~ Visitors encouraged to take pictures and share on social media with #LOVEVA ~
Diane Givens Contributing writer
The Craig County Tourism Commission recently announced their life-sized LOVE artwork, now on display at New Castle Town Park on Rt. 311.
Created as part of a state and local partnership to promote travel and tourism, the artwork is an extension of the 48-year-old “Virginia is for Lovers” brand, and one of more than 65 giant LOVE letters, called LOVEworks, in towns and cities across the Commonwealth.
“Virginia is for Lovers is about doing the things you love to do on vacation with the people you love most,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. “The new LOVEwork at New Castle captures that idea perfectly and gives you an authentic sense of place as it showcases the scenic landscape of the area. We are excited that this unique Craig County display will help us share the LOVE with travelers, helping them to discover for themselves why Virginia is for Lovers.”
Each LOVE installation is a reflection of the community in which it stands, and the Craig County LOVEwork is no exception.
Designed by sculptor Jennifer Lovejoy and painted by artist Martha Dillard with input from Tourism Commission members, this LOVEwork highlights the outdoor features and beautiful scenery for which Craig County is known. Waterfalls and creeks, forests and farm fields make up the three-dimensional panorama which is conveniently located at the local town park on Scenic Byway Rt 311 just a few blocks from the historic district of the county seat. Visitors to Craig County enjoy National Forests, Christmas tree farms, the Old Brick Hotel and county courthouse circa 1850 and the village of Paint Bank.
The official unveiling and celebration will be Saturday, December 2, at 4:30 p.m. Expected guests include Katie Conner, Tourism Development Specialist with Virginia Tourism Corp, New Castle Mayor Bucky Johnson and representatives from the local tourism commission and county Board of Supervisors. The event precedes the annual Craig County Christmas Parade, which will travel past the LOVEwork on Rt. 311 and on to Main Street in New Castle.
Visitors to the Craig County LOVEwork are encouraged to take pictures with it and share them on Facebook at Facebook.com/VirginiaisforLovers and on the Visit Craig County Va Facebook page, as well on Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #LOVEVA. A full list of LOVEworks can be found at Virginia.org/LOVE.
Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia. In 2016, tourism generated $24 billion in revenue, supported 230,000 jobs and provided $1.7 billion in state and local taxes for the Commonwealth.