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Organization hosting scavenger hunts to help support downtown businesses

Ten artists are tasked with the opportunity to each create 15 ornaments and hide them around local businesses in across downtown.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Greater Des Moines Partnership is hosting a ten-day Christmas ornament scavenger hunt called Downtown DSM Hide and Seek Ornaments You Keep. It's their way of trying to attract more people downtown to support local businesses. 

The scavenger hunt started on Dec. 14 and ends Dec. 23. 

Ten artists are tasked with create 15 unique ornaments each and hiding them around local businesses across downtown Des Moines. 

Each day of the event, a different artist puts their ornaments up.

Colleen Murphy, director of events for The Greater Des Moines Partnership, said they chose a scavenger hunt because they wanted residents to have fun. 

"It's a way we can safely engage the community and bring a little holiday spirit and joy into downtown Des Moines this year," Murphy said. 

To find where the artists are hiding the holiday decorations, clues are being posted on the Downtown Des Moines - DSM Facebook page, or follow the hashtags dsmlocal and downtownDSM on Instagram and Twitter. 

But Murphy said you have to be quick in finding them because they have been going quickly. 

She also mentioned that after people are done searching for the trinkets, organizers do not want people to head home. They want them to shop small and support local businesses. 

"This year has been challenging for local businesses," Murphy said. " We want to keep our economy strong and support our businesses that are working here."

Murphy noted that since the scavenger hunt began, she's heard from a business owner who said the hunt has brought in some extra customers. 

Alex Braidwood, one of the artists creating ornaments, said knowing creative people like him are having a positive impact on businesses is amazing. 

Braidwood also noted that when designing his ornaments, he wanted to send people who found them a message.

So, he recorded phrases like stay positive and 3-D printed what their waveforms looked like. Then he attached it to pieces of wood, which had fallen down during this year's Derecho. 

 "The main thing we're facing right now as we look to the future is trying to acknowledge how we get through this," Braidwood said. "Still remain positive and look at all the ways we can connect with each other." 

Braidwood said he would be putting up his ornaments Tuesday morning. 

Here is a list of all of the artists and dates they put their ornaments downtown. 

  • Molly Spain — Monday, Dec. 14
  • Katelyn McBurney — Tuesday, Dec. 15
  • Benjamin Gardner — Wednesday, Dec. 16
  • Nicole James — Thursday, Dec. 17
  • Emily Newman and Edward Kelley — Friday, Dec. 18
  • Rachel Buse — Saturday, Dec. 19
  • Cat Rocketship — Sunday, Dec. 20
  • Jennifer Leatherby — Monday, Dec. 21
  • Alex Braidwood — Tuesday, Dec. 22
  • Molly Spain — Wednesday, Dec. 23

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