It makes people feel good and want to buy each other food and sweaters and heart necklaces. Love inspires people to write songs and to get tattoos and to do other wonderfully outrageous things. And love reminds us to be kinder, better, gentler. My point: Love does right by us. It’s only fair that we give it a day all its own.
So this Valentine’s Day, whether you’re single or not, in love or not, or fond of heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolate or not, let’s make love feel special. There are plenty of events for couples, friends, all the single ladies, and all the dogs and dog lovers, beer lovers, wine lovers, film lovers, and even those who hate love altogether. So pick one. And this year, let love know how you really feel about it.
4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Allagash Brewing Company, Portland. $15. allagash.com
It’s a VIP tasting to benefit the Maine chapter of the American Heart Association, which makes sense because Valentine’s Day is about love and love requires a healthy heart (healthy doses of beer and chocolate don’t hurt either). Sample four beers (Odyssey, Four, Nancy and A Currant Affair) and enjoy chocolates from La Creme Chocolat and Haven’s Candies. Also: Valentine making and photo booth! Tickets: www.eventbrite.com
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Chocolate Church Arts Center, Curtis Room Annex, 798 Washington St. Bath. $15, $25 per couple. chocolatechurcharts.org
A musical evening celebrating love and friendship awaits you in Bath. You’ll enjoy timeless, romantic songs performed by Andy Barber. Alison Lee Freeman, Liz Lannon and Sean Fleming with special guests popping by.
5 and 8 p.m. Saturday, One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland. $15 in advance, $20 day of show. onelongfellowsquare.com
The happily coupled, the broken hearted and the wild at hearts are all welcome to an evening of dance and music performed by Collective Motion and their special guests The Dapper Gents. Contemporary, love-themed dance will be set to covers ranging from The Rolling Stones to The Black Keys and some sparkling originals.
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Portland Ballet Studio Theater, 517 Forest Ave., Portland/ $25-$40. portlandballet.org
Portland Ballet presents a lighthearted and romantic Valentine’s dance celebratio. set in an Italian restaurant with a happy couple, a flirty waiter and the all-girls table.. “Boy Meets Girl” features classic tunes from great American songbook including “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “The Lady is a Tramp” and “Mambo Italiano” by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. If you catch the Saturday night performance,stick around for a post-show reception.
Noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Square, Portland. Free. portlandlibrary.com
There’s all the lovey dovey stuff, and then there’s Our Bloody Valentines. Members of The Tuesday Mayhem Society, am authors group based out of Lisbon Falls, will share stories and poems that explore love, sex and murder in ways you’ll never get from a Hallmark greeting card.
6 to 7:30 p.m. February 5, 6, 12, 13 and 14 (dates are selling out fast!), Wadsworth-Longfellow House, Congress Street, Portland. $50 per couple ($40 per couple of MHS members). mainehistory.org
It’s a love-themed tour back in time at the Wadsworth-Longfellow House in Portland. Attendees will hear about 19th century courtship rituals and the family’s many romances, heartbreaks, marriages and more – including Henry’s honeymoon! Prior to the tour, enjoy chocolates by Haven’s Candies and a glass of champagne or sparkling cider from Maine Beer & Beverage. And you’ll leave with a reproduction print of a vintage valentine from the Maine Historical Society collection and roses from Harmon’s & Barton’s. Win win.
5:30 p.m. Friday, Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Square. Free. portlandlibrary.com
From the dark to the delirous, you are invited to take the mic and read aloud a favorite poem by a published poet about love, in all its forms. Each reader is invited to recite up to two poems so dust of those books of poetry by the likes of Cummings, Barrett, Frost, Burns,Dickinson or even Poe if that’s what suits you.
7 p.m. Friday, Skowhegan Opera House, 225 Water St., Skowhegan. $10. daponte.org
Woo the one you love with the sweet sounds of romantic music including Kreilser’s Quartet in A Major, Beethoven’s Opus 59 and Daponte’s own mash-up of Pachelbel’s Canon and The Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back.” The DaPonte string quartet moved to Maine in 1992 and have been spreading the love with their songs ever since.
4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Rising Tide Brewing Company, 103 Fox Street, Portland. risingtidebrewing.com
Enjoy locally handcrafted chocolate truffles paired with Rising Tide beers. Bring your lover. And if you don’t have one, who cares? There’s no greater love than that between a human and his/her beer. And chocolate.
8:30 p.m. Saturday, Geno’s Rock Club, 625 Congress St., Portland. $12, $10 if you wear red. 21-plus. 221-2382
For a more risque type of Valentine’s evening, head to Geno’s Rock Club where there will be a whole lot of burlesque going on. You’ll feast your eyes on performances by M.E.S.H., Puppets by Motion Folk Theater, Taffy Pulls, Belly-dance by Nabintu, Whistlebait Burlesque, Hooping by Lexi GoGo, Stripwrecked Burlesque and more. Danger indeed!
2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Planet Dog Company Store, 211 Marginal Way, Portland. $5 donation. planetdog.com
Your dog loves you. I mean reeeeally loves you. But it’s hard for him to get the words out. So he’ll resort to expressing his love the way dogs do best: With intense and lavish face licking. Those canine kisses can actually win you and your pooch prizes during the Dog Kissing Contest. Winner gets a $75 of Planet Dog goodies. The afternoon also includes free treats for dogs and treats (like beer and wine) for humans. Proceeds benefit the Planet Dog Foundation.
7 p.m. Sunday, Jonathan’s, 92 Bourne Lane, Ogunquit. $12. jonathansogunquit.com
Grab your honey and slip on your dancing shoes for a fun night out with a band that formed back in 1968. Straight Lace is a four piece band with three lead singers that performs tunes from way back when to present day.
2 p.m. Sunday, Chapel at Woodford’s Church, 202 Woodford St., Portland. $22, $20 for seniors, students free. larksociety.org
The Lark Society for Chamber Music and the University of Southern Maine School of Music cordially invite you for an afternoon of music by violinist Ronald Lanzy and pianist Laura Kargul. The pair will perform the works of Brahms, Dvorak, Mendelssohn and FaurØ, among others.. They’ll also share their insights into the music and reveal the secret loves that inspired these passionate composers.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. Free. space538.org
This fourth annual festival showcases short local films. The films used to be about love (awww!) but last year organizers threw boundaries out the window , which means there will be an unthemed selection of films “intended to intriguw, enchant and delight.” There’s no cover, and while couples are welcome, it’s also a great Valentine’s Day weekend event for groups, individuals, human hybrids, robots with feelings, and “all the women who independent.”
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Practice 482 Congress St. Portland. $25, $25 students and seniors. meditationinmass.org
Love is grand. It’s also sometimes hard to let love in. We fight it. We get angry about it. This half-day workshop, led by Buddhist teacher Clare Morin, will focus on the pure mind of love, and attendees will learn how to activate that pure mind to improve their day-to-day relationships.
5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Osher Map Library & Smith Center for Cartographic Education, 314 Forest Ave, Portland. Free, but please RSVP at www.eventbrite.com
Osher Map Library Acting Director Ian Fowler will present an enticing lecture covering the representation of love and the human body in cartography through the ages. Cash bar and tasty treats will be served.