Archive for Thursday, November 30, 2006

Scavenger hunt new to holiday slate

November 30, 2006

Interested in reading clues, finding an item and taking a photo of it for money?

If so, the Baldwin City Recreation Commission's scavenger hunt is just the event you are looking for. It will begin at 6 p.m. Sunday, same night as the annual Light Parade that runs through downtown Baldwin.

BCRC Director Monte Ezell said the parade won't feature anything new, but the evening will have a new addition.

"I don't think there is anything new to the parade," Ezell said. "I think more than anything what is probably new this year is the scavenger hunt that we will kick off that night."

The scavenger hunt was added this year in an attempt to draw more attention to downtown businesses.

"We started talking about getting everyone downtown to decorate," said Katie Skinner, president of Friends of BCRC. "We discussed giving out prizes to the business, but we thought we would rather increase traffic for businesses. So, we thought of the scavenger hunt idea and the money would go to the people who shop at the businesses."

Each business that participates will select one item in the store that is unique. That will be the item that the hunters must find and take a picture of, before moving on to the next place.

The recreation commission will have the scavenger hunt kits available to purchase Sunday. After it's over, the participants will turn it back in for the BCRC to collect the results.

"It's a photo scavenger hunt," Ezell said. "We will be selling tool kits for the scavenger hunt. Those include a camera, map and clues. People that get a percentage, that we are still trying to decide on, will turn their cameras in to get their film developed.

"Those that actually get it done, according to the rules, will get their name put in a hopper," Ezell said. "Then, we will draw names for some fairly large monetary prizes."

There are three levels of prizes for the hunt. The first level will require a minimum of 10 clues found. Each participant that reaches that level will have his or her name in the drawing for a $200 prize.

The second level requires at least 14 clues and will have a drawing for $300. The grand prize of $500 will require a participant to find all of the clues and take pictures of them.

The tool kits cost $5 and anyone can enter the contest, but they must purchase the tool kit. The tool kits will be available for sale Sunday evening.

"We will sell tool kits at the Christmas tree lighting Sunday night or they can wait until Monday morning to pick them up."

Even though the hunt starts Sunday, Skinner and Ezell don't believe the event will pick up until the next day.

"We really don't expect this thing to kick off until the next day," Skinner said. "Sunday night, many of those businesses aren't going to be open."

As of Tuesday, there were 19 businesses participating in the scavenger hunt, but that number might change.

"There are 19 businesses involved, but there could be more by Saturday," Skinner said. "I am leaving it wide open. It's 19 now, which is really impressive."

Skinner also said people can enter the hunt for various reasons, whether that be for a family event or students needing a break from studying.

"It's amazing because we came up with the idea to get decorations up," Skinner said. "Then the more we got into it, the more excited we got that the town was going to look neat and that people are going to have to visit with each other more. People out of town can come up and make a family day out of it. It runs for two weeks, so you can do it whenever you want."

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