Contest gives you $500 reason to explore city

August 03, 2003|by JAKE WORMER

We asked for two things last week in Lifestyle - read The Herald-Mail and get out to really see Hagerstown.

For the seventh annual landmarks contest, we raised the stakes. Contestants needed to check out six newspapers for all the clues. In return, the winner will receive $500, up from $100 in 2002.

We published photographic clues from buildings and structures throughout Hagerstown. All clues are visible from the street.

They are not historic landmarks, but they are relatively distinct parts of the downtown area. All 10 clues can be spotted within three blocks north, south, east or west of Hagers-town's Public Square.

Five clues appeared last Sunday in the Lifestyle section of the newspaper. Five more clues were published on section fronts - one per day Monday through Friday.


Participants simply need to identify the images and fill in the name of the building or structure and its location on the numbered entry blank, which appeared in Friday's newspaper.

The person who identifies all 10 pictures correctly will win $500, unless others also have a perfect score. If that happens, the winner's name will be drawn randomly from those who qualify.

If no one identifies all the photos correctly, the person with the most correct answers will win, so don't be discouraged if you cannot find them all. And, again, if there's a tie, one name will be drawn randomly from the names of those who qualify.

The deadline for entries is noon Monday, Aug. 11. The winner's name and photograph, along with the correct answers, will be published Sunday, Aug. 17.

Procrastination is not encouraged. One intrepid family already made its effort by Friday morning, only a few hours after the final clue became available. One member expressed his belief that the contest should be first-come, first-served - naturally, since his crew was the first to show up at The Herald-Mail offices.

When I marveled at their speed and ability to get a tough one, they said it's easy when you walk around downtown.

Maybe we'll have to make the clues tougher to find next year.

Until then, this is a chance to inspect downtown with family or a friend - or alone, so you don't have to share any winnings. There's architecture to admire, construction to ponder and people to meet.

Within those 36 square blocks around Public Square, there are places to eat, a library to enjoy and history to see. If you're like me, you take these things for granted on the average day.

When you hunt for the details, such as a piece of ironwork, you're bound to see something you never noticed before. Maybe the trek or the clues will raise questions: "Well, that's an odd place for a blue cross. What's the story behind that?"

It could be worth knowing. Just knowing where to find the blue cross pictured in one of our clues is worth a lot.

I already know the answers, but I think I'll go for a walk just for the sights.

Jake Womer is Lifestyle editor at The Herald-Mail. You can reach him at 301-733-5131, extension 2340, or by e-mail at

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