Now in its fourth and final edition, the Black Birdhouse Hunt has grown from its humble beginnings.
Chris Emberley of Grand Bank told The Southern Gazette on July 24 that he came up with the idea while sitting on his deck before embarking on a walk on a local trail.
“About a month ago I was sitting on my deck, havin’ a Guinness before starting a hike on the Grand Bank Cape,” Emberley explained in a message on social media. “I starting thinking of ideas to have some fun with kids and their families.”
He added he had just acquired a small lawn ornament at an estate sale and thought it would be cool if he hid it somewhere along his hiking route and offered up a $10 gift certificate from Mid-Town Dairy, an ice cream parlor in the town owned by Cecil Follett and Sue Turpin.
But the ornament he had chosen was too big to fit into his backpack. So he looked around his basement for something else.
"I saw a black birdhouse that my best friend had given me ages ago. It fit in my backpack so off I went,” he explained.
Emberley took pictures of the birdhouse once it was hidden and uploaded pictures to Facebook as clues to its location, each day adding more until the item was found.
“A few days and a few photographic hints later, lots of families were hunting for it. Eventually, the prize was found and the group that found it told me how much they enjoyed the adventure,” said Emberley.
In fact, he received so many messages that a second and third hunt followed.
Emberley said he is now gearing up for the final hunt, which will be held during the week of the Grand Bank ‘Wicked on da Wharf’ Summer Festival.
“As soon as I posted out intentions for the finale hunt, everyone jumped on board,” he said. “Without asking for anything we have close to $1,500 in prizes to be awarded.”
Emberley said he is happy to see people taking part in this search and find exercise.
“I am pumped, the whole area is,” he said. “Families are spending time together outside and enjoying an activity together. I had no idea it would blow up like it has but without tooting my own horn, for some crazy reason, people seem to enjoy the ideas I have come up with over the years.”
Emberley said the hard part will be hiding the birdhouse without being spotted.
“A big prize draws lots of attention and I expect people from all over the Burin Peninsula and further will be taking part,” he said.
The Grand Bank ‘Wicked on da Wharf’ Summer Festival kicks off on Saturday, July 27, with a basketball tournament at John Burke High. That evening also features a performance by the Grand Bank Theatre Festival of “Baskerville.” Later in the evening there will be a dance at the Bait Depot with music by Strait Up.
For more event listings visit the “Wicked on da Wharf” Grand Bank Festival event page on Facebook.