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Anti-Valentine's event to include fashion show, speed dating and more

Tina Bridenstine
The Shawnee News-Star

What started out as a plan for a Gothic Fashion Show at Shawnee Mall has morphed into an Anti-Valentine's Day Black Heart Crawl.

Saturday, Feb. 13, there will be an art show and Gothic Fashion Show, and several businesses in Shawnee are planning to join in the fun that day as well.

“Originally, we planned for just the fashion show and the art show together. It didn't get much response when I put it to the Oklahoma City groups. In fact, they frowned upon it. But the city of Shawnee people were gung-ho, and they wanted it to happen,” Scott Baird, co-owner of the Community Art Gallery, said.

He mentioned the idea to the Shawnee tourism board, which indicated another business was also planning an anti-Valentine's event. From there, Baird wondered what would happen if other businesses became involved. He started to ask others if they would also like to join in, and said he received an “outstanding response.”

Baird described the event as “Shawnee's first Anti-Valentine's city-wide crawl” and said participating businesses will have some sort of anti-Valentine display, as well as a black heart displayed in their windows.

The Gothic Fashion Show will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. at Shawnee Mall, with one runway walk every 45 minutes. The art show will take place throughout the fashion show.

Baird said all of the models are volunteers from around the area who are providing their own outfits.

“We've got some pretty talented folks. There's some from our art group and some of the local goth scene,” he said.

Following the fashion and art shows, Baird plans to have a speed paint date mixer beginning at 5 p.m.. Participants can pay $5 to speed paint with other single people and mingle, all while social distancing.

“If they bring us a picture of their ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend and let us tear it up, they'll get half off that,” he added.

Children can also bring Valentines to be dropped in a Valentine's Day mailbox. Feb. 14, there will be a drawing from the mailbox, and the winners will get a free painting session.

Businesses participating in the Anti-Valentine's Day Black Heart Crawl so far include Theopolis Social Club, Rosie's Coffee & Sweets, Brickhouse Saloon, Rialto Pizza in Shawnee Mall, Claire's Boutique, all of the hair salons in Shawnee Mall, and Coffee N' Crafts.

Artists and models so far participating include Charles Clark, Jules Kaiser, Robbie Hayes, Thandeka Zulu, Cookie Heart, Lana Gonzalez, and Angel Jameson, among others.

If anyone is interested in joining in as a model for the fashion show or an artist for the art show, or if any other businesses wish to participate, they can message Scott Baird on Facebook. All those participating are doing so as volunteers, and any artists who sell art at the show will keep all of the proceeds from their own sales, Baird said.

“This is all done just to provide some positive image and some positive vibes for Shawnee,” Baird added. “We're just trying to raise Shawnee spirits during this virus and give everybody something fun that is legitimately socially distanced and memorable.”

Tina Bridenstine is a reporter for The Shawnee News-Star. She can be reached at tina.bridenstine@news-star.com.