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Take on the Elmira Christmas Quest

With not much to do right now and so many restrictions in place for the upcoming holidays, two local residents have come up with a fun activity in which families can take part. DJ Carroll and Lori Burmaster Zenker are no strangers to putting on fun activities and exciting displays within the community – Carroll with his dinosaur display and Zenker with Quarantine Quest.

Now, they have come together to bring the Elmira Christmas Quest to town, giving families a safe activity to do over the next few weeks.

Their inspiration for the event was COVID-19 and everything that’s been put in place as schools were ready to take a break and families started to spend time together at home.

Zenker says the whole quest takes a little knowledge of Elmira to play, but it is only about 30 minutes and gives participants a fun way to explore their community.

“It’s probably about a half an hour little drive around town, they start out with the first clue… and then they go from clue to clue. Following kind of the story of the Night Before Christmas. And then each clue will lead them to the next section and then at each place where they find the next clue, I have a little activity they have to do like maybe build a snowman, or sing a song, or something like that. So, you have to [have] a kind of a basic knowledge of Elmira to play it, but I think they should be able to figure that out,” said Zenker.

The unofficial end date to the hunt is December 28, but Zenker says it can really run until the clues are taken down.

So far, Carroll says he has seen a few people finish the quest already, and they have both heard a lot of great community response from people who are ready to participate.

While this hunt has just kicked off, Zenker says she is already considering creating another hunt to do during the winter.

“I would like to do another one after this one’s done, like do another one in the middle of the winter when everybody’s bored. If we go into lockdown maybe we’ll do something like that – it’s fun. I personally love scavenger hunts and I love making them really detailed and stuff so I think there’s a lot more we could do.”

Carroll and Zenker – along with their families – ask participants to pay it forward and if they like the event, consider donating to a local foodbank, charity or doing something kind for someone else.

The first clue to the quest is: ‘Twas the days before Christmas and all through Elmira,

Not a creature was stirring, not even a gorilla!

(Rearrange the letters in “ELMIRA” to find a street name in town. Go to that street and find the Giant Gorilla.)

(Actually a baboon but his nickname is Gorilla!!.)

Carroll says that both he and Zenker are asking all participants to adhere to safety protocols put out by public health and to respect the properties of businesses and residents as they go on the hunt for clues.

For more information, visit their Facebook page.

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