Texas town prepares for annual Valentine's Day celebration
In the far reaches of West Texas, you'll come upon the town of Valentine, population 217. The ranching community was founded by a crew from Southern Pacific Railroad on Valentine's Day, 1882. These days, the general store is closed. So is the cafe across the street. But the post office is a different story.
"People from all over the world send a package of Valentines to be stamped with the special Valentine stamp on Valentine's Day," said Linda Holland, who grew up in Valentine.
Holland's mother used to be the postmaster here. She has fond memories of her mother stamping the Valentine postmark to cards from all over the world.
"And that number is in the thousands, usually," she said.
Aside from the activity at the post office, things are pretty quiet in the West Texas town of Valentine. But all that is about to change. On Tuesday, thousands are expected to attend the annual Valentine's Day party. Sponsored by Big Bend Brewing out of Alpine, the fifth annual party promises to attract big crowds to this otherwise sleepy town.
"It's phenomenal to somebody from Valentine to see two, or three, or 4,000 people here. Last year, it was quite a crowd," said Leila Cash, who added that the residents of Valentine enjoy the party, and the notoriety that comes on February 14.
"It's a good homecoming event," said Cash. "Lots of people who have a connection to Valentine come back here every year."
But by the middle of next week, things will start to slow down at the post office. The party crowds will have come and gone, and things will return to normal in Valentine.
"It's a good place to be," said Cash. "It's a quiet place. It's a different way of life. But it's not a ghost town."