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Unique Effort Courts Locals, Visitors to Show Love for Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- If you have love for the Queen City of the Ozarks, Springfield's Convention and Visitors Bureau -- in partnership with a local business -- dreamt up a one-of-a-kind way for you to share it with the community and world around.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- If you have love for the Queen City of the Ozarks, Springfield's Convention and Visitors Bureau -- in partnership with a local business -- dreamt up a one-of-a-kind way for you to share it with the community and world around.

The Love Springfield online movement could come in handy over the July 4th holiday weekend especially, as Springfieldians enjoy fireworks events, cookouts and other outdoor activities they'll want to capture, share and remember.

"They are real stories of real life events that people are experiencing here," Sean Dixon of the visitors bureau said. "There are thousands of stories told and thousands more waiting to be told."

Dixon came up with the idea for Love Springfield, or #lovespringfield as it's known across social media, last year and said he's already seen a healthy response since it first launched a couple of months ago. The visitors bureau curates the stories behind photos shared on social media, asking users to send in a few paragraphs that chronicle their favorite moments in the city.

"It's a little bit outside the scope of what the bureau does and traditionally has done and can fund," Dixon said. "So this whole project is completely organic. I haven't had any money to spend on it."

Related Link: Love Springfield website

The owners of downtown shop Swagbot -- known to display their affection for all-things Springfield on T-Shirts -- have fallen in love with the idea. Shawn and Juli Matthews dedicated a window of their Walnut Street storefront to show it off.

"I love Springfield because we have our own culture, our own unique identity," Shawn Matthews said.

The people behind the project said it's an ever-growing mosaic of what makes Springfield great, to be shared by all.

"I think that's the cool thing after all about Love Springfield is there's all these people who have these very unique stories (to share)," Matthews said.

Dixon described one of his favorite submissions so far: a father's story about a visit with his son to Jordan Valley Park's stream.

"He said he had fallen down and hit his head and had stitches and wasn't allowed to play in the water. So you don't just see a boy looking at water, you see a boy wishing he could get in the water," Dixon said.  

Dixon and Matthews said they hope other business owners, residents and visitors alike will join in and show Springfield love for years to come.

Visit LoveSpringfield.co to see what has been shared so far. Check out Love Springfield's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share your own photos.

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