Valentine postmark contest celebrates 30 years of love in the Big Bend

This year’s winner of the Valentine postmark design contest, a 30-year tradition, is Valentine ISD 12th grader Meklya Siddiq, who was inspired by the West Texas landscape. Photo courtesy USPS.

VALENTINE — For over 30 years, the Valentine Post Office has offered customized postmarks for Valentine’s Day love notes which get sent all over the world. 

People from Texas, the U.S. and other countries have been sending valentines to the remote Valentine Post Office for decades. An average of 10,000 to 12,000 valentines are received annually. The Valentine postmaster, who is also the 2001 winner of the postmark design contest, hand-cancels every single one. 

“I feel like Cupid’s middle man, connecting valentines, one with the other, through the mail,” said Postmaster Ismelda Ornelas.

A new postmark design is selected every year from a contest held among local 7th-12th grade students. This year’s aspiring artist and contest winner is 12th grader Meklya Siddiq, who was inspired by the West Texas landscape. The design depicts a Texas Sotol, similar to the one outside of the Valentine Post Office, adorned with heart blooms.  

To complete a mail-in request, address the greeting card to that special person, affix a First-Class Mail postage stamp and put it into a larger envelope, also with appropriate postage. Address the larger envelope to:

VALENTINE’S DAY POSTMARK — POSTMASTER

311 W CALIFORNIA AVE

VALENTINE, TX 79854-9998

The postmaster will hand-stamp valentines from February 1 up until March 14. But to ensure your valentine will arrive by February 14, the earlier the better. There is no charge for requests up to 50 Valentine, Texas cancellations. Requests for more than 50 cancellations will be charged five cents for each additional cancellation.