A local organization hopes to attract more people to Downtown St. Joseph with an Instagram scavenger hunt.

“We saw an opportunity to utilize social media and get people Downtown,” Dana Massin, a business owner and Downtown First member, said.

Through the evening of Sunday, April 21, teams of up to five people can complete photo prompts and post them to Instagram using the hashtag #lookdowntownfirst. Tasks include photographing “something historic,” “the funkiest piece of clothing or accessory you can find” and “something tasty to eat.” Extra points are given for creativity.

“You can go around and identify what you think are the most attractive aspects of Downtown,” Massin said. “You’re incentivized to earn points by going into businesses and finding those things. And you’re also incentivized to find unique items. So you get an extra point if you photograph something that no one else has photographed.”

The team with the most points can win a tote bag filled with merchandise from Downtown businesses for each team member. Massin hopes the event will showcase some of the changes Downtown has gone through in the recent past.

“We hear all the time as business owners, ‘Wow, I didn’t know this was down here. There’s so much that’s changed.’ So every opportunity we have to get a new audience down here and show them all the wonderful things that are happening Downtown,” she said.

The first day of the scavenger hunt coincided with Third Thursdays, a monthly event during which students at Missouri Western State University receive specials and discounts at participating Downtown businesses.

“We are hoping that the Instagram scavenger hunt sort of captures a newer demographic and an audience that maybe has been exposed to Downtown but hasn’t spent a lot of time looking around down here,” Massin said.

For more information, visit downtownfirst.org. No sign-up is required to participate in the Instagram scavenger hunt.

Jessica Kopp can be reached

at jessica.kopp@newspressnow.com or you can follow her on Twitter: @NPNOWKopp

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