Tourism groups design downtown Beaufort scavenger hunt

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Tourism groups design downtown Beaufort scavenger hunt

By ERIN MOODY
emoody@beaufortgazette.com
Published Sunday, April 22, 2012   |  429 Words  |  

Clue: Head north -- cut across,

Follow along the Spanish moss.

Look upward -- find a green cross,

My graveyard holds great loss.

People who figure out clues like this will find little surprises tucked into niches around downtown Beaufort as part of a scavenger hunt two area groups are organizing for the summer.

Small bronze dolphins about 6 inches long will be permanently affixed to various structures so participants can follow clues to find them.

Lowcountry & Resort Islands Tourism Commission executive director Jim Wescott was inspired by Greenville's Mice on Main scavenger hunt, where participants hunted for hidden mice figurines. He proposed his organization team up with Main Street Beaufort, USA, which bought the dolphins.

Sea turtles were originally considered for the hunt, he said, but dolphins have a long, prominent history in the area, including the story of Carolina Snowball, the white dolphin that guided ships to the docks in Beaufort for years.

Beaufort City Councilman Mike Sutton, who works in construction, volunteered to install the dolphins for free around town. The idea sounds fun and simple, he said, and the installation cost is minimal.

"Like the mice in Greenville, it just puts a smile on your face," Sutton said. "It's incredible."

About half of the proposed hiding places will be on city-owned property. Main Street Beaufort executive director LaNelle Fabian got the city to become a partner and allow the installation of the dolphins. S.C. Department of Transportation permission will be required if a dolphin is placed on the Richard V. Woods Memorial Bridge.

So far, the plan is to use about nine dolphins, but more could be added, Fabian said.

"We wanted to keep it enough that once you find the first three or so, you'll want to try to find the rest," she said.

The hiding places are being picked to encourage people to walk throughout downtown and visit various points of interest, she said.

The organizers hope to have the hunt ready by summer and will determine further details by then.

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeOnBeaufort.

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