Highland Feels The LOVE






“Virginia Is For Lovers” – it’s an iconic marketing slogan, recognized nation and even worldwide. Now, the Virginia Tourism Council is encouraging localities to spread the love through the LOVEworks program, which provides funding for the creation of large letters spelling out L-O-V-E. A set of these recently debuted in Monterey. Donna Bedwell, chair of the Highland Tourism Council, explains more.

“This has been a project that the Tourism Council has been working on for about the last 18 months. We discovered that the Virginia Tourism Corporation had a grant available for various areas who would like to build their own LOVE letters, the L-O-V-E, to represent their businesses or their community. So we said, that would be a fun thing to do, and we applied for it, and we got the grant.

“Then we started (thinking) – what are we going to utilize to really represent the community. And knowing that the most requested brochure from the Chamber of Commerce is our Barn Quilt Tour, self-driving tour, we thought “Well, that’s something that we’re certainly well known for in the community. So Margie Boesch, who is, of course, our premier barn quilt artist in the community, and is responsible for so many of the beautiful ones that you see throughout the area, helped design the letters. And we chose barn quilt patterns, or blocks I guess, that would represent the county. For instance, the “L” is done in maple leaf block- that was the easiest one to choose, because that certainly stood for Highland County in a strong way. The “O” is a double wedding ring, and we utilized that because we’re very proud of our family heritage, and the culture within this community of family, and coming back home. The”V” is, the technical term for the block is flying geese but where we know that there are a lot of individuals who come to Highland interested in going birding, so the avian population is certainly an important one, but it also stands for all the wildlife that you see within the community. And then the “E” is log cabin print, and I think that speaks for itself. Once again, it goes back to not only are there a lot of nice log homes, it’s kind of an iconic image within a rural environment, but once again, it kind of stands for the homes that we’re all proud of, and the sense of family, and the sense of community that’s so strong within Highland.

“They are going to be located at the piece of land that separates 220 from the town pool. We thought that that would be an excellent location for them, because the walking trail goes right past them, easy access, parking available, and walk over to them and have their pictures taken.

“We are going to dedicate the letters at 1:00 on June  21st at the site. And then, after we have dedicated the letters, and just had a very short little ceremony, we are going to go over to the Highland Inn and have a reception. And this dedication, it’s not an unveiling, obviously, because you can drive by them and see them prior to that date, but we really want to take the time to recognize the letters, to dedicate them, and also to recognize the volunteers that helped in the creation. There are over 100 hours of volunteer labor in these letters, and I think that that speaks to the community of Highland more succinctly than anything else that we could do.”

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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