Fall in Love with Main Street

Valentine's Day is approaching and it's the perfect time to fall in love with Main Street. All over the country, Main Street programs are planning special Valentine's Day promotions to attract the lover in all of us. Visit a Main Street near you and you'll most likely find sweet treats, wine tastings, special gifts for your sweetheart, and Valentine's Day events ranging from lovers' lanes and speed dating to chocolate walks and movie nights. Here are just a few examples of what Main Street communities are planning this year.

Valentine’s Day Magic, Tomahawk, Wisconsin


Once called the “Magic City,” the small Northwoods community of Tomahawk, Wisconsin, began as a celebrated logging town 125 years ago and is known for the wide downtown streets built by founder William Bradley. Couples have married on this Main Street during Tomahawk’s popular Fourth of July Parade and in Harley-gear during the Fall Ride for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Magic – and love - will once again be in the air during the week of Valentine’s Day, February 7-14, as lovers stroll through the historic downtown, which will be transformed into a “Lovers’ Lane” by Tomahawk Main Street and downtown merchants who'll “roll out the red carpet” and offer red-hot promotions and sales.

A highlight of Lovers’ Lane will be the “Lovers’ Lane Wedding Chapel,” held Saturday, February 11 from 1-4 p.m. at Northwoods Bridal. Couples are invited to share “wedding vows” with the Lovers’ Lane official, Pastor Allen Christensen of Tomahawk United Methodist Church. Christensen invites newly engaged couples to come practice their wedding vows, married couples to come renew their vows, and singles playing a “In the Speed Lovers’ Lane” event next door the same day to “get married,” on a whim. 

“This is all in fun, of course, celebrating the day of love in Tomahawk-style,” says Tomahawk Main Street Executive Director Liz Milender, who points out that the ceremony is not legally binding. Those who wish to be married in the Lovers’ Lane Wedding Chapel will need to make at Northwoods Bridal. The boutique carries top designers such as Alfred Angelo, elegant options for mother-of-the-bride and tuxedo rentals in addition to personalized service. Night Shift Entertainment will provide the wedding music. While reservations are required, there is no charge, although donations of non-perishable food to the Tomahawk Emergency Food Pantry or cash donations to Tomahawk Main Street are accepted.

During Lovers’ Lane Wedding Chapel hours, Ike’s Café, located next door, will hold two speed dating events for singles under and over 30 years of age, hoping to ignite new sparks of love. "In the Speed Lovers’ Lane" is a limited seating event, costs $10 per person and includes complimentary beer, soda, and appetizers.

Each Lovers’ Lane Wedding Chapel couple will be pampered with a “Lovers’ Loot” complimentary gift bag of amenities, gifts, and coupons, all from downtown merchants. Some of the Lovers’ Loot gifts include a pink heart-shaped bath bomb from The Brown Barn Bath Company, a chocolate heart-shaped fudge lollipop from What’s Brewin’, and a long-stemmed red rose for the bride and a boutonniere for the groom from The Scarlet Garden

SOTW_2-1-12_LoversLootEach couple will also be entered in a drawing to win an array of Valentine’s Day-themed gifts, such as a large heart-shaped pizza from Bambino’s Pizza & Grill; a $50 gift certificate from Northwoods Bridal; a purple Crystal Bezel stainless steel necklace with a chocolate rose from Tomahawk’s Touch of Gold; a $20 gift certificate from Sammy’s Subs; a “something borrowed, something blue” themed gift ensemble that includes a handkerchief, antique prayer book, and candy dish from B & L Resale; two 10-ounce romantic ribeye dinners from Ike’s Café; a crystal vase from Northern Bear Antique Mall,  A Spanish sparkling wine Segura Viudas from The Liquor Store; a Westmoreland Wakefield glass ruby mint compote from Family Traditions, and a “Lucky in Love” gift basket from The Cheese Shoppe that includes a bottle of Brigadoon “Kiss Me Kate” strawberry wine,l “Lucky in Love” wine glasses, bottle stopper, napkins, cheese, crackers, and tray.

During the Lovers’ Lane promotion, downtown merchants will offer a wide variety of choices for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, including most of the items offered to the Lovers’ Lane Wedding Chapel couples. To view an album of gift options, visit www.facebook.com/tomahawkmainstreet.com or www.tomahawkmainstreet.org and click on “current news.” 

Tomahawk is nestled among many Northwoods natural wonders such as Bradley, SARA and Veterans Memorial Parks that offer primitive camping, boating, fishing, hiking, biking, hunting, snowmobiling and much more. The downtown features antiques stores, boutiques, and shops that offer Wisconsin-made artisan products, as well as family-owned restaurants. Click here to earn more about Tomahawk.

Valentine’s Chocolate Choo-Choo, Nelsonville, Ohio

SOTW_2-1-12_ChocChooChooAll aboard the Valentine’s Chocolate Choo-Choo! Take your Valentine for a sweet ride filled with great food, wine and beverages, entertainment, and lots of chocolate.

The Chocolate Choo-Choo will leave the Nelsonville Depot at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 11, taking riders on an hour and a half trip. During the excursion, riders will be treated to a Social Hour at the Robbins Crossing Pioneer Village in a historic log cabin complete with a fire and hot mulled cider. After the Social Hour, the train will continue onto nearby Logan and then back to the Nelsvonville Depot. Treats for the train ride include wine, hors d’oeuvres, a chocolate treat bag, and a coupon to the Rhapsody Restaurant. The trip is limited to 300 riders and everyone must be over the age of 21.

Proceeds for this unique Valentine’s Day event will benefit Nelsonville Main Street, which is dedicated to the revitalization and preservation of Historic Nelsonville. Learn more.

Valentine Movie Night, Paso Robles, California

Valentine Movie Night started four years ago as a replacement for Paso Roble's Valentine’s Day Dinner/Dance.  "The dinner dance had become too much work for our volunteers right after the holiday," says Norma Moye, director of the Paso Robles Downtown Main Street Association. "We have an army of volunteers, thankfully, but they are wiped out after our extensive Holiday Season events:  Downtown Lighting Ceremony, Christmas Light Parade, Vine Street Victorian Christmas Showcase and the Victorian Teddy Bear Tea.  We just collapse by Christmas"

As a result, says Moye, "we created Valentine Movie Night. We have a nine-plex movie theater on our downtown square, and the owner, John Roush, donated one of the theaters to us for one night, along with popcorn and soda for all our guests. Without the generosity of the theater owner, who is also a long-time member of Downtown Paso Robles Main Street Association’s board of directors, we certainly would not be able to make money on this event."  

Each year, the Promotion Committee selects a vintage film that people would love to see again on the big screen. In the past, says Moye, "we have had Casablanca, Some Like it Hot, and Pillow Talk.  This year’s movie is the classic romantic comedy, Bringing Up Baby, starring Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn."  

Champagne is donated by a local winery and the Main Street program purchases chocolates. Tickets sell for $12.00 per person, which includes either popcorn and a soda or champagne and chocolates. Funny door prizes are awarded to those who come in costume. "Many do come dressed for the movie’s theme, says Moye. "We have a very fun community and they all love this event.  With 200 seats to sell, there have been times when we have had to add a late matinee to accommodate everyone who wanted to attend. In fact, Valentine Movie Night has been so successful (because it is easy and requires few volunteers) that we decided to have another one in the fall. We call it Pajama Movie Night where we all dress in pajamas—and we really do wear our PJs!"

Valentines Chocolate Walk, Canton, Georgia

On Saturday, February 11th, 250 lucky ticket holders will enjoy delicious homemade chocolates, while strolling the streets of downtown Canton, Georgia. Canton Main Street’s Valentines Chocolate Walk features 15 downtown locations, each offering a different type of chocolate. The Walk will begin at the Canton Theatre where everyone will receive a map showing each downtown merchant who is hosting a taste of chocolate. Indulge your passion for chocolate while burning off those calories by walking all over downtown.
Learn more.

Downtown Valentine’s Raffle, Valdosta, Georgia

SOTW_2-1-12_ValentineRaffleValdosta is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a great business promotion—the Downtown Valentine’s Raffle. Shop local for your Valentine and enter a raffle to win a gift basket. The prize package includes gift certificates from participating restaurants, a dozen roses, jewelry, candles and more! The downtown is also hosting an evening of fun and romance with horse-drawn carriage rides, dinner, music and photo opportunities on Saturday, February 11. Learn more.