Couples place locks on the new sculpture near the Augusta Canal headgates. Photo by Charmain Z. Brackett
Couples place locks on the new sculpture near the Augusta Canal headgates. Photo by Charmain Z. Brackett

Chocolates and flowers? Lock your love instead

 Who needs heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and flowers this year?

Shelly Blackburn and the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau have another option Feb. 11 — buy a love lock and throw away the key.

The Savannah Rapids Love Locks Sculpture. Photo by Charmain Z. Brackett

“We’re going to have an engraver on site at the visitors center,” said Blackburn, of a special event designed to highlight the new Savannah Rapids Love Locks sculpture near the Augusta Canal Headgates in Columbia County.

For about a decade, people have been putting locks on the bridge, but a sculpture was designed and set in place last fall to continue the tradition in a way that doesn’t add any more weight to the bridge.

The sculpture has a practical purpose as well as fitting the aesthetic of the park, she said.

“It’s such a romantic place on its own,” she said.

Love locks at the Augusta Canal headgates. A new sculpture will alleviate some of the weight put on the aging structure. Photo by Charmain Z. Brackett

There wasn’t a lot of fanfare when the sculpture was installed, so this will serve as a way to highlight it as well as create a lifelong memory.

The engraver will be on site from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Couples can bring their own locks for engraving or they can purchase heart-shaped locks in advance to place on that structure that day. The locks come in four different colors – light pink, rose pink, red and purple. The cost is $10 if people have their own lock and $20 if they purchase a lock for engraving.

In December, Brides Magazine updated a previous article on the tradition of Love Locks, tracing the concept to a sad tale of World War I-era Serbia. Nada and Relja were a couple who were separated by the war. Nada reportedly died of a broken heart after Relja fell in love with another woman. After hearing the story, the women of the Serbian village they lived in began inscribing their names as well as the names of their significant others and placing them on the bridge where the couple once met.

The story was continued in the 2006 Italian novel Ho Voglia di Te (I Want You) by Federico Moccia. A couple adds a lock to Rome’s Ponte Milvio Bridge as a declaration of their “unbreakable” love.

MORE: Siblings share dream in 25th anniversary production of Riverdance

The article lists 20 love lock bridges around the world. The local bridge comes in at 15 joining international locations such I Punda Love Heart in Willemstad, Curacao; Pont Des Art in Paris; Makartsteg Bridge, Salzburg, Austria, and the bridge that reportedly started the trend Most Ljubavi, Vrnjačka Banja, Serbia.

Blackburn said there are no plans to remove any of the locks that have already been placed on the bridge.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at Subsribe to the newsletter here.

Support Local Journalism

Local stories on local people, organizations and events. That's the focus of Augusta Good News, a member of the Georgia Press Association. And you don't have to go through a paywall to find these stories. An independent voice in Augusta, Ga., Augusta Good News is not funded by a billionaire or a large corporation; it doesn't have celebrity reporters who have agents. It's local people who are invested in the community and want to tell its stories. You can support local journalism and help us expand our coverage by becoming a supporter. Through Ko-Fi, you can give once or set up a monthly gift.

Comments are closed.