On October 8, the town of Tappahannock displayed its town pride with a new display… a LOVE sign. Mayor Roy Gladding excitedly revealed the LOVE sign, located right off of the bridge at the Tappahannock Town Park, to the town of Tappahannock, with anticipation that the display will bring a stronger sense of community to the townspeople.
Teresa Lankford, a Tappahannock native, first came up with the idea to inquire about a LOVE sign for Tappahannock last year and worked hard to make sure that the display would come true for the town.
Lankford researched how to go about adding a LOVE display by researching the Virginia Tourism LOVEwork program, a program designed to help increase pride and tourism within the state of Virginia. Lankford set up meetings with the Tappahannock Town Council to get the LOVEwork operation approved and, without a doubt, the members of the council were excited to bring such an attraction to Tappahannock and revitalize the Main Street Program.
Lankford reached out to Melanie Stimmell Van Latum, the founder and creative director of We Talk Chalk – 3D Street Painting, to design and create the artwork for the sign. Along with Stimmell Van Latum designing and bringing the artwork to life, David Booth, the owner of Inkt VA., provided vinyl, printed the artwork on the vinyl display, and installed it. Generously, Booth did this with no charge.
Billy Healy, Turpin Acree, Dana Bartholomew and Melanie Reavis all believed in the LOVEwork project and financially contributed to the display as well.
Town Council member, Anita Latane, stated that the council thought the idea was a great one because LOVEwork signs not only beautify towns, they also give tourists the opportunity to look up the signs and visit, leading to higher tourism rates and putting small towns on the map.
Latane stated, “I just want to let people across the bridge know that we are a love community.”
When asked why bringing the LOVEwork display to Tappahannock was so important to her, Lankford stated, “I just want people to be proud of our town and love it the way that I do.”
Council members stated that movie nights, concerts and more are in the works for the Tappahannock Town Park as well.