Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Land of Love

I have been fortunate to live in the "land of love"(Loveland, Colorado) for the past 2 years.

It is a town which is about 50 miles north of Denver.  In the past thirty years, the population has grown from about 35,000 to almost 80,000.  In the early years, Loveland was a farming community. The primary crops were sugar beets and sour cherries.  In the past years, various manufacturing facilities have moved into the area as well as a new medical center.   The area is also known for the large population of artists, the art museum and annual sculpture shows, which takes place in August.

Loveland is also well known for "The Valentine Re-Mailing Program".  For decades, people from around the world have sent their valentines to Loveland, Colorado, to be hand-stamped with a verse and a specially designed postal cancellation.  On an average, this program re-mails more than 160,000 cards from the United States and more than 110 countries.

This program began in January 1947 by the Loveland postmaster.  He had received about 30 valentines from individuals requesting to have the cards postmarked from Loveland for a "romantic extra touch".  He thought this would be a great way to promote Loveland.  So a design and a message were created for the re-mailing of the cards.

"The first message was "A Valentine Greeting from Sweetheart Town, Loveland, Colorado" and the image was a heart pierced by an arrow over the Rocky Mountains."  Since then, a different verse and design have been used every year.  The Loveland Chamber of Commerce have a contest yearly and residents submit their poems and artwork to be judged.

More than sixty volunteers stamped the valentines that are dropped in a special box at the Loveland Post Office or that were mailed to the Postmaster for the special Valentine treatment.

The stampers place the design and verse by hand on each piece of mail.  This years graphic was Dan Cupid, the US flag and the message "From the Sweetheart City in a land of love, warm thoughts of you are sent above.  On wings they fly from land to sea, searching and finding the one to be."

The Valentine cards do need to be in the hands of the Post Office by the first of February.  If you missed this year, there is always 2018.  Make sure you send a pre-stamped, pre-addressed valentine cards enclosed in a larger first-class envelope to be stamped and re-mailed to:
Postmaster-Attention Valentines
446 E. 29th Street
Loveland, CO  80538-9998

Happy Valentine' Day!

                                                 2017 - Loveland's Re-Stamping Program

                                                       Valentine Hearts On Light Posts
                                                               throughout Loveland

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