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Ray Routhier

Portland Press Herald staff writer Ray Routhier will try anything. Once. During 20 years at the Press Herald he’s been equally attracted to stories that are unusually quirky and seemingly mundane. He’s taken rides on garbage trucks, sought out the mother of two rock stars, dug clams, raked blueberries, and spent time with the family of bedridden man who finds strength in music. Nothing too dangerous mind you, just adventurous enough to find the stories of real Mainers doing real cool things.

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Posted: February 11, 2019

Where to celebrate Valentine’s Day in less obvious ways

Written by: Ray Routhier

As the theme song of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” assures us, love is all around. It’s even in places you might not think to look. It can be found at your nearby brewery, on a yoga mat, in the face of a peppy puppy, in the basement of a history museum or in fiery fiddle music. At least those are some of the places you can find love and romance this Valentine’s Day.

There are lot of unusual Valentine’s Day events around southern Maine this year, widening the idea of what’s romantic. Certainly a fancy candle-lit dinner for two can be romantic, but so can finding a furry sweetheart at a pet adoption event.

Here are some ways to celebrate romance this year that are outside the heart-shaped box.

A beer and chocolate pairing event will be held Valentine’s Day at the Allagash brewery in Portland.
Photo courtesy of Allagash Brewing Company


Talk about a match made in heaven: beer and chocolate. That’s what Allagash Brewing Co. is serving up at its tasting room on Industrial Way in Portland on Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. The Beer, Hearts, Chocolate event is $25, and for that, you get five beers paired with five chocolate treats from local bakers (not to be revealed beforehand). The beers include Allagash White, Ganache, Allagash Black, Coolship red and one of your choosing. There will also be a Valentine-making station and proceeds go to the American Heart Association. To reserve a tasting time and get more information, go to

National Heritage Fellows Don and Cindy Roy will play a Valentine’s Day Contra Dance in Gorham.
Press Herald photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette


In the olden days, young people didn’t go to dance clubs with blaring techno-music to meet somebody. They met each other at dances in the church hall, where a fiddler might be playing. Well, relive the romantic past by heading over to the Valentine’s Day Contra Dance Thursday at the Cressey Road United Methodist Church in Gorham. Contra dancing is based on English country dancing, with lines of couples following the instructions of a caller. The fiddle music will be provided by National Heritage Fellowship winners Don and Cindy Roy. Admission is $10. For more information, go to Valentine’s Day Contra Dance on Facebook.



Why bend alone when you can bend together? That’s the theme of the Valentine’s Partner Yoga event Thursday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Yoga On York, located on York Street in York. The workshop will get people to explore poses, deepen stretches and “definitely laugh and have fun and learn to surrender, gaining trust in return,” according to the studio’s website. The emphasis is on partners learning to help the other relax their physical and emotional tensions. No prior yoga experience is required, and people don’t have to come coupled up. The cost is $35. For more information, go to

Truth About Daisies will play a set of songs exploring relationships at One Longfellow Square in Portland on Valentine’s Day.
Photo courtesy of Trush About Daisies


Love songs can be sweet, but they don’t always get to the heart of what relationships are all about. The Portland band Truth About Daisies will perform their original songs exploring love in many forms Thursday at 8 p.m. at One Longfellow Square on State Street in Portland. Some of the themes they’ll sing about include true love found at last, love for one’s hometown, the search for real love, and some songs about heartache and love gone bad, said band member Sheila McKinley. Solo performers Liam Swift and Carolyn Currie will open the show. Tickets are $12 to $15. For more information, go to

A Valentine’s puppy adoption event will take place Saturday at Funky Bow Brewery in Lyman.
Photo courtesy of Funky Bow Brewery


Funky Bow Brewery and Beer Co. on Ledgewood Lane in Lyman is hosting a pet adoption event Saturday called Get a Puppy for Your Sweetheart, from 2 to 6 p.m. Puppies ready for adoption will be brought to the brewery by Three Dogs Rescue in Berwick. While perusing pups, you can sip beer in the heated tent, listen to live music by local bands Chasing Sounds and the Pat Foley Band, and munch on food. Wood-fired pizza will be for sale, as well as of course, beer. For more information, go to

People can take the “Love in the Kennebunks” tour of the Brick Store Museum on Saturday in Kennebunk, where they’ll hear, among others, the story of Lizzie Bourne, and see her portrait.
Press Herald photo by Gregory Red


Everyone loves a good love story, right? What if it’s also local and historic? Those are the kinds of stories people can hear Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk during one of the museum’s Love in the Kennebunks tours. Visitors get to tour the galleries and archive storage area of the museum while being told some old, and often sad, local tales of love. One story will be about Lizzie Bourne and Robert Lord of Kennebunk, who were engaged to be married in the 1850s. Borne, 18, went hiking on Mount Washington and died of an undetected heart condition before the wedding date. The cost is $10. For more information, go to


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