By Cameron Rasmusson
Sandpoint, like many small towns, isn’t the easiest dating environment. This year, the Panida Theater is bringing a little fun back to the singles scene with The Dating Game Sandpoint Style, an entertaining evening for both singles and couples to enjoy.
According to Panida Theater director Patricia Walker, The Dating Game is the first event of its kind in Sandpoint. The idea first came together when Walker and the Panida Theater staff were invited to participate in this year’s Winter Carnival. While considering what role the theater would play in the carnival, Walker said they received requests to plan an event for singles.
“We thought it would be fun to do something that played out like a game,” Walker said.
The result was the Sandpoint Dating Game. Walker and company drew inspiration from once-popular TV game shows where a bachelor or bachelorette would question several contestants and ultimately select one for a date. The date itself in the Sandpoint Dating Game will take place the next day, with the couple taking a limousine ride to a dinner and movie.
Walker watched old episodes to get a feel for the tone and process of the show. Then she collected a group of volunteers to organize the event, including designing the special set created just for the occasion. The idea was to craft an event focused around singles that would still be entertaining for couples, friends and family members in the audience.
“This is for everyone to watch and come have fun,” Walker said.
Event organizers found a variety of singles—both bachelor/bachelorettes and contestants—to fill out several different age and interest categories. They also arranged for special date-themed raffles—flowers or massages, for instance—that audience members can purchase. During the show, audience members can use their phones to vote for the favorite contestant, but the bachelor or bachelorette has the final call.
There’s a good cause behind all the fun. The evening will raise funds to repair the Panida marquee, which has a non-functional section. And who knows? Maybe Sandpoint will have a few new couples come next week.
The Dating Game Sandpoint Style takes place 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at the Panida Theater. Tickets are $5.