By Anna Skinner
It began a few years ago on Valentine’s Day, when Stephanie Marshall, event planner and merchant liaison for the City of Carmel, thought it would be neat to implement a scavenger hunt into the Second Saturday Gallery Walk through downtown Carmel.
She’s done it every month since.
“If there’s a couple talking about what they want to do on a Saturday night, and one says, ‘let’s go to the gallery walk,’ but the other says ‘oh, we did that last month,’ I want to make it new each month,” she said. “I like new things and new ideas, so it’s always fresh and they want to come back.”
Scavenger hunt keys are available at Artsplash Gallery, 111 W. Main St., and one side of the key yields assorted photo while the opposite side yields addresses.
“(There is) merchandise or a painting they find in a gallery or business on one side, and the opposite side of the sheet has addresses. They match up pictures with the address so they get to know the businesses in the district,” Marshall said. “Once they complete the sheet, they come back to the original spot and everyone always gets a prize.”
Marshall gives out small prizes to everyone, such as charms for a charm bracelet or popcorn. But specific keys are marked, and seven to eight scavenger hunt participants earn a larger prize, such as Darren’s Ballroom dance lessons, artwork, Carmel Symphony tickets or tickets to the Monon waterpark during the summer.
“It really varies with weather, obviously when it’s beautiful out and not raining … maybe 200 people do the scavenger hunt, but in January, maybe 50. It’s very weather dependent,” she said. “It’s really fun, I’ve been surprised. Many families do it, we have couples on their first blind date, we have anniversaries, all sorts of stuff. It’s been fun because it’s all ages.”
The next gallery walk is 5 to 9 p.m. Aug. 13. For more, visit carmelartsanddesign.com.