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This program is the largest of its kind in the nation.
The Loveland Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Postal Service have been teaming up for 75 years with their internationally renowned Valentine Re-mailing Program.
According to Gwen Masche, daughter of stamp collector and history buff Count Masche, Elmer Ivers, Loveland Postmaster in the 1940s and ‘50s, Harold Dunning, Rome Dietrich and others from the Loveland Stamp Club came up with an idea of a Re-mailing Program as a stamp collection oddity, rather than a Sweetheart angle. The club tried to promote the program for a couple of years but realized they needed someone with more marketing abilities. Ted Thompson, who managed Loveland’s Rialto Theater and served as president of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce in addition to his remarkable marketing skills, was asked to help. Ted realized that Loveland, Colo. had a unique opportunity to share a little love and friendship with the people of the USA, and indeed, the world through the Valentine Re-mailing Program.
The program gained nationwide exposure when Guy Lombardo was designated honorary mayor of Loveland on Feb. 14, 1950. Lombardo’s orchestra, The Royal Canadians, had recorded the song, “There’s a Lovely Lake in Loveland” and featured the song during the program.
As Forrest S. Knox declared in a letter to the Loveland Daily Reporter-Herald dated Feb. 8, 2001, “They could not have found a better person to shepherd their valentine activity. He and Mabel, even though it was not their idea, were responsible for the success of the Re-mailing Program. They did a superb job of managing the program for the rest of their lives.” Now, in its 73rd year, the program is growing every year.
Loveland’s “Valentine Sweethearts,” as they are affectionately referred, Ted and Mabel Thompson have since passed away and the Loveland community feels their absence. To commemorate their vision and love of Loveland, their memory lives on through this annual program and the people of Loveland. A bronze relief of the Thompsons is featured in Thompson Park in Downtown Loveland.
Today, the Loveland Chamber of Commerce continues to operate the program, in partnership with the Loveland post office by creating the special cancellation annually.
COVID-19 is No Match For Love as Loveland, Colorado Celebrates 75th Anniversary of Valentine Re-Mailing Program
The nation’s Sweetheart City aims to bring people back together in the name of love with heartfelt cards and socially-distanced ways to share the love
LOVELAND, Colo. – Dec. 29, 2020 – For 75 years, Loveland, the nation’s Sweetheart City Loveland has been spreading love and joy across the world by re-mailing valentines with a special stamp and poem. Today, the Loveland Chamber of Commerce, Visit Loveland and partners are celebrating the program’s diamond anniversary by unveiling the 2021 stamp, valentine card and verse, postmark, U.S. Postal Service love stamp and details on reimagined Sweetheart season activities in the city.
“This is a very special year for Loveland and this amazing program. So much has rocked the world recently and we are honored to help spread love, joy and unity when people need it most,” said Mindy McCloughan, president of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce. “Our designs and verses this year not only reflect the 75-year history of the program, but they also demonstrate that COVID-19 is no match for love. Let’s work together to spread even more joy, happiness and love this valentine season.”
Loveland’s Valentine Re-Mailing Program
The 2021 official Loveland valentine card, collector’s stamp (also known as a cachet) and postmark have been announced. The collector’s stamp and postmark will be stamped on every piece of mail that comes through the program. Loveland receives more than 100,000 valentines from all 50 states and 110 countries across the world through its Valentine Re-mailing Program, the largest program of its kind. Volunteers handstamp the collector’s stamp and postmark onto each individual valentine that comes through the city.
2021 collector’s envelope artwork, remailing program deadlines announced
The 2021 collector’s envelope artwork was designed by Corry McDowell. It includes the following verse written by Judy Rethmeier: “Let’s unite our hearts this Valentine’s Day. Our Sweetheart City will lead the way.” McDowell also crafted the commemorative 75th anniversary postmark.
To get this special collector’s envelope artwork and the special 2021 postmark, send your pre-addressed, pre-stamped valentines in an enclosed, larger 1st Class envelope. Then send this envelope to Postmaster - Attention Valentines, 446 E. 29th St., Loveland, CO 80538-9998. Once received, valentines will be removed from the larger envelope and stamped before being re-mailed to its intended recipient.
All international mail must be received in Loveland by Feb. 1, all U.S. mail must be received by Feb. 7, and all Colorado mail must be received by Feb. 10 to ensure delivery by Valentine’s Day. Colorado residents can drop off their valentines at the Loveland Chamber of Commerce, 5400 Stone Creek Circle, Loveland, CO 80538 or at either Loveland post office by Feb. 8. Participants are encouraged to send their valentines to Loveland as soon as possible.
2021 valentine card on sale
The 2021 card and verse were created by Beata McKee. The card design is a celebration of the program's 75-year history, including photos of the program, including recognition of Ted Thompson, who is known for his extensive efforts to make Loveland the nation’s Sweetheart City. The valentine card verse is:
“For seventy-five years the Sweetheart City, USA has been mailing out valentines with verses to say that you are liked, loved, thought of, or missed, when you can’t be hugged, held, cuddled or kissed.
I may not be able to come see you tomorrow, but Cupid will be there with his bow and arrow to remind you that love is so very grand and that wishes of love are sent from Loveland.”
Valentine cards can be purchased online at loveland.org for $7 (which includes the card, printing, processing and postage), and at the Loveland Chamber of Commerce, Loveland Visitors Center and other local retailers including The Bottled Olive, Colorado Coffee Company, Loveland King Soopers locations, Loveland Museum & Gallery, Rowes Flowers, all Loveland Safeway locations, Turquoise & Tangerine, Loveland Visitors Center and Loveland Walgreens and Walmart locations. All cards purchased through loveland.org will automatically go through the remailing program.
Introducing the 2021 U.S Postal Service Love Stamp
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Loveland program, the U.S. Postal Service partnered with the chamber to announce their 2021 love stamp in the nation’s Sweetheart City. The first stamp in the series was issued in 1973. The postal service continues its popular Love series with a new 55 cent forever stamp in 2021 that features a colorful and light-hearted digital illustration created by artist Bailey Sullivan under the direction of the U.S. Postal Service Art Director Greg Breeding, also CEO of Journey Group. The stamp will be available on Jan. 14, 2021.
Re-Imagined Sweetheart City Experiences
For 2021, The Loveland Sweetheart Festival has been reimagined into several socially-distanced experiences across the city.
What is Valentine’s Day without Dan Cupid? Join our quest during the first two weeks of February to find him and bring him back in time for Valentine’s Day so he can shoot his arrow of love to those across the world from the nation’s Sweetheart City. Start at the LOVE sign and love lock sculpture and unlock clues celebrating the city’s 75 year valentine history on your quest for cupid. The quest is free and open to everyone. Participants will be entered to win the ultimate Loveland experience trip with hotel stay, food, shopping and more. More information available in mid-January at VisitLoveland.com.
What could be more romantic than saying "I do" on Valentine's Day in the Sweetheart City? Now more than ever, celebrating love and connection is needed. Loveland, Colorado is known for being the best place in the country to celebrate Valentine's Day. To honor love, My Big Day hosts an annual wedding on Feb. 14 where couples get married or renew their vows with a special custom ceremony and romantic touches, making for a memorable Valentine's Day. Careful accommodations and adjustments are being made for the 2021 wedding which will be held at Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra. Tickets go on sale Jan. 1, 2021. Details will be available on the wedding website ValentinesDayInLoveland.com.
The nonprofit arm of the Rialto Theater is sponsoring a Virtual Valentine Event Valentine’s weekend, February 2021. The event will include streaming entertainment from the Historic Rialto Theater and event boxes delivered to ticket buyers. The boxes will contain tasty treats and activities designed to compliment the streaming entertainment and create a playful, romantic mood. Proceeds of the event will go to furthering Backstage Rialto’s mission to provide much needed financial support for expanded programming and physical facility improvements at the Rialto Theater. Tickets will go on sale in January. For more information please visit www.backstagerialto.com
The 2021 Sweetheart Classic is a staple race in the Loveland community taking place Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021 in Downtown Loveland on 4th Street. Socially-distance start times for waves, no in-person award ceremony, and other safely measures are in place to ensure safe, healthy fun. When on course, participants will enjoy diverse terrain and views, from downtown out to River's Edge Natural Area. Runners can bring a sweetheart and participate together or single runners can be on the lookout for that future running partner. We hope you'll join us for the 2021 Sweetheart Classic.
Lovely Valentine Libations
Sweet Heart Winery in Loveland has produced the Loveland valentine wine - a Valentine’s Day 2021 special edition 2018 malbec.It’s a very romantic image and we’re excited to use it for our 2018 Malbec with a custom designed, romantic label by local Loveland artist Billie Colson. This medium bodied Malbec is a delight with bright red berry aromas on the nose. This fruit forward wine continues to entice with notes of sugarplum, red cherry and black raspberry. With a hint of baking spice and sweet tobacco on the finish, this wine is a pleasure to drink - perfect for sharing with your valentine. There will be 400 bottles of this wine available Feb. 2 at Sweet Heart Winery.
Valentines Weekend Hotel Packages and Valentines Dinner to Go Options
Visit Loveland is currently working with lodging partners on sweetheart hotel packages starting at $89 including rooms that include a Love Lock, strawberries and more. Loveland is also working to compile a Valentine Dining Guide that will include both sit down and to go options for a romantic night. Details about these packages will be available mid January at VisitLoveland.com/SweetheartPackages.
About the Loveland Chamber of Commerce
Founded in 1902, the Loveland Chamber of Commerce is northern Colorado’s “driving force for business.” Comprised of more than 750 local companies, the chamber offers a vast array of educational and networking programs to help its investors, both large and small, gain the skills and resources necessary to thrive and prosper in today's economy. As a founding member of the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance (NCLA), the chamber also serves as an advocate for business, working on behalf of entrepreneurs to lead and influence local, state and federal policy on issues affecting the unique interests of business in northern Colorado. For more information on the Loveland Chamber, please call 970-667-6311 or visit loveland.org.
About Visit Loveland
The mission of Visit Loveland is to enthusiastically promote, market and sell Loveland, Colorado as a destination for meetings, conventions and individual travelers, fostering economic development and benefiting and supporting members and the overall business community. It is Visit Loveland’s goal to promote tourism, conventions and related activities within the city by marketing the city and sponsoring destination and community events. Learn more at VisitLovelandCO.com.
For media inquiries including interviews and images, please contact:
Nicole Yost | Fyn PR | [email protected] | 970-776-9980
Loveland, Colo., also known as the ‘Sweetheart City,’ has been doing the Valentine Re-Mailing Program for 75 years. Each year, the city and its volunteers lovingly hand stamp and re-mail valentines from all 50 states and more than 110 countries. Many of the ‘Sweetheart City’s’ residents are thrilled about the program, so much so that there is a waiting list of volunteers to stamp and re-mail valentines. Loveland’s Re-Mailing Program has grown to be the largest program of its kind.
Each year, more than 50 original Valentine volunteer stampers and the one hundred plus that are on the waiting list, come to the chamber building during the first two weeks of February to hand-stamp valentines with a special cachet stamp sent with love from across the globe.
Entertainment is provided during the Valentine stamping, by local artist who stop in and sing a tune, which always makes the stampers day special. Visitors from all over stop in to see the magic of stamping and they have a chance to stamp their own valentines, they send to their loved ones.
All valentines will be removed from the larger envelope at the post office before they are delivered to our amazing stamping volunteers. These volunteers will add a little extra love to your valentine by stamping the Sweetheart City Collector's Envelope Artwork and Postmark.
Finally, all valentines will be delivered back to the post office and sent with love to the recipient!