PHOENIX - How will you be celebrating Valentine's Day? A movie? A fancy dinner?
If you need some ideas, the Valley has tons of options that go beyond the traditional candlelight dinner – from renewing your vows in Fountain Hills to enjoying handcrafted beers and cocktails.
Check out these Valentine's events around the Valley.
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Love in the Hills
This annual event invites couples to renew their wedding vows at Fountain Park in front of hundreds of other couples. Last year, more than 750 couples came to the park in Fountain Hills to celebrate their marriages, and they hope to break a world record for the largest vow renewal ceremony this year. Participation is free and no paperwork is required, but couples should register ahead of time.
The Phoenix Symphony and Ballet Arizona present La Bayadere Feb. 13-16, the tale of a dancer and a warrior kept apart in life and reunited after their deaths. The set designs transport the audience to exotic locales and feature dream-like sequences, in addition to classical performances staged for the entire corps of dancers.
Whether you're single or attached, this party at Talking Stick Resort should prove to be a good time, with music from the Instant Classics and DJ Kilo, a complimentary chocolate fountain and cocktail specials. There are also contests for the "Hottest Couple" and "Sexiest Single" with prizes for both. Reservations recommended.
Celebrate Valentine's Day to a romantic picnic lunch within the pecan grove at The Farm. Couples will enjoy a picnic basket lunch with sandwiches, salads and homemade treats. You can also purchase wine or champagne. Reservations are required.
Enjoy a candlelit outdoor concert from Domingo DeGrazia Spanish Guitar Band on Feb. 15 while exploring the Chihuly in the Garden exhibit. Romance in the Garden also includes a buffet dinner of appetizers, entrees and desserts, with a cash bar available.
Venture to the Verde Canyon Railroad for the Chocolate Lovers' Festival from Feb. 14-16. The train cars are filled with pastries, handcrafted candies and a chocolate fountain so riders can satisfy their sweet tooth while watching the scenery of Verde Canyon.
Now in its 14 th year, the Strong Beer Festival brings together over 120 breweries and 300 beers at Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix on Feb. 15. Guests will receive a tasking glass and 15 tasting tickets with the price of admission. The Strong Beer Festival was awarded "Best Beer Festival" by Phoenix New Times.
Cocktail Week starts on Feb. 9 with the Fifth Annual Bartending Competition at Crescent Ballroom and continues with events through Feb. 22. Guests at the Cocktail Carnival 2014 will enjoy a circus-themed event with aerial performers, mermaids and tequila face painting on Feb. 15. The next day, the Arizona Storytellers Project presents a night of food, drinks and stories from three chefs and three bartenders from around the Valley.
This is an event for everyone – single, taken and in between. Guests will be provided with red, yellow or green beads at the door to identify their relationship status: red means taken, yellow means curious and green means single. The Shout House features two dueling piano players who will take requests for love and breakup songs.
This four-day festival features nearly 100 exhibitors with fine art or candy confections and is fun for the whole family. It runs from Feb. 13 – 16 at the Carefree Desert Gardens and Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion. The third annual event is expected to bring out 10,000 visitors and includes live music from local acts and the "dancing grannies" Desert Cactus Kickers.
Look for "The Guys in Blue" on Valentine's Day as they will be randomly handing out complimentary roses throughout the Valley including Mesa, Peoria, Surprise, Sun City, Fountain Hills, Glendale and Tempe.