Area florists are preparing for what they call one of their busiest days of the year — Valentine's Day.
For most people, the day of love is about flowers, cards and stuffed animals for the ones they love, but for Catawba County's florists, Valentine's Day represents days of hard work and preparation.
Butch Coley, of Newton Florist, called Valentine's Day the store's single busiest day of the year. He said delivery trucks will leave the store on North Ashe Avenue to deliver flower arrangements to various locations throughout Catawba County, and the trucks will likely be busy all day making several hundred deliveries.
Faye Reinhardt, of Abundant Life Florist on East A Street, said most of the store's Valentine's Day deliveries go to businesses, where people are hoping to impress their loved ones with public displays of affection.
"I think a lady would prefer it to be delivered to her workplace," she said. "It just makes you feel good."
The week leading up to Valentine's Day is also busy. Coley and his employees prepare bows, vases and novelties like stuffed animals in advance of the big day. They anticipate a lot of people waiting until the last minute and purchasing flowers on Valentine's Day.
"There are the desperate ones out there on Valentine's Day (who wait until the last minute)," Coley said. "They will come (in) from 8 a.m. until the time we close."
Flower arrangements and gifts vary from florist to florist, but roses remain the most requested flower on Valentine's Day. Whether it's the classic choice of a dozen red roses or an arrangement where roses are mixed with other blooms, the florists prepare to sell roses in bulk.
One of Coley's flower suppliers ordered 150,000 red roses to distribute to various florists in preparation for Valentine's Day. That doesn't include other popular rose colors, such as red, pink or white.
The best-seller at Buddies Carousel Flowers and Gifts is a dozen red roses with a vase. Store manager Jimmy McGee said flower sales triple during Valentine's Day, and the store recruited an additional person to help deliver flowers.
Valentine's Day will be a busy delivery day for florists, who report changes in flower sales based on when Valentine's Day occurs.
When the holiday falls on a weekend, Coley reported fewer requests for flower delivery. He thinks that's because people don't work on the weekend, so they turn to other activities, like a special meal or a weekend getaway, instead of having flowers delivered.
During weekdays, however, people are at work at can't spend most of Valentine's Day together. Flower-senders instead opt to send flowers to their someone special while that person is at the office.
Majority of flower sales occur when men buy arrangements for the special women in their lives, but Coley said more people are using Valentine's Day to express non-traditional love.
Newton Florist, like other area florists, can accept orders online.
Coley said more people use Valentine's Day to buy arrangements for friends, parents or siblings.
"I think you see people interpreting the holiday their own way," he said. "It's not just romantic love."