Loveland Is All Heart: Volunteers Leave A Mark On Over 100,000 Valentines

Feb 5, 2019

More than 100,000 cards will go through the Loveland Post Office this month to get a special postmark from the “Sweetheart City” as part of the Valentine ReMailing Program.

“People from all over the country and world have their Valentine’s Day cards stamped here so it has that something extra special,” said Gov. Jared Polis, who helped kick off the program’s 73rd year by serving as a guest volunteer stamper, along with Miss Loveland Valentine Kat Pfeiffer.

“I’ve represented this area for a number of years and now as governor, it’s great to highlight what Loveland does across our whole state,” said Polis, referencing his time in Congress.

Gov. Jared Polis and Miss Loveland Valentine Kat Pfeiffer kick off the Valentine ReMailing Program.
Credit Stacy Nick / KUNC

Cards began pouring into the Loveland Post Office as early as December to ensure they get a Loveland postmark, Postmaster Cindy Kinney said. Each year, volunteers spend two weeks stamping the cards before sending them on to the intended recipients.

While there are other cities that do similar Valentine-themed postal cancellations — including Valentine, Neb. and Hershey, Penn. — Kinney said Loveland’s program is unique.

Gov. Jared Polis placed a Colorado-themed padlock on the Love Lock sculpture.
Credit Stacy Nick / KUNC

It’s not just a postmark, Kinney said. Each year, Loveland reaches out to the community to help design a special stamp and a poem, known as a “cachet,” that goes on each card.

The popular program is a tradition for many, she added.

“We have a lot of repeat customers,” Kinney said. “They often send notes with their cards. ‘This is my 10th year, my 20th year.’ We’ve had up to 50 and 60 years.”

A new tradition for the city is its new “Love Lock” sculpture.

The 24,000-pound, 10-foot-tall, 30-foot-wide steel sculpture spells out “L-O-V-E” and includes cutouts for padlocks to be locked to it. The piece was inspired by a custom believed to have originated in China where lovers lock a padlock on a chain, gate or bridge and then throw away the key to symbolically “lock” their love forever.

The Love Locks sculpture was designed by local artist Doug Rutledge.
Credit Stacy Nick / KUNC

This year’s sculpture was designed by local artist Doug Rutledge and will be on display in Downtown Loveland as part of the city’s new Sweetheart Festival on Feb. 8 and 9 before moving to the Loveland Visitor’s Center.