It’s a common tradition for events like rodeos, fairs and festivals to crown a young lady as the face of the event, and the Loveland Sweetheart Festival is no different.

The annual Miss Loveland Valentine program celebrated its 61st year by awarding the sash to Loveland High School senior Ellie Heiser.

As Miss Loveland Valentine, Heiser, 17, will attend a variety of presentations, events and marketing campaigns over the upcoming weeks before the 2023 Sweetheart Festival as well as at events following the festival, like the Corn Roast Parade.

Miss Valentine serves as Loveland’s spokesperson by making presentations, attending events and participating in marketing campaigns during the months leading up to and after the annual Loveland Sweetheart Festival as well as making appearances at the two-day event. (Credit/Christina Gressianu)

“It means so much to me to have this responsibility and the privilege to be in this role. It’s a blessing and great honor that I am able to represent my community and I take much pride in it,” said Heiser, who was born and raised in Loveland. “This is a great opportunity to present yourself in front of judges and go for a big opportunity. I am so excited to represent the community in the next year.”

As the face of the event, Heiser will also meet with Gov. Jared Polis and state lawmakers to present them with gifts from the state’s Sweetheart City.

Heiser was chosen out of 10 nominees during the competition, which took place at an annual luncheon Nov. 17 at the Rialto Theater in downtown Loveland. The event was hosted by the Thompson Valley Rotary Club and the Loveland Chamber of Commerce.

Along with Heiser, the following young ladies from the city’s high schools participated in the competition:

Addyson Lyon

Bailey Bianco

Brooklyn Ewert

Chloe Rojas

Mary Liakas

Molly Westbrooke

Pearl Erekson

Peyton Rechkemmer

Taryn Thompson

Upon the announcement, Miss Loveland Valentine 2022 Olivia Friske presented Heiser with a special necklace and official sash.

Her parents, Julie and Scott Heiser, said they were both incredibly proud of their daughter.

“We are excited for her to represent Loveland,” Julie Heiser said.

Ellie Heiser, a senior at Loveland High School, attends the ceremony unveiling the 2023 Loveland Re-mailing Program custom cachet and cancellation stamps and Valentine’s Day card. (Tamara Markard/Staff Reporter)

As part of the competition, all of the candidates had to attend an information seminar detailing the ins and outs of the Miss Valentine position as well as submit a written essay on “Loveland, my community” and go through an interview process by the panel of judges.

Candidates also had to prepare a public speech based on their written essay and present it to a small group at the luncheon.

“It was a really competitive group this year and deciding on a winner was tough,” said Bill Becker, director of Advocacy for the Loveland Chamber of Commerce.  “But Ellie is a great choice; she is a special young lady.”

The 2023 Loveland Sweetheart Festival is scheduled to take place Friday, Feb. 10 through Saturday, Feb. 11 in downtown Loveland. (Tamara Markard/Staff Reporter)

After graduating from high school, Heiser has her eye set on going to college to pursue a career in the medical field.

“I love helping others and being part of the community,” Heiser said. “I am on student council and that is where I get all of it from. Last year I got to help raise money for a kid who had a critical illness. I love to be able to help the community, be involved and help others.”

To learn more about Heiser’s upcoming appearances and events, as well as how to nominate a candidate for the 2024 Miss Loveland Valentine Program, go to .

— Loveland Reporter-Herald reporter Austin Fleskes contributed to this story.

This article was originally published in Greeley Tribune