BLOOMINGTON - Employees at Forget Me Not Flowers in Bloomington were up until 3:30 a.m. Tuesday arranging flowers for St. Valentine's Day.
At 8 a.m., eight drivers, compared to the usual two, began delivering nearly 650 arrangements around town, said owner Eldon Haab. Meanwhile, 27 people at the store, compared to the usual 12, frantically prepared more arrangements and took orders from last-minute stragglers.
"We've had as many as 20 in line, and we expect more than that. It will get busier around the noon hour and after work," Haab said at mid-morning.
An extra 10 drivers also sped around town for Washburn Flowers in Normal, hoping to finish deliveries before businesses closed, said owner Patrick Cullen, who hoped to close his own store by 8 p.m.
"We'll keep going as long as we have roses. We know there are some desperate guys out there," he said. "We've sold 3,000 roses already."
Across town, Gaye Beck, owner of Beck's Family Florist in downtown Bloomington, was racing to schedule deliveries, arrange flowers and handle the surge of customers coming into the store at the last minute.
Haab optimistically hoped to close shop at 7 p.m. Beck wasn't sure when she would go home.
"We'll just keep going until we're done," she said.