Love is in the air, can you feel it? That’s right, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and by now you should have your reservation in place and the perfect token of your appreciation bought and bagged for your special someone.
The beauty of Valentine’s Day is that the gifts are mapped out for you; dinner, flowers, jewelry, and for some, pajama grams or a 4-foot teddy bear with a giant red bow on it, at least that’s what the commercials indicate. Say what you will about all of that, but in the end I think every lady can agree that all one really needs on Valentine’s Day is a large heart-shaped box of assorted chocolates.
Today, Valentine’s Day is a major commercial holiday in the U.S., with 25% of the year’s cards being sent on Valentine’s Day. Restaurants with lovers’ menus to please every palate have been planned and local florists have stocked up with long-stemmed roses, mostly of the red variety. But as far as where you might go to celebrate the special occasion, Sarasota has a myriad of restaurants that supply plenty of intimate dining options and jaw-dropping sunsets to set the scene for the evening. And don’t forget, a simple walk on one of our world-famous beaches with a nice picnic might be all the planning you need to say “I love you” to your sweetheart. But if you’re not up to thinking out of the box this year or can’t come up with anything unique to do on Valentine’s Day, do not fear, we’ve got you covered!
Make this the year you join the fun and renew your vows on Siesta Key with the famous yearly celebration that draws couples from all over. A non-denominational ceremony invites couples of all ages to join in the fun. Pre-registration ends on Feb. 10, so make sure you call today to reserve your spot. A $10 fee includes a certificate, commemorative gift, and light refreshments on the beach, music, and of course the chance to say “I do” all over again. The event begins at 5:00 P.M., and the service takes place at 6:00 P.M. Festivities take place at the Siesta Beach Pavilion, 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key. Contact (941) 861-5000 for more information. Due to overwhelming popularity, a second renewal service at Venice Beach has also been planned for this year, so contact the same number if you’re interested in this south county event.
The Siesta Key Village Valentine Stroll offers a fun evening with dinner at any number of eclectic and fine-dining establishments. Valentine’s Day is especially fun in the village with merchants handing out candy kisses and live music setting the romantic tone in the background. Participating merchants will have pink and red balloons outside of their establishments and a taxi service from the Siesta Key Public Parking Lot will also be provided. At Lakewood Ranch, free horse-drawn carriage rides will be offered to sweethearts on Valentine’s Day, with a variety of pubs, restaurants and movie theaters to round out your evening with fantastic food and drinks.
Manatee County is holding a number of events over the Valentine’s Day weekend, offering unique opportunities for fun with your sweetie, including the Valentine Arts and Crafts Show on Anna Maria Island and the Holmes Beach Arts and Crafts Festival. Both events will run Saturday from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and Sunday from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. and will feature pottery, art, stained glass, food and live music. And also lighting up the event calendar for the weekend is the 34th Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival happening Saturday and Sunday, from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. both days. This regionally popular festival features great samples of locally caught seafood, live music, exhibits, and activities for your younger Valentine sweethearts.
However you choose to celebrate the love of your life, we hope it’s just the icing on a well-frosted cake; meaning, if you’ve done your job well, then your closest people already know how you feel. But, there’s nothing wrong with indulging the commercial aspects of Valentine’s Day and getting a little love-crazy this weekend. So grab your sweetheart, put on a sappy love song, dress-up and head out, but by all means, do not forget the chocolate.
Photos: Happy Valentine’s Day! Courtesy of Peggy2012creativelenz on Flickr
Valentine’s Day Courtesy of Nithi Anand on Flickr