November 29, 2021

Tracking nutcracker clues

Scavenger hunt in Dryden tours village businesses

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Marcy Brandt, co-owner of Arnold’s Flower Shop in Dryden, adjusts a nutcracker hanging on to a bicycle handle Saturday. Nutcracker puppets were placed in the windows of various businesses and organizations that participated in Southworth Library’s nutcracker scavenger hunt.

DRYDEN — If you’ve traveled around Main and North streets in Dryden some time in the last two weeks, you’ve probably seen little red nutcrackers in some shop windows.

One was hanging from a bicycle handle and many stood by themselves.

It was not a coincidence. They were part of Southworth Library’s nutcracker scavenger hunt.

Participants could pick up a sheet with a list of clues for where to find the 12 nutcrackers at businesses and organizations in or near the village.

People who completed the hunt were entered into a raffle that included as prizes tickets to Crown City Cinemas in Cortlandville.

“People have enjoyed it,” said Jaclyn Smith, a library aide. “They’ve enjoyed having something to do.”

The scavenger hunt, which went from Dec. 5 to Saturday, was in place of a scavenger hunt, crafts and various other activities held at the library and the village during the first week of December, said Stephanie Ortolano, a library assistant. This year’s setup was to comply with social distancing guidelines.

As of Saturday, 19 scavenger hunt sheets had been returned, Smith said. Today is the last day to return the sheets.

Marcy Brandt, a co-owner of Arnold’s Flower Shop on West Main Street, said the hunt has brought some people into her store. While different than in years past, which she said included a breakfast with Santa at the Dryden Hotel, she appreciated that it was still available this year.

“It’s still getting people involved and realizing we have a downtown and we’re still here when this is all over,” she said.

Up the road on North Street, Shana Kars, the owner of The Second Knob, said the hunt brought a few people into her business.

“We’ve had one or two people come in and say, ‘I was looking at the nutcracker,’” she said.

Just as the scavenger hunt had to change with the pandemic this year, Kars said her business model has had to change too. She said that 90% of her sales have come through Facebook Live postings rather than walk-in purchases.

Kars said she hoped the scavenger hunt would help people new to Dryden become acclimated.

“I hope they’re getting a feel for the community,” she said.