Loveland, Colorado, kicked off its 78th year of celebrating love in 2024, inviting everyone to join the 100,000 people who share in the Valentine’s Day spirit using the iconic re-mailing program and participating in Sweetheart City Valentine’s festivities.
Although Loveland embraces the “love” in its name all year, its passion shines in Cupid’s favorite season. Every year, the community comes together to send romantic sentiments worldwide. The season of love kicks off in January, but the main events occur during the week of Valentine’s Day.
Loveland’s Valentine’s Festivities
Loveland starts the celebration on Feb. 1 with a Valentine’s Day light display rivaling any Christmas light spectacle. The city adorns Chapungu Sculpture Park in a red and pink sweetheart-themed light show, open to visitors every evening from Feb. 1-14, free of charge.
Loveland’s annual Sweetheart Festival, the city’s main event, kicks off on Feb. 10, transforming the downtown area into a celebration of love with live music, art installations, children’s activities, and interactive exhibits for the weekend. This year’s festival features an ice carving demonstration and 14-time Grammy Award-winning musician Dan Tyminski featuring Gavin Largent at the Rialto Theater. The famous two-day event is the country’s most extensive Valentine’s Day celebration.
Couples seeking a unique wedding experience can join Loveland’s group wedding event on Feb. 14. In partnership with the Colorado Eagles, the city allows couples to exchange vows in a group setting in front of a crowd of adoring hockey fans right on the ice before puck drop at the annual Visit Loveland/Colorado Eagles Sweetheart hockey game. Registration is limited, so book ahead to reserve your spot.
The city also hosts an annual race, the Sweetheart Classic, a 4-mile run starting and ending downtown that takes participants around the River’s Edge Natural Area for stunning views of the lakes surrounding Loveland and the Rocky Mountains in the distance. This year’s race begins at 2:30 p.m. on Feb 10. All participants must register online.
Loveland also partners with local businesses to craft unique beverages commemorating each year’s festivities. The city selected a 2019 merlot as the Loveland Valentine Wine and a butter toffee coffee as the Sweetheart blend.
Join the Fun From Afar
You can join the Valentine’s Day Festivities even if it is too late to book a trip to the City of Love. Loveland offers the country’s largest Valentine’s Day re-mailing program, receiving around 100,000 valentines annually from all fifty states and 110 countries worldwide.
Each year, the city unveils a unique collector’s stamp and postmark celebrating the season of love. Volunteers line up to help stamp and mail thousands of Valentine’s Day cards, embracing the opportunity to spread joy and happiness.
To send your Valentine through the Sweetheart City, you must send a pre-addressed, pre-stamped Valentine to Loveland in a First Class Envelope. Address your envelope to:
“Postmaster — Attention Valentines, 446 E. 29th St., Loveland, CO 80538-9998.”
Volunteers will remove your Valentine from the first-class envelope, hand stamp them with the unique cachet, and remail them to your intended recipient.
To ensure delivery by Valentine’s Day, get your package mailed in as soon as possible. Loveland must receive all U.S. packages by Feb. 7 to ensure timely delivery, and international participants should get their letters in by Feb 2.
Celebrating 78 Years of Love
2024 marks the 78th anniversary of Loveland’s Valentine remailing program, an idea that started as a passion project in the 1940s, according to a history provided by the Loveland Chamber of Commerce.
Members of the Loveland Stamp Club initiated the program, but it didn’t gain much traction until they partnered with Ted Thompson, manager of Loveland’s Rialto Theater and President of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce in the 1940s. Thompson combined the remailing idea with the city’s unique name to create the Valentine Remailing Program.
Loveland’s new initiative gained national attention on Valentine’s Day, 1950 when the city designated famed violinist Guy Lombardo as honorary mayor, who featured the program in his song “There’s a Lovely Lake in Loveland.”
Ted and Mabel Thompson, lovingly called the “Valentine Sweethearts,” managed the remailing program for the rest of their lives, ensuring its continued growth and success. After their passing, the Loveland Chamber of Commerce kept their spirit alive by continuing the program in partnership with the Loveland Post Office, which creates a special postmark each year.
Honor Love in Loveland
The best way to celebrate your love this year is to visit America’s Sweetheart City and join the festivities. It’s not too late to plan a last-minute getaway or add the event to your 2025 travel list.
If you can’t make it this year, join the fun by sending your Valentine through Loveland. Your sweetheart will cherish the thought you put into delivering a unique Valentine’s Day surprise.
This article was produced by Media Decision and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.