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Loveland Celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Valentine's Day Re-mailing Program

Some of the greatest romance stories of all time are centered around the theme of love letters. The Notebook, Persuasion, Anna Karenina, The Fault in Our Stars, Dear John, P.S. I Love You— the list of stories that wreck our hearts through the power of prosaic letters goes on and on. There are some sentiments that can only be expressed in the written word. In a season where separation from loved ones is intensified, perhaps we can truly find that distance indeed does make the heart grow fonder.

Loveland has a long withstanding tradition to help people spread love to romantic partners, friends, and family both near and far. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Loveland’s official Valentine Re-mailing Program. Anyone from anywhere in the world can inscribe a love letter and have it sent from America’s official Sweetheart City. Each year, there is a unique Loveland valentine card, collector’s stamp (also called a cachet), and postmark. Judy Rethmeier created 2021’s verse— “Let’s unite our hearts this valentine’s day. Our Sweetheart City will lead the way.” Even the U.S. Postal Service partnered with the Loveland Chamber to announce that their 2021 love stamp will be in honor of the program’s 75th anniversary.

The program was initially started by the Loveland Stamp Club with the mission to create a stamp collection oddity. The club tried to promote the program for a couple of years, but stamps alone weren’t sexy enough to get their idea off the ground. They commissioned the help of Ted Thompson, a man with more marketing abilities. Ted managed Loveland’s Rialto Theater and served as president of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce. Ted recognized Loveland’s name had the unique opportunity to share love and friendship with the people of the USA. From that recognition came the Valentine Re-mailing Program.

The Loveland Chamber of Commerce says, “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.”

The city receives more than 120,000 valentines from all 50 states and 110 countries across the world. This program is the largest of it’s kind in the nation. Volunteers hand stamp the collector’s stamp and postmark onto each individual piece of mail.

Valentine cards can be purchased online at 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 will automatically go through the re-mailing program.

After purchasing the cards, it’s easy to send your valentine. Simply address the valentine with the recipient’s address, stamp the valentine, place it in a larger first-class envelope, stamp and address the larger envelope to: Postmaster - Attention Valentines, 46 E. 29th St., Loveland, CO 80538-9998

If you want your cards to be received by Valentine’s Day, the deadlines are as follows: February 1, 2021 International Mail Deadline, February 7, 2021 U.S. States Deadline, February 10, 2021 Colorado Deadline. 

Where do Valentines Come From?

In 270 AD, Emperor Claudius II believed that the trouble he had recruiting soldiers was due to their strong attachment to their wives and families. So, he banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. St. Valentine found this to be ludicrous, so he continued to perform marriages in secret. He was imprisoned and executed on February 14th. Right before he died, he wrote a letter signed “from your valentine.” Naturally, we call valentines ‘valentines’ after the saint.

It wasn’t until the 1500s that written Valentine’s messages were exchanged in Europe. In the 19th century, ready-made cards started to be mass produced as Esther Howland started the Valentine’s Day card industry in the states. Her homemade card business turned into a company that made over $3 million in today’s dollars per year.