~ Destinations around Virginia will host festivities throughout the summer to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Virginia is for Lovers ~
RICHMOND (June 13, 2019) — Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) announced today the kickoff to its “50 Years of Love” celebration to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the popular Virginia is for Lovers slogan.
The kickoff event took place at Main Street Station in Richmond, Virginia with an unveiling of a special 3D LOVE artwork created by artist Melanie Stimmell Van Latum. The artwork will be traveling to special “50 Years of Love” events at Virginia Welcome Centers throughout the summer. Events will offer all travelers visiting Welcome Centers the opportunity to take photos with the 3D artwork, receive a commemorative postcard of the LOVEwork and participate in special events. [For a full schedule, click here]
Destinations around Virginia will host “50 Years of Love” events throughout the summer, including limited releases of “50 Years of Love”-themed deals and promotions, festivals and special events to share the love. Festivities will take place for 50 consecutive days across the commonwealth this summer, beginning Friday, June 21, 2019 and ending on August 10, 2019.
To support local tourism destinations in creating activations—special experiences, events, programs and offerings, VTC has awarded $10,000 grants 39 Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) across Virginia with each grant recipient partnering with 10 or more local businesses.
Some example activations include:
- Richmond – June 23 – Richmond Cap Trail Bike Ride
Final Gravity Brewing Co. and Cap Trail Bike Shuttle will sponsor a “50 Years of Love” 50-mile bike ride on the Virginia Capital Trail, with return transportation provided by the Cap Trail Bike Shuttle.
- Loudoun – Summer of LOVE Tour
Loudoun will be home to more than a dozen events like movie nights, farm experiences, concerts and festivals between June and August that are inspired by the people, events, music and iconic moments of 1969. A decorated 1970’s bus will be making an appearance at each stop, acting as a mobile visitor center.
- Prince William – June 1 – July 31 – Steins, Vine and Moonshine Trail
Activations at breweries, wineries and distilleries all summer long with an opportunity to win a ‘Weekend to Love Getaway.”
- Chincoteague – June 21 – August 10 – Key West Cottages on the Chincoteague Bay
Share your Chincoteague love story with Key West Cottages on the Chincoteague Bay for a chance to win a two night stay, dinner for two, a bottle of wine and flowers.
- Eastern Shore – July 6 – August 24– LOVEFEST 2019
Dance, sing and groove in Central Park to the music of the band English Channel, performing British hits from the 60’s and 70’s, the first of many great concerts in the park this summer.
- Floyd – August 10 – Summer of Love Party
Floyd will be hosting a 1969 Summer of Love Party with music from retro soul band Hustle Souls, pint glasses with Virginia is for Lovers logo and food specials.
- For a full list of activations, click here.
“Virginia is For Lovers has become one of the most beloved and well-known travel slogans in the world,” said Rita McClenny, President and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “While it has meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people, one thing hasn’t changed – the love of Virginia. This year, we are excited to celebrate 50 Years of Love and the many amazing reasons to visit the Commonwealth.”
In 1969, the Virginia is for Lovers slogan was established by the Richmond-based advertising agency Martin & Woltz Inc. (known now as The Martin Agency) and made its first appearance in a 1969 issue of “Modern Bride.” Since the slogan debuted, Virginia is for Lovers has been iconic and has become recognized world-wide. The slogan was inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame on September 21, 2009 and was included in the Advertising Icon Museum alongside fellow 2009 inductees, the AOL Running Man, the Budweiser Clydesdales, and State Farm’s Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There. Recognition came from Forbes.com in naming Virginia is for Lovers as one of the top ten tourism marketing campaigns of all time.
To learn more about the 50 Years of Love celebration, visit virginia.org/50yearsoflove
About Virginia Tourism Corporation
The Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency responsible for marketing Virginia to visitors and promoting the Virginia is for Lovers brand, which celebrates 50 years in 2019. Tourism is an instant revenue generator in Virginia. In 2018, visitors spent $26 billion, which supported 234,000 work opportunities and contributed $1.8 billion in state and local taxes.
About the Artist
An award winning traditional and 3D street painter, Melanie Stimmell Van Latum has created paintings for clients all over the world and has been awarded the title of Maestra Madonnari in both Italy and Germany. She has created 18 historic murals in the Northern Neck of Virginia, and collaborated with the town of Montross to create their LOVE sign.