Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Valentine’s Day events for holiday haters

Posted By and on Wed, Feb 12, 2020 at 1:00 AM

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A Bloody Valentine

Feb. 14, 6:30-10 p.m., Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado Ave.,

When horror author and Horror Writers Association member Carina Bissett decided to create an event to celebrate female horror writers, it seemed fitting to do it on Valentine’s Day, which also happens to land smack-dab in the middle of Women in Horror Month. “Valentine’s Day can be really shitty for a lot of people,” she says. “So this [event] is for single people — or for couples.”

But the weak of heart can rest assured that the event, titled “A Bloody Valentine,” isn’t meant to be spooky, exactly, even if some of the content might cause a minor fright. “Women’s horror is a little different,” Bissett explains. “It’s not necessarily hack-and-slash, like people think; it tends to be quieter, more cerebral.”

In keeping with that tone, the night will include a bit of academia, a bit of dark poetry, a bit of fiction, a bit of mingling, and a whole lot of exposure to genre talent.

Bissett has collected more than 50 books (about 35 of them signed) from female horror authors across the country to give away during the night’s packed schedule of readings and talks, and she’s invited some of these authors from around Colorado to table at the event so they can sign books and meet new and existing fans.

Many of these authors — including Bissett herself, Pikes Peak Community College English department co-chair Amie Sharp, prolific Denver-based writer P.L. McMillan, and many more — will be reading excerpts from their work. Starting at 7 p.m. and running until about 9:30, multiple readings will be happening simultaneously throughout Cottonwood Center for the Arts, with some out-of-state authors participating remotely. After each reading, a raffle will determine who wins some of these signed books Bissett has on hand, but there are other prizes on the docket like wine and book bundles, and gift cards.

Whether you’re a Valentine’s Day-hater hoping for a unique and distracting night out or part of a like-minded couple hoping to explore new horror authors, this will be a cool opportunity to snack and drink and meet some of the genre’s most exciting and diverse voices.

“Women in horror get kind of frustrated, because it seems like we get one month … [we] get a little overlooked by the general public. Like, people know Josh Malerman but maybe don’t know Gwendolyn Kiste. So I just wanted to raise awareness that there are women working in the field, and their books are really, really wonderful.”

Valentine’s Day Singles Mingle

Feb. 13, 6-9 p.m., Phantom Canyon Brewing Co., 2 E. Pikes Peak Ave., $10,

Going out on the town to meet someone can be really hit-or-miss, and spending all night swiping your dating app isn’t much better. Single in the Springs is hoping to tear down some common barriers by offering a laid-back mingling night for folks looking for love. LGBTQ-friendly and open to singles and their coupled friends (wristbands will identify who’s available), this event should offer a lot of opportunities to meet other singles in the area and maybe even walk out with a Valentine’s Day date. Event includes giveaways all night long.

Bloody Valentine

Feb. 14, 7-10 p.m., Friday through Sunday, 3021 N. Hancock Ave., $15-$20,

Hellscream Haunts is known for offering spooky alternatives to otherwise wholesome holidays, and their Bloody Valentine date night is no exception. The haunted house has been decked out in a Valentine’s Day theme, but remains as scary as ever, making it a great night of fun for those who don’t deal in chocolates and flowers. If you’re really into upping the fear quotient, you can sign a waiver for the full-contact experience (must be 18+). Cast members can physically engage with you as you navigate the horror labyrinth. Of course, you can also go as a single, a platonic couple or a group. Being terrified is for everyone, no matter your relationship status.

Love Stinks, Let’s Drink

Feb. 14, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., Tony’s Bar, 326 N. Tejon St.,

Instead of spending money on corporations like hallmark or those giant boxes of chocolates that taste like condensed, artificial cocoa powder anyway, why not patronize your favorite local dive bar for an unstructured anti-V-Day celebration? Tony’s has set aside a whole night for those who love to hate Valentine’s Day and all it represents. You’ll find plenty of like-minded company here with whom you can drink the night away. As they say on their Facebook page: “You don’t have to be lonely when you’re drinking at Tony’s.”

F’ing Valentine’s Day

Feb. 14, 7-10 p.m., WhirlyBall, 3971 Palmer Park Blvd., $45,

Candlelight dinners and romantic movies are overrated, especially for thrill-seekers and beer-drinkers who want to just go out on V-Day and have a good time. WhirlyBall has singles covered this year with a party offering unlimited games of WhirlyBall (a game of bumper cars and lacrosse-like basket sticks. It’s easy to pick up if you’ve never played, we promise). You can also take advantage of the bar’s bowling alleys, laser tag, excellent drinks and food, and — best of all — good, fun-loving company.

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