Loveland, like every city, is home to many traditions. Christmas in Loveland is always a treat, and who could pass up the Food Truck Rally or Fourth of July fireworks by the river in Nisbet Park? It’s challenging to pick a favorite, but if we had to choose a tradition that really puts the “Love” in Loveland, well, February 14th comes to mind …
The tradition of the Valentine Lady is cemented in Loveland’s history. Or, rather, it’s carved in stone. In 2018, a monument was erected along the bike trail near the heart of downtown. The tribute, appropriately dubbed “Sweetheart Lane,” features images of every Valentine Lady—and has ample space for new additions. A second monument sits a few yards farther down the bike trail, and features the winners of the valentine card competition, marked with the Valentine Lady signature motto:
There’s nothing in the world so sweet as love.
The origin of the Loveland Valentine Lady’s motto is unclear, but the sentiment was deemed appropriate by Dr. Roland Boike. Once the president of the Loveland Chamber, Dr. Boike is credited with the idea for the Valentine postmark. With the help of Glen Schnoover, then editor of the Loveland Herald, Dr. Boike made the arrangements for the first Loveland Valentine’s cards. The cards featured a design of Cupid and the famous motto.
At the time, Doris Pfeister was the executive secretary for the Chamber—she agreed that if Dr. Boike made the arrangements, she would postmark any Valentine’s cards that sold … and sell they did. Doris postmarked more than 1,000 cards that year. In 1975, Rick Van Sant, a writer for United Press International, wrote an article about the event and dubbed Doris “The Valentine Lady.”
Now, 2021’s Valentine Lady is lifelong Loveland resident Jeannie Shumaker. According to the Chamber, Jeannie has given countless hours of her time and talent. “Pick most any event, and you’ll find Jeannie’s name within the list of volunteers,” they share. The role of Valentine Lady has historically been awarded to women like Jeannie who do so much for our community.
Like most jobs, the role of the Valentine Lady was different in 2020. But the requirements have not changed, even if some of last year’s specifics did: availability to work with the Chamber, to make presentations to Loveland students at several district locations, and—of course—wear red attire at every Valentine’s event. We wish Jeannie luck as she fulfills her duties in red this season. Don’t forget to send a postcard to your sweetheart this year, and make sure it’s stamped by the most lovely Lady in town.