It’d be a shame to suffer through an entire first date to discover the only thing you and your dinner companion have in common is a disdain for breadbaskets.

Common interests should be what bring people together, so the folks at Saddleback ski area in Rangeley are helping singles who love to ski meet other singles who love to ski with a chairlift speed-dating event on Valentine’s Day.

“Everyone’s on or eHarmony, and we see speed dating. This is a no-brainer,” said JoAnne Taylor, marketing director at Saddleback. “People participate who already love to ski or ride, love Saddleback, love winter. They have three things in common before they even get on the chair.”

Interested singles can purchase a $25 speed-dating lift ticket for the day — that’s $10 off the regular lift ticket price — and a red heart on the ticket will signal who’s single.

The mountain’s Rangeley chair (a two-seater, of course) will pair single men and women together for the eight-minute ride to the top. It could be a match made in skiing heaven, in which case the duo can ski the day away or hit the Swig ‘n Smelt Pub.

If not, they can smile politely, part ways and ride up again with someone new.

“You never know who you’re going to meet on a chair,” said Taylor, who added that Saddleback is a beautiful location for weddings.

Lift hours on Valentine’s Day (that’s Monday, people) are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on the event or the mountain, visit

Looking for other Valentine’s Day events? Here you go: 


• WHAT’S LOVE Got to Do with It? Join the folks at Mayo Street Arts Center (10 Mayo St., Portland) for readings on relationships of all kinds — the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful and the damned — in honor of St. Valentine. Readings begin at 7:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

• OUR FOUR-LEGGED friends deserve some love and attention around Valentine’s Day too. Bring your lovable pooches to Planet Dog (211 Marginal Way, Portland) for the annual Valentine’s Day Canine Cocktail Party, complete with a dog-kissing contest. Think your mutt can smooch the longest? Enter to find out. Beverages and snacks for humans will be available. Festivities run 6 to 7:30 p.m.

• IMPRESS YOUR VALENTINE with theater and comedy all in one during a performance of “Crazy Li’l Thing Called Love” at Old Port Playhouse (19 Temple St., Portland). The play is an adult comedy about love, sex and relationships, and runs through the end of February. The show starts at 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. All seats cost $15. For tickets, call 773-0333 or go to


• DO YOUR HEART a favor and do something good for a local nonprofit during “Love Really Counts: A Valentine’s Extravaganza” at Empire Dine and Dance (575 Congress St., Portland). Dozens of local musicians will take the stage to share their music, celebrate love and raise funds for the Center for Grieving Children. Doors open at 8 p.m. There’s a suggested donation of $5. Call 879-8988 or visit

• TO-BE-BLOOD-SOAKED attire is encouraged at the Bloody Valentine’s Day Ball at Asylum (121 Center St., Portland). Effects and gore will be provided by The Shoggoth Assembly, and DJs Ben Powers, Neith and Scavenger will spin goth/industrial tunes. The party starts at 9 p.m., and it’s $2 to get in before 9:30; $5 after.


• IT’S A ROMANTIC evening of chamber music beginning at 7 p.m. at the Trustees Auditorium at the McLaughlin Science Center on the Gould Academy Campus in Bethel. Dan Perkins, professor of music at Plymouth State University, invites four friends to join him in performances of masterpieces in piano quintet repertoire: Johannes Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F minor and Amy Beach’s Piano Quintet in F sharp minor. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and children ages 12 and under. For reservations, contact the Mahoosuc Arts Council at 824-3575 or [email protected]

• JOIN SEVERAL Maine jewelers, chocolatiers and specialty retailers for a Valentine’s Day Jewelry and Chocolate show. Support local artists and businesses while you shop for special Valentine’s Day gifts for your loved ones and enjoy the beauty of Gilsland Farm in winter. The show is free, and runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center (20 Gilsland Farm Road, Falmouth).

• NOT HIP on Valentine’s Day? Hit the Anti-Valentine’s Day party at Jimmy the Greek’s (215 Saco Ave., Old Orchard Beach). The evening is geared for singles and folks who wish they were. The band Plaid Daddy and radio station WBLM will provide the tunes, and there will be a chance to win a trip to Puerto Rico. Sure beats a box of candy, doesn’t it? For more info, go to

• NO DATE needed at Cupid Loves Prom Nite: A Valentines Dance Party Spectacular at Bubba’s Sulky Lounge (92 Portland St., Portland). Hit the light-up dance floor to dance jams from the ’90s and beyond and enjoy a Valentine’s burlesque performance by Miss Madison West. Don’t forget to get dolled up for the prom-themed photo booth. Best prom couple wins $50. There’s a $5 cover; the party begins at 9 p.m.

• BRING YOUR loved ones and your love for wine to Wine Wise Presents: French Reds at the Wine Bar & Restaurant (38 Wharf St., Portland). Taste some of France’s great and affordable red wines, including wines from the regions of Bordeaux, Beaujolais, Chateneuf-du-Pape and Champagne. Also enjoy some cheese, fruit, nuts, olives and a special sweet treat for Valentine’s Day. The tasting is from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 at the door and $30 in advance, and can be purchased at or by calling 619-4630.

• WOMEN IN HARMONY, a Portland-based chorus, presents Hearts for Harmony, a Valentine’s Day fundraising dance. Hear your favorite tunes played by Deejay Thunder and dance to the music of the Blueberry Pancakes steel drum band from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. at the Italian Heritage Center (40 Westland Ave., Portland). There will be a cash bar and light snacks. Suggested donation is $15. For more info, call 441-2507.

• COUPLES CAN KEEP the evening classy at the Sweetheart’s Valentine’s Soiree at the Portland Club (156 State St., Portland). The dance benefits the club’s historic preservation fund. The soiree runs 7 to 11 p.m. Tickets cost $20. Call 761-4477 for more information.

• ENJOY AN EVENING of romantic songs with your sweetheart and Kelly Caufield at Anthony’s Dinner Theater (151 Middle St., Portland). The music starts at 7 p.m., and it costs $39.95 for a meal and the show. 


• THE PLAY “Love Letters” tells the story of longed-for kisses and destinies entwined. The letters of the play’s two characters, Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III, are both sweet and bittersweet, and span two lifetimes. The play starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Chocolate Church Arts Center Annex (804 Washington St., Bath). Tickets are $15; $25 for a couple. For tickets or info, call 442-8455.

• FIND CRAFTS, music, family entertainment and more at the Valentine’s Bazaar at Lucid Stage (29 Baxter Blvd., Portland). The bazaar runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and has a $10 entry fee. For more info, call 899-3993.

• STUDENTS WILL CREATE romantic music at the University of Southern Maine Wind Ensemble’s Valentines Concert at Corthell Concert Hall (37 College Ave., Gorham). Adults pay $6 for the 2 p.m. show, while students and seniors pay $3.

• THE VALENTINES FUNDRAISER at the Freeport Community Center (53 Depot St.) will feature a silent auction and wine and chocolate tastings. The 5 to 8 p.m. event benefits the Freeport Rotary Club and the Freeport Elders Association. Cost is $30. For more info, call 865-6462. 


• WHAT’S MORE ROMANTIC than “Romeo and Juliet?” Frontier Cafe & Cinema (Fort Andross, 14 Maine St., Brunswick) will show the Shakespeare favorite as performed by the Globe Theatre of London. The show runs 2 to 6 p.m. Tickets cost $15. Visit for more info.

• MAINE STATE MUSIC THEATRE hosts “Our Funny Valentine,” a benefit for the company that will be held at Studzinski Recital Hall at Bowdoin College, Brunswick. The cocktail and dessert party costs $100, and features performances from Charis Leos and Jenny Lee Stern, stars of last year’s hit musical “Always … Patsy Cline.” The event begins at 7:30 p.m. Call 725-8760, Ext. 15, or visit for information.


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