Valentine’s Day, Singles Awareness Day — whatever you like to call it — Feb. 14 is upon us.

Whether you’re one of the folks who loves this lace- and heart-filled day or one who thinks it’s an artificial “holiday” cooked up by the floral and greeting-card industries, the day is here and impossible to ignore. (In case you missed it, stores had Valentine’s Day items out before Christmas.)

While I typically fall under the latter category, it doesn’t mean I can’t get on board, if only for a day, to school you on some interesting facts regarding Valentine’s Day.

Did you know ...

The average American spends about $130 for the holiday.

The most popular gift given to celebrate is a greeting card, with cards totaling about 65 percent of all gifts given for Valentine’s Day.

You know the childhood staple Sweethearts Conversation Hearts? Eight billion are manufactured each year.

It’s estimated that 15 percent of women will send themselves flowers.

The average number of wedding proposals on Valentine’s Day each year is 220,000, which is 10 percent of the annual total.

This last factoid leads us to recognize the holiday as one of the most popular for engagements, along with Thanksgiving and Christmas. So if you were one of the lucky ladies who had a guy get down on bended knee in the past few months, consider heading to the Charleston Area Convention Center on Sunday for the Southern Bridal Show.

Billed as the “South’s elite bridal event since 1990,” the show brings together wedding professionals to offer the chance to see gowns, taste cake and food samples, hear music, check out floral designs, plan your honeymoon and more, all in one place.

The Southern Bridal Show costs $10, with children 5 and under getting in free.

Camellia Walks

For those still looking for a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, consider heading out to Middleton Place as the Camellia Walks tours kick off Thursday.

Featuring more than 3,500 camellias, some more than 220 years old, Middleton Place is said to have some of the first to be planted in an American garden.

The Southern landscape favorite will be the focus of hourlong guided tours that begin at 11 a.m. at the Garden Market & Nursery. Tours will be held every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday beginning this Thursday and continuing through March 23.

Camellia Walks are free with paid admission to Middleton Place ($25 for adults, $15 for students, $10 for ages 6-13, kids 5 and under free), but reservations are required. For reservations, call 556-6020 or go to

Beard & Moustache

For those who are just looking to get through Valentine’s Day and make it to the weekend, there are a few events that may help keep you focused on the future.

On Saturday, the good old bearded boys of the Holy City Beard & Moustache Society will unveil the poster for the fourth annual Southeastern Beard & Moustache Championships at the Recovery Room, 685 King St.

If you’re unfamiliar with these guys, head over to the bar for the 8 p.m. event, as a good time is guaranteed to follow the furry fellows.

The Southeastern Beard & Moustache Championships have been scheduled for May 25 at The Music Farm.

Fossil Show

Whether you’re a collector or just looking for a little fun, the Fossil Show at Cypress Gardens would be worth a stop.

From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, explore the rich fossil history that Coastal South Carolina is known for. From whales to sharks, mastodons to camels and horses, the festival will feature displays of local fossils found and prepared by local collectors as well as some exotic fossil material. You can bring in your own finds to have them identified. Kids will get to experience the excitement of a dig first-hand, and door prizes will be awarded every hour.

Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and $5 for ages 6-12 with kids 5 and under getting in free. Berkeley County residents will get free admission with a picture ID until noon. Find out more at

Gun and Knife Show

Another event this weekend that’s likely to garner some attention from collectors, among others, is the Charleston Gun and Knife Show.

Held at the Exchange Park Fairgrounds in Ladson, peruse 350 tables of guns, knives, ammo, surplus, reloading supplies and shooting accessories from some of the state’s biggest dealers.

The event will be held 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults with kids 12 and under getting in for free. Parking is free.