Downtown scavenger hunt draws visitors to Port Huron city streets and businesses

Though they may not be your traditional window shoppers, the idea is to get more people on the streets of downtown Port Huron, peering into the shops and restaurants that were teeming with customers before the coronavirus hit.

For while they may not be welcoming customers in the same manner as they once did, many downtown businesses remain open, albeit under slightly different circumstances. Restaurants are still offering take-out and delivery services, small shops and retail are still selling their products online and by phone.

That’s why Port Huron’s Downtown Development Authority developed the Downtown Word Hunt, a sort of scavenger hunt meant to entice people back to the city streets, to remind them that the city is open for business, both now and after the coronavirus-related restrictions lift.

"Right around now, when people are uncertain about the future, it can be easy to resort to shopping at Amazon or some big box store. But now, more than ever, it’s important to support our small businesses when we can. These businesses are our neighbors’ livelihoods," says Cynthia Cutright, director of Port Huron’s DDA.

"I know we can come back strong after this but it will take the community to rise up in full force."

Fill out this form to enter the Downtown Photo HuntIt works like this.

The DDA has placed word placards in the windows of more than 50 downtown businesses. People then walk from business to business, collecting words and writing them in the Photo Hunt form. The words unscramble to form four different phrases.

People then send their answers to the Port Huron DDA each and every Friday, when the DDA will draw winners for prizes. Each phrase earns an entry.

There is no timeline for the contest. Cutright says that the Photo Hunt will run through Memorial Day weekend at least, and perhaps through June.

"This is to keep downtown at the top of people’s minds and to give them something to do instead of being stuck inside. It’s a family-friendly way to get people downtown," Cutright says.

"I’m hopeful that when we get back up and running, people will return to shopping downtown."

Visit Downtown Port Huron online for contest rules and materials.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

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