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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MKE offers Valentine’s Day alternatives

Anyone who attends the Great Lakes Distillery Anti-Valentine’s Day event will get to make their own conversation hearts out of colored paper. Photo courtesy of Great Lakes Distillery

While some happy couples indulge in Valentine’s date night festivities, some Milwaukee businesses have created events for those who dread the love-filled day.

Local business, Great Lakes Distillery is supporting the Valentine’s Day un-enthusiasts with its Anti-Valentine’s Tour & Tasting, an hour-long tour beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The tour costs $10 and includes a specialty cocktail. Advanced online sign-up is encouraged to ensure a spot on the tour, but tickets can be purchased at the door.

Guests will be led through the production floor and copper stills while learning the history of distillation. Guests will then taste five of Great Lakes Distillery’s products: Rehorst Vodka, Rehorst Citrus & Honey Vodka, Rehorst Gin, Roaring Dan’s Rum and Kinnickinnic Whiskey.

Individuals at the event are welcome to stay and enjoy themed cocktails — like the Missed Connection or Dear John — and create their own conversation heart. Guests who post a picture of their heart on Instagram with the hashtag #gldmeh, which stands for Great Lakes Distillery meh (lack of interest), will be entered into a drawing for a free bottle of spirits. 

Now in its fifth year, the Anti-Valentine’s Tour & Tasting has gained popularity but, event coordinator, Jen White said only a few people showed up the first year.

“They were all hesitant to join an anti-Valentine’s event,” White said. “I think they were scared they would be the only ones.”

The tour, White said, isn’t meant to be mean-spirited, but is simply for those who do not buy into the over-the-top nature of Valentine’s Day. She said in addition to groups of single friends, couples often join the tour as well. 

“(The tour) is for people to come to have a good time without the pressure of a traditional Valentine’s Day,” White said.

She said Great Lakes Distillery wanted to add a lightness to the day and offer an alternative for those who are looking for something more relaxed than a traditional date. 

For those who are more than unenthusiastic, SafeHouse will also host an anti-Valentine’s Day event called Operation Bang and Burn. Guests are invited to bring an item that reminds them of an ex and burn it. Participants will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 bar tab for a future visit. The event will take place Thursday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Those interested can sign up online. The event is free.

Mike Goetz, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said he appreciates efforts like those made by the Great Lakes Distillery to create casual Valentine’s Day events.

“I don’t think the sentiment is bad, I just think it’s overblown,” Goetz said. “I think the whole buying things and marketing is too much.”

Goetz said he thinks it’s cool that some places are trying to tone it down and not play into the Valentine’s Day hype. As for burning a reminder of an ex, Goetz said he probably would not participate, but thinks it is a funny idea.

Rebecca DeBoer, a freshman in the College of Education, said she prefers to keep Valentine’s Day casual. She said her Valentine’s Day will likely be a simple dinner at Noodles & Company.

“Mac and cheese is the way to my heart,” DeBoer said. 

Lauren McCann, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, said she thinks Valentine’s Day is cute, but she is a bigger fan of discounted candy the day after. She said she simply never cared much about the holiday. 

Katie Gustke, a freshman in the College of Business Administration, said that despite the appeal of Valentine’s Day, she never does anything big.

“I think it’s the pressure of it,” Gustke said. “You already have Christmas and birthdays, and if you’re going to get your significant other something nice, you can do it any day.”


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