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By Megan Dooley
Local teenagers who find themselves without a date this Valentine's Day need not worry. Lake St. Teen Center is hosting a special event this weekend that specifically celebrates singles.
The Love Bites anti-valentine's day party helps un-coupled teens redirect their emotional energy toward fun and sometimes silly activities. Past events, for instance, have found the kids crafting make-shift roses out of colored duct tape. The punch line? The duct tape was black. The activity will make another appearance at this year's event, where traditional red roses are largely unwelcome.
"It's just to get the kids out that don't necessarily have a boyfriend or girlfriend. They just want to hang out and have a good time," said Ezohn Smith, who works as teen supervisor at the teen center, which is located in the lower level of the recreation center in Stevenson Park. "Normally, [for] Valentine's Day, they always say, 'bring a date,' or something like that. But at this one, you can just show up and have a good time for a couple of hours," Smith said of the holiday-themed event on Saturday, Feb. 12 from 8 to 10 p.m.
In addition to making black blooms, the teenagers will be invited to design conversation hearts that steer away from the traditional tag-lines like "Let's kiss" or "True love." The teen center will serve up snacks and goodies including pizza and soda, and the kids will vote on a film to watch. "Probably along the lines of Twilight, or something like that," said Smith, referring to the teen romance tale with an appropriately dark undercurrent.
All teens are welcome at the event—$3 for members and $5 for non-members. "It's an inviting atmosphere. There will be something for everyone to do," Smith said.
He added that kids new to the teen center are welcome, and the more guests that show up, the better. "We did the Super Bowl party last Sunday and we had about 22 kids," Smith said. "So if we get something close to that—that would be great."