Wondering how to woo your sweetie? Not that flowers and candy ever grow old, but when there’s so much else to do (take a hike, learn CPR, ogle a burlesque dancer, check out the symphony, a DJ or a soul group, or just ride around on a big purple bus); why not make the whole day one big fat love-fest? For that matter, get an early start (see the first events) with a Valentine’s Eve show.
• Sweet things first: Suzie Millions, author of The Complete Book of Retro Crafts, is having a “cupcake-fueled, pre-Valentines Day shindig,” according to the organizers at Lark Books. Come make your own Valentines and eat cupcakes made by “the legendary Beth Sweet” (a real person?). Listen to Suzie’s records. It’s free, from 5:30 to 7:30 Friday at Lark, 67 Broadway.
• Spicy things second: Local erotica maven Spyce holds A Valentine’s Celebration of Taboo & Desire at the Boiler Room (11 Grove St, Asheville) on Friday, Feb. 13. The show heats up with erotic burlesque, musical cabaret (with members of the Seduction Sideshow, Spycey Spyce, Suzin Bean and Princess Perfect), DJs Medisin and Gilbot and erotic art with live models and food. 10 p.m.-3 a.m., $7 in advance, $10 at the door. Info: www.spyceyparty.com or 216-2384.
• Bootstraps Burlesque and the Hellblinki Sextet serve up Eat Me, Drink Me! at Club Nashwa, Friday, Feb. 13. “A show of dreams in wonder-lust filled with naughty white rabbits, a queen of hearts, black light Cheshire cats and sexy caterpillars.” 10:30 p.m., $15 (presale suggested). Info and tickets: www.bootstrapsburlesque.com.
All other events are held on Saturday, Feb. 14.
• For an out there Valentine’s adventure, try the Nook & Cranny Crawl at Chimney Rock. Outdoors types can explore boulder-strewn woods on a naturalist-led, moderately strenuous 2-1/2-hour hike. “Geology, plants, animal signs, insect life and anything else residing in this rocky habitat will be sought on this interpretive visit.” Wear long pants and good hiking shoes; brambles and poison ivy may be at ankle level. 9 a.m., $20 ($5 annual pass-holders). Info: www.chimneyrockpark.com.
• The Henderson County chapter of the American Red Cross offers a Special Life Saving Package—sweethearts can learn First Aid and CPR together. The package includes Adult CPR/AED and First Aid certifications, one training manual and two pocket-breathing barriers for a couples price of $80. Held 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Red Cross Chapter office at 203 Second Ave. E, Hendersonville. Info: 693-5605 or www.hcredcross.org.
• Black Mountain Recreation and Parks hosts the 10th Anniversary Valentine 5K and Kids One Mile Run. The 5K winds through a quiet Black Mountain neighborhood, ending on the campus on Montreat College. In the spirit of the holiday, runners can enter as pairs or singles. Prizes are awarded to overall male and female competitors, the top three runners in each age group and the top pair in the couple’s category. Race time is 2 p.m. for the 5K ($30 to enter), 2:45 p.m. for the youth run ($5). Info: www.bmrecreation.com or 669-8610.
• LaZoom Tours’ Valentine’s Show promises a romantic ride through Asheville’s “hottest locations while getting heaps of free love advice from Babs, Asheville’s finest and funniest tour operator.” Tours involve a costumed tour guide, pop up characters, live music and more. BYOB. Departure at 7, 8, 9 and 10 p.m. $15 per person. Info: 225-6932.
• Asheville Symphony’s Masterworks 4: First Loves includes Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet,” Gershwin’s “Lullaby” and Chopin’s “Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor” with guest pianist Angela Cheng. 8 p.m. at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. Adult tickets run $18-$52. Info: www.ashevillesymphony.org
• White Horse Black Mountain holds a Valentine’s Day Dance with vocalist Cheri Cagle, Patrick Boland on piano and Mike Holstein on bass. 8 p.m. $12. Info: www.whitehorseblackmountain.com
• Kellylee Evans, named Canada’s Smooth Jazz Female Vocalist of the Year in 2007, performs at Diana Wortham Auditorium. Press for the concert says, “Kellylee Evans is a unique voice in the urban-jazz world. With a smooth style that slides through jazz, soul, R & B, blues and world music rhythms.” 8 p.m., $28. Info and tickets: 257-4530 or www.dwtheatre.com.
• Stella Blue hosts The Nova Echo Valentines Day Extravaganza with local rockers Blackhook. 9 p.m. Info: 236-2424.
• It’s called Loveapalooza even though some of the performers (Jerkface) seem at odds with the warm-fuzzy theme. The Garage at Biltmore show also features Sonmi Suite, Two Fresh, Bookworm, DJ Bowie, Agobi Project and Brandon Paul (aka Ease of The Head Collectors) with live painting, projections and light displays. Doors open at 9 p.m. Info: www.thegarageatbiltmore.com
• Funky-romantic band The Secret B-Sides returns to the place of its inception at Warren Wilson College’s Sage Cafe (701 Warren Wilson Road, Swannanoa). The 10 p.m. show is free. Info: www.myspace.com/entertheboom.
• Valentine’s Day at Hookah Joe’s is a classy, groovy affair with with DJ MingLE, jazz-pop trio Ruby Slippers and Trevor. 10 p.m. Info: 252-1522.
• Downtown Asheville’s The Grove House offers a special Valentine’s Day party-hopping package. Check out all four levels of the multi-venue building for $15. Individual parties run $10 for cover and include: Latin Lover Celebration at Eleven on Grove (salsa and tango dance lessons available for $10 extra—and Latin food all night in the Penthouse suite), 10 p.m.; Westsound plays Motown favorites and other covers at The Boiler Room, 10 p.m.; Scandals hosts a midnight Cabaret show. Info: 505-1612.
For more events, check out Xpress’ Community Calendar and Clubland.