Celebrate the Art of Love in Loveland
The nation’s Sweetheart City, Loveland, Colorado, just got sweeter for Valentine’s Day with the launch of the inaugural Loveland Sweetheart Festival – Love Locks and Lights. For more than 70 years, Loveland has embraced sweethearts near and far and invites families and lovers around the world to gather in downtown Loveland to celebrate Valentine season. Love locks are a symbol of love and commitment that have been inspired by an ancient custom—which is believed to have originated in China—where lovers lock a padlock on a chain or gate and then throw away the key, symbolically locking their love forever. This love lock sculpture has truly been a local labor of love. It was designed by local sculptor Doug Rutledge, constructed locally by Beatty Construction Services, and Loveland Ready Mix Concrete poured the concrete for the bases.
“Loveland became the Sweetheart City more than 70 years ago thanks to the visionaries and dedicated stampers who send love around the world through the Valentine Re-Mailing Program,” says Mindy McCloughan, president and CEO of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce. “We are excited to bridge our love of art and Valentine’s Day by introducing our own take on the love lock tradition, giving visitors a permanent place in the Sweetheart City to express their love.”
Loveland has unveiled the largest love lock sculpture in Colorado and one of the largest in the U.S. This 24,000-pound, 10-foot-tall, 30-foot-wide steel sculpture is made up of four sculpted letters—L, O, V, E—and includes heart cutouts and places for love locks on the back. It will be anchored at the Loveland Visitors Center and visible from Interstate 25, welcoming visitors to Loveland and encouraging them to come and see it, and learn more about what to do in Loveland.