Love Lock Wall Entices Couples to Waxahachie
The Academy-award winning Places in the Heart, starring Sally Field, was filmed in historic Waxahachie in 1984. Movie directors are drawn to the areas scenery and to date more than 60 feature-length movies have filmed there.
Playing off their connection to Places in the Heart, in 2016, the town adopted the slogan “Waxahachie: A Place in Your Heart, Texas,” a move that landed them an award from Texas Downtown Association for Best Marketing Campaign and a People’s Choice Award.
“The tagline not only pays tribute to our film history, but also tugs at the heartstrings of [people] by showcasing current progress and illustrates a growing community that has retained its warmth and charm,” says Amy Borders, Director of Communications and Marketing for City of Waxahachie.
With the “love” theme still in force, recently the city added a new attraction in the downtown area. They had a 100-year old crumbling brick retaining wall that needed attention. Instead of tearing it down, they came up with a fun and aesthetically pleasing idea — make it into a “Love Lock Wall.”
“We wanted something to celebrate new love, and old love,” says Anita Brown, Director of Downtown Development.
Using the space where the old brick wall stood, they reconstructed a concrete base and painted it terra cotta brown. Above the base are four sections each 16-feet long of black metal fence where visitors hang their love locks.
The Waxahachie Love Lock Wall allows visitors to express their love for each other with a symbolic heart-shaped lock that they can purchase at the Ellis County Museum across the street, or they can bring their own. Many like to have them custom engraved.
Mayor Kevin Strength and his wife Jean were among the first to place their love locks on the wall last fall. Since then locks are slowly taking over the fences. Visitors are encouraged to take pictures of their locks and use #HachieHeart on social media to share the love.
More “Places in Your Heart, Texas” items are found across historic downtown Waxahachie including 10 five-foot-tall fiberglass hearts. The hearts are each uniquely hand-painted and designed by local artists.
“The hearts create a delightful photo backdrop, and even more social media opportunities for visitors,” says Borders.
Visitors who get their locks from the Ellis County Museum can get them engraved by nearby All Sports Trophies or some couples buy the red hearts at the museum and take them to their own engravers, then return for a weekend getaway to place the locks on the fence and enjoy the sites and sounds of Waxahachie.
Some visitors even lock away letters, small gifts, or place something inside to commemorate a deceased loved one or other special person in their life.
The Love Lock Wall is a special space for love in the city that’s called, a “Place in Your Heart, Texas.”
The custom heart-shaped locks are sold for $10 at the museum located at 201 South College Street in historic downtown Waxahachie. The museum hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday. Admission to the museum is free but donations are welcome. For more information on the museum call (972) 937-0681 and to plan a visit go to www.waxahachiecvb.com.