It’s a day for lovers of love to behold, and it’s right around the corner. Valentine’s Day is Wednesday, and local residents were joining others across the nation in getting ready for the saintly celebration of romance. According to the National Retail Federation, big-hearted Americans will spend an estimated $19.6 billion on the holiday, up from $18.2 billion last year. And we’re not pinching pennies either. The average person will pony up $143.56 for the sweetheart, up from last year’s $136.57. As for what people are buying, sweets top the list, with 55 percent planning to buy candy, followed by greeting cards (46 percent), flowers (36 percent), a night out (35 percent), jewelry (19 percent), clothing (17 percent), and gift cards (15 percent). Go to shawurl.com/3889 for more on Valentine’s Day spending trends. – Photos by Alex T. Paschalfirstname.lastname@example.org Diane Schmall, flower arranger at Flowers Etc. in Dixon, puts the petal to the metal Monday afternoon as she and her fellow workers shift into high gear to fill all the Valentine’s Day orders by Wednesday.