted fruits and berries in a luxurious dark chocolate sac. Fri., Feb. 14. Kelly’s For Just About .. Anything, 319 Main
St., Dunedin. 727-736-5284. kellyschicaboom.com.
Valentine’s Day Orbit 19
Celebrate the day of love with burlesque, music and more with Katie James. An annual tradition at the bar, the Miss Orbit 19 Pinup Contest chooses the cutest vintage hottie, and there’ll be live music by Jeff Vitolo and The Quarter Mile Rebels. Burlesque performances by Ms. James, Tila Topaz and Ruby Vesper. Feb. 14, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Orbit 19 Lounge,1542 U.S.19, Holiday. facebok.com/orbit19.
Soft Rock Renegades Serenade
DJs Jack Spatafora and Cameron Correa will be playing “nothing but broken-hearted ballads, love songs and F#%k jams” all evening long at the Bends. Their gig coincides with Bluelucy’s after-party and will feature a 4-foot-tall broken heart ice luge. 11 p.m.-3 a.m. Feb. 14. Free, no cover. 919 First Ave. N., St. Petersburg. facebook.com/thebendsbar.
St. Valentine's Day Massacre Speakeasy
The back room at Southern Brewing will be transformed into a speakeasy with dancing and live gypsy/vintage jazz from Fil Pate, Kuba Cigars — Craft Beer & Cigar Bar will be selling cigars in the biergarten (no smoking inside). Southern will also be releasing a special themed beer for the evening: Scotch on the Rocks — a Scotch strong ale aged over Scotch-soaked oak chips. The beer will only be available at the back bar with the secret password "bathtub gin." The Roaming Gourmand food truck will be parked onsite with a menu of era-inspired food. Dress code: Roaring '20s attire encouraged. 18 and older only admitted. No cover. Feb. 14, 6-11 p.m. Southern Brewing & Winemaking, 4500 N. Nebraska Ave, Tampa. facebook.com/SouthernBrewingWinemaking
Valentine's Day Art Lab Crafts at Glazer Children's Museum
Show the kids some love by taking them to Tampa's giant, deluxe playhouse and interactive fun-learning complex. 10a.m.-5 p.m. glazermuseum.org.
North Shore Beach Have some splashy fun with your sweetie. Paddleboard lessons and two-hour rentals are $45 this weekend; couple lesson is $80. Group lesson for four is $150. Call or text 727-510-1921 to reserve.
The Henry B. Plant Museum at the University of Tampa’s Plant Hall, site of the former Tampa Bay Hotel, is featuring a collection of antique valentines from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The museum is open Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, noon-5 pm. Closed Mondays. $10 per adult, $7 for seniors (65 yrs.), $7 for students and $5 for children 4-12. plantmuseum.com.
Wild at Heart at Lowry Park Zoo
Bring out your animalistic side in polite company at Lowry Park Zoo’s grown-ups-only affair. Dine with your boo in a romantic setting, and sip cocktails under the stars while hearing stories about the pairing, partnering and mating habits of the zoo’s residents. Reserve in advance; may sell out. $75, $65 pass members. Feb. 14-15, 6:30 p.m Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa. 813-935-8522. lowryparkzoo.com.
Even if you shrug off Valentine's Day as a Hallmark holiday, we here at CL have you in our hearts.