The snowy sidewalks might be different in Cumberland this Valentine’s Day, but something else has become a mysterious Feb. 14 tradition.

“And they’re up every morning Valentine’s Day morning and they’re gone the next day,” said Angelina Banks.

Red Valentine’s Day hearts suddenly show up on the walls of businesses and on telephone poles, on doorways and windows. Everywhere you look up and down Dunsmuir Avenue, there are red hearts.

Some residents think they began showing up about 10 years ago, while others say it could go back as far as 20 years.

“There have to be hundreds,” said Annabelle Sproule. “It’s meant to spread the love among the citizens of Cumberland. I’m feeling the love.”

However, no one really knows who is behind all the love.

“I’m not quite sure. I don’t think anyone knows,” said Allen Lavallee.

“I’ve never seen anyone put them up,” added Banks. “They’re secret little fairies.”

But there was finally a new clue at The Grind on Thursday, one of the village’s busiest coffee shops.

“I saw people running around and taping them all over the walls,” said barista Emily Toovey. “It was kind of funny, they had big smiles on their faces.”

That was before daybreak. But there are still no names or descriptions, only the hearts and the inspirational messages written on each of them such as: “In dreams, we enter a world that is entirely our own” and “I love you a latte”, “You’re beautiful” and “Keep your head up.”

Dean Stoltz