Let’s show some local love!


While it began as a Christian feast day to honor St. Valentine – who was either one or two people, it seems no one knows for sure – the Valentine’s holiday has been commercialized over the years into a spectacle of professing one’s love for their partner through extravagant gifts and the like.

Even amid a global pandemic and economic hardship across the globe, it is projected Americans will spend approximately 23.9 BILLION dollars to celebrate this epic day of love, making it the 5th largest consumer spending on a holiday behind Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and Mother’s Day.

Um… that’s a lot of money.

In fact, to drill down even further, it appears Americans planning to celebrate the holiday will spend between $175 to $210 this year.

I’m not surprised, really.  I mean, the clock hadn’t so much as done it’s final “tick-tock” on Christmas when my Facebook feed became inundated with a slew of Valentine’s Day gift ideas.  Chocolates, candy hearts, red and pink everywhere!

Children especially love this holiday as it means exchanging cards and candy at school.  While some super-creative people are out researching Pinterest to make colossal masterpieces for their children to hand out in class, I’m more of an easy-peasy Valentine giver.  Those pre-made concoctions found at any retail store are perfectly fine by me!

Honestly, I’m more excited about the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Hello?  Halftime show!!!

With the beloved day of love falling on a Monday this year, it makes planning and preparation a bit difficult.  Do you celebrate the weekend before? That day? Another day during the week?

Turns out, the possibilities are endless for creating the ideal display of affection.

The Lake Theater will be showing “Marry Me” featuring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson beginning on Thursday evening.  It’s the perfect rom-com chick flick to earn you big-time bonus points, guys!  Coupled with a bucket of buttery popcorn and a local Lake Time Brewery beer during the show? Perfection!

Online ticket sales and show times are AVAILABLE HERE.

Of course, you can’t go wrong by sending your honey a bouquet of fresh flowers from The Red Geranium.  I suggest you go for something bright to combat the gray winter skies.

Chocolates by Vicki is an incredible sweet treat for your sweetheart.  These signature gourmet chocolates are made my hand and MY WORD are they ever good!  She will have them available in Willowbrook Mall on Feb 11, 12 & 14 or you can call your order to 641-512-1509.

If you want to earn some big-time points with your loved one, I suggest sending them a box of sweet deliciousness from South Shore Donut Company.  They have a bunch of specialty donuts just for the big day AND there’s free delivery to Clear Lake and Mason City!  Order at www.southshoredonutco.com

As of today, the only dinner special I’ve come across is from Sevens Restaurant and Steakhouse, who will be running their Valentine’s Day specials on Saturday night.  They say the way to a person’s heart is through the stomach, and you can’t go wrong with a delicious meal at Sevens!  Plus, as a bonus, you can take your receipt down to Tap’d after dinner for a Buy One Get One on craft beers and cocktails.

To check out all the incredible restaurant options around town, go to https://clearlakeiowa.com/search-business-directory/

If you’re feeling extra frisky, the VFW is hosting BINGO on the 2nd and 4th Monday each month and the first night just so happens to fall on February 14th.  Nothing says love like winning some dollars for your sweetie!

Lastly, as most of you know, the retail game is STRONG right now in Clear Lake. The possibilities to find that perfect gift you’ve been searching for are endless.  There’s jewelry from Nash & Ivy, the perfect card at Larson’s Mercantile, gifts she’ll be sure to adore from K&B Emporium, Ralphene’s or White Barn Picket Fence.

Maybe a steamy romance novel from local author, Rachel Smith?  **wink-wink**

If people are really planning to spend what is predicted this Valentine’s Day, our community should reap the benefits, right?  Our neighbors, our friends, our community members… they’re the ones who need the boost of business right now.  For local shops, it’s a tough time of the year.  They’ve been frantically rowing the boat in hopes to generate enough revenue to float into peak season.

Valentine’s day is touted as being “a festival of love.”  Let’s show our local retail stores, restaurants, bars, and everything in between that love this year!

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