Hampton Roads Town Unveils Giant Statue as Reminder that Va. is for Lovers

The town of Smithfield in South Hampton Roads wants to remind us that Virginia is for lovers, and they're not being subtle about it.

Smithfield & Isle of Wight Convention & Visitors Bureau just unveiled a life-sized sculpture featuring the word LOVE at the Smithfield Center downtown. It's one of more than 65 giant LOVEworks letters that will be in towns and cities across Virginia, so keep your eyes peeled around the state. Part of a new tourism push by the state of Virginia, each sculpture incorporates key elements of its town or city.

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The Smithfield LOVEwork's design was chosen in a contest that included Smithfield High School students. One student, Meagan Pugh, came up with the winning design. She describes it as "pop art," noting that the V in LOVE is made to look like a slice of bacon.

"We might even be the world's largest bacon statue!" she says.

"The new LOVEwork in Smithfield gives you an authentic sense of place as it showcases the region’s rich cultural history of the world-famous Smithfield Ham—and bacon!" said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. "We are excited that Smithfield and Isle of Wight County will help us share the LOVE with travelers, helping them to discover for themselves why Virginia is for Lovers.”

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If you're social media-savvy, you'll probably notice what a great photo op the sculptures make. And the folks in Smithfield want to encourage you to share those photos. If you find yourself in front of the giant LOVE bacon, share your photos on Facebook at Facebook.com/VirginiaisforLovers and on Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #LOVEVA #SMITHFIELDLOVE.

To see all of the LOVEworks signs, including other Bay-front places like Chincoteague Island and Cape Charles, click here.

Bay Bulletin