Huntsville, AL, Jan. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Valentine’s Day means one thing for the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) – the return of the #iHeartHsv social media campaign. Celebrating its seventh year, Huntsville’s biggest “digital lovefest” once again offers visitors and locals alike the opportunity to share what they love most about Huntsville/Madison County. The CVB is asking social media users around the globe to name their Rocket City favorites – those attractions, dining, shopping and off-the-beaten path places and activities they hold dear – using the hashtag #iHeartHsv on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Coming off a banner year for the Rocket City, which included community-wide celebrations around the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and the Alabama bicentennial, as well as the addition of various entertainment and leisure developments, the #iHeartHsv social media campaign aims to expand on the global spotlight the area has received. Since its inception in 2014, hundreds of thousands of social media users have been reached through the campaign.

“The #iHeartHsv campaign has grown beyond just a social media campaign,” said Judy Ryals, President/CEO of the CVB. “It’s become a favorite annual event for our visitors and locals alike. Both those who live in Huntsville and those who have visited have such pride in the Rocket City, and they truly enjoy sharing what they know with others – that Huntsville is an incredible place to explore, visit, meet, learn, and beyond.”

Starting Saturday, February 1, and lasting through Friday, February 14, social media users who post photos using the hashtag #iHeartHsv in response to daily prompts could win big prizes during the two week campaign. The Huntsville/Madison County CVB will pick a winner each night at 8:00 p.m. CST, awarding the most outstanding responses with prizes from the Huntsville area.

How it works

Each day a different question will be posted on CVB social media channels for participants to respond to using the hashtag #iHeartHsv. Themes include favorite locally made products, attractions or outdoor activities, and much more. At the end of each day, at least one winner will be selected and awarded a prize. Over 150 prizes have been donated by the Huntsville/Madison County hospitality industry for the #iHeartHsv campaign. Prizes range from hotel stays to attraction passes, dining experiences and more. A full list of prizes can be found online at huntsville.org.

Winners will be selected by CVB team members based on use of the hashtag #iHeartHsv, relevance to the day’s theme as well as photos that are deemed to best display the individuality of beauty and culture of Huntsville/Madison County as a visitor destination and meeting site. For more information on how #iHeartHsv works, visit huntsville.org/iHeartHsv. 

New to #iHeartHsv in 2020

See Yourself in Huntsville 

The most significant addition to the campaign for 2020 comes from a play on words – in the year 2020, the CVB wants visitors to know that they don’t need “20/20 vision” to see themselves in Huntsville. Via strategically placed retro-style viewmasters at select Huntsville/Madison County hotels, attractions, and breweries, individuals can take their own peek at the many, varied things to see and do in Madison County. The viewmaster reels contain photos from real Rocket City visitors and locals – highlighting authentic experiences and providing inspiration for others to create their own Huntsville adventure.

How does it work?

Serving as the avenue for this year’s grand #iHeartHsv prize of $1,000, a #Huntsville2020 selfie contest will run concurrently throughout the campaign, inviting the public to take selfies with any of the viewmasters placed at participating venues. Viewmaster selfies posted to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with both the hashtags #Huntsville2020 and #iHeartHsv will count as an entry to win. Additional rules to enter can be found here.

Deadline and winner announcement

Entries for the contest will open at 8:00 a.m. CST on Saturday, February 1, and close at 8:00 p.m. CST on Friday, February 14. The winner will be contacted shortly thereafter and publicly announced via CVB social media channels by 11 a.m. CST on Saturday, February 15.

Insta Meetup at Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment – Instagram users, bloggers, photographers, and anyone interested in learning more about one of the premier arts facilities in the South are

invited to join the CVB for an ‘Insta Meetup’ at Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment. The meetup is free to attend and will take place Friday, February 7, at 5:30 p.m. Attendees will meet inside Lowe Mill by the Door 13 elevator and then depart for a guided tour.

Downtown Huntsville balloon installation – As a ‘grand finale’ of sorts, and to celebrate Valentine’s Day, a special balloon sculpture will be installed downtown at the Washington Park alleyway (on the Clinton Avenue side). The public is encouraged to take photos with the installation and share the love for Huntsville on social media.

Returning for 2020

#iHeartHsv tweet chat, January 31 – 4:00 p.m. CST - To officially launch the 2020 #iHeartHsv campaign, the Huntsville/Madison County CVB is inviting local and regional tourism influencers, the local hospitality industry partners, social media users and individuals who have an interest in Huntsville to participate in a tweet chat on Friday, January 31, from 4:00 p.m. to

4:30 p.m. CST to talk about Huntsville/Madison County favorites as well as what to expect during the 14 day campaign. For the latest updates on the #iHeartHsv tweet chat, visit the Facebook event page.

#iHeartHsv Valentines – Five, unique “Huntsville-centric” paper Valentines are back once again for sale in the Downtown Huntsville Visitor Center. The designs, which were created by local graphic artist Crisy Meschieri, feature various Huntsville points of interest including the Weeden House Museum & Garden, Big Spring International Park, the Cosmic Christ mural at First Baptist Church (or “Eggbeater Jesus” as it is often lovingly referred to), Ditto Landing, and of course, a rocket. The Valentines are sold individually for $2.00 or sets of all five for $8.00.

Instagram Takeover – Social media users are encouraged to follow along as NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) take over the CVB Instagram account (@VisitHuntsvilleAL) on Thursday, February 6. Followers can tune in for special, behind-the-scenes content from Marshall Space Flight Center, highlights around the MSFC 60th anniversary, and more.

#iHeartHsv Blogs #iHeartHsv bloggers will be sharing new posts on the CVB’s #iHeartHsv blog throughout the campaign. Topics range from attractions and special events to outdoor recreation, dining, craft beer, and beyond.

To learn more about this campaign, visit huntsville.org/iHeartHsv or contact Kristen Pepper, Huntsville/Madison County CVB Marketing Director at 256-551-2294 or kristen@huntsville.org.

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Attachments

Kristen Pepper
Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau
256-551-2294
kristen@huntsville.org