This year, for the first time, the Chamber was the organizer of the
Small Business Saturday in Lincoln and partnered with Main Street
Lincoln to host the event. For a first-time effort, the event went
very well. There were a couple of small snafu’s, but nothing that
truly hindered shoppers from enjoying the day and reaping the reward
of approximately $700 worth of gift cards given during and after the
A Small Business Saturday headquarters was set up in front of the
O’Donohue building on North Kickapoo. At the beginning of the day, a
ribbon cut was held at the headquarters and refreshments of
Mel-O-Cream pastries and sweets, bottled water, and cider from
Kroger were offered to guests.
The rules of the scavenger hunt were explained, and shoppers set off
to find not just the best bargains of the day, but also the hidden
watermelons that would yield a number of gift cards.
Ten local stores took part in the event. At each participating
retailer, there was a poster on the front door assigning a task to
be completed inside that store. Once the task was completed,
shoppers were given a clue card that would send them to the next
participating store. At that stop, shoppers could look for a special
slice of watermelon. If found, the melon could be turned into the
store clerk for the possibility of winning a gift card.
Each participating retailer had two cards to give away. But, the
winning didn’t stop there.
If shoppers made their way to all 10 stores, and collected their
clues, they were then permitted to enter the large drawing held at
the small business headquarter at 2 p.m.
During the day, volunteers manned the headquarters urging passersby
to participate in the scavenger hunt and inviting everyone to enjoy
Other volunteers gathered up bags of goodies being given away at the
headquarters and took to the streets. As they met shoppers along the
way, the volunteers encouraged them to participate in the scavenger
The end result -- at 2 p.m. approximately 25 shoppers returned to
the headquarters with all 10 clues and gained a chance to win the
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As the drawing time approached, Nicole Cox of the Chamber asked
shoppers to comment on the day’s event. All agreed that they enjoyed
the scavenger hunt, but many said they wished more of the downtown
businesses had participated.
Cox said that this year’s event was the starting point, the trial
run if you will, to see if the scavenger hunt would generate more
interest in the local event. She felt good about how it all worked
out this year, and believes that next year, it will grow.
When the clock at the Logan County Courthouse sounded out that it
was 2 p.m., Cox conducted the drawing for $200 worth of gift cards
from local merchants. The entire collection went to one lucky
winner, Amanda Jones of Lincoln. Amanda is a senior at Lincoln
Community High School. She had obviously visited all ten stores and
said that of the ten watermelon slices she had located three.
The prize package for the final drawing included $25 from Mary
Todd’s Hallmark, $25 from Serendipity Stitches, $25 from MKS
Jewelers, $30 from New Beginnings Thrift Shop, $10 from Beans &
Such, $20 from By the Bean and $75 in pre-paid American Express
The downtown businesses that participated this year were Beans &
Such, By the Bean, Lloyd & Luna’s Unique Boutique, Mary Todd’s
Hallmark, Michael Gowin Photography, MKS Jewelry, New Beginnings,
Prairie Years, and Serendipity Stitches.