Valentine's Day has been celebrated throughout the years as a day of love and romance, and this Valentine's Day Bastrop locals are celebrating the holiday in their own unique and special ways.

Valentine's Day has been celebrated since the Middle Ages, according to history.com, with the first known Valentine attributed to the Duke of Orleans who wrote a poem to his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London.

It is thought that Americans may have begun exchanging hand-made cards in the 1700s.

Today Americans send each other 145 million valentines a year. Many people also give their significant other candy or flowers.

The merchants of Bastrop are well prepared for the holiday. Shops have been stocked with flowers, gift baskets, candy, balloons, and many other fun gifts.

“We have beautiful roses of all colors, as well as bears and candy baskets,” noted Flower Tree owner Andrea Hayes.

“We are doing gift baskets,” said Sam’s Boutique owner Connie Caldwell.

Numerous Bastrop locals will be exchanging gifts today, and many have a favorite gift to receive.

“I live for the chocolate covered strawberries!” said Bradi Nason.

“My favorite thing to get is flowers,” said Jodi Ford. “My husband has been getting me flowers on Valentine's Day for the past ten years.”

Some Bastrop residents see the day as about more than candy and cards though. For them it is a chance to spend time with those you care about.

“It’s a special day between you and your love that’s just about you two,” said Nason. It's a day to talk, spend time together, and celebrate your love and relationship.”

Some locals see it as a day for couples to relax and spend more time with each other.

“My favorite thing is to eat a candle lit dinner at home with my forever valentine,” said Stacey Hackler.

However people of Bastrop celebrate this Thursday, February 14, the Bastrop Enterprise wishes locals a happy and love filled Valentine's Day.