There's a reason why downtown businesses hope shoppers spend a "Weekend of Local" this Friday and Saturday, Main Street promoters say.

"Because they're us," said Main Street Muskogee Secretary Melony Carey. "They're in our town and owned by our friends and neighbors."

Main Street Muskogee will host a Scavenger Hunt through downtown Muskogee Friday and Saturday to encourage people to shop locally owned businesses.

"People can pick up the Scavenger Hunt cards at local downtown businesses," Carey said. "All they have to do to participate is visit seven of the localities listed on the card and get it signed by the proprietor of the shop or restaurant. Write their name and phone number on the back and turn it in at their last stop.”

Completed lists go into a drawing for a gift basket with locally-sourced products, she said.

Carey said there about 21 places to visit. They include Muskogee Farmers Market on Saturday and Blue Rabbit Pottery and Art Studio, a new business at 508 S. Third St.

"Some places, they're going to have to put a check mark on, because one is Depot Green," she said. "Or take a picture by a mural. Others require visiting a store, but no purchases are necessary.”

The Roxy Theater will present a performance at 5:30 p.m. Friday of students who participated in its Camp Roxy, Carey said.

The hunt is part of a statewide Weekend of Local campaign "aimed at helping the locally owned businesses that have been hit hard by COVID-19 over the past 18 months," Carey said. "They lost a lot of their business due to the pandemic. We're just showing support and getting back out there and helping."

Harmony House owner Mandy Scott said she hopes Friday and Saturday will be good days for the restaurant and bakery.

"I'm hoping our economy will beef up because of this and our locals will come in and eat lunch here, spend their money here instead of always going out of town or to a chain restaurant," Scott said. "As a small town, small businesses are the ones struggling right now."

She said she plans to offer discounts on some items Friday and Saturday.

Chelsey Jones, owner of Pinon Creek Trading Co., said the scavenger hunt could help shoppers discover new stores.

“It exposes customers who may not have ever been in here before,” Jones said. “They may not have ever had the opportunity to come in here before.”

She said the women's clothing store will be open regular hours on Friday and Saturday.

Carey said the state Weekend of Local website has a GPS locator for all the stores participating in the campaign.

"If you are traveling, you can stop by those participating businesses," Carey said.

Weekend of Local website also lists Tiger's Den in Fort Gibson, plus nine businesses in Tahlequah, as participants. Tahlequah businesses are Beautiquey, Junie's Closet, Kimberly's Boutique, Rafa's Burrito Co., Snack-N-Thrift, Sweet Arts Bake House, Tahlequah Creates, The Windmill Boutique and Workman's.

Fort Gibson and Tahlequah are not part of the downtown Muskogee Scavenger Hunt.

What to do

WHAT: Weekend of Local Scavenger Hunt.

WHEN: Friday and Saturday.

HOW: Pick up a card at participating merchant. Get card signed by merchants.

WHERE: Hattie's House Vintage Market, Queen City + Co., Kristie's Scrub Shop, Broadway Market, The Festive Nest, Hoopes Hardware, Okie Outfitters, Pinon Creek, The Break, Mattie Jane's on Main, Station 1, Harmony House, Max's Garage, American Pie Wood Fired Pizza, Club Lunch International, Pisano's Pizza, Momma C's Soul Food (Friday only), Muskogee Brewing Co., Muskogee Farmers Market, Blue Rabbit Pottery and Art Studio.

INFORMATION:  https://www.weekendoflocal.com/ 

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