Explore Ardmore

Drew Butler

The Ardmore Tourism Authority is encouraging everyone to get out and find a few of the hidden gems scattered throughout the community with their photo scavenger hunt. Those participating in the contest will need to visit 16 different locations and landmarks throughout the area and post a photo of themself next to the specific item or building to Facebook using the hashtag #ArdmoreHiddenGems.

The full list of locations can be found at www.exploreardmore.com. It includes specific landmarks such as the Mercy Train and the Bigfoot statue at Arbuckle Mountain Fried pies. However participants will have some options that allow them to pick the spot such as a public fountain and a National Register of Historic Places site. Four public sites are located within the City of Ardmore and four other locations can be found in other parts of Carter County.

Chief Operations Officer Marthanna Donald said the goal of the contest is to provide the community with a fun activity where social distance can be maintained as well as learn a bit about the area.

“The goal of the scavenger hunt was multifaceted,” Donald said. “So many people have been cooped up inside their homes and getting a little cabin fever. So this will give both adults and children the opportunity to get outside, learn some new things about the history of Ardmore, and learn about some new places that they maybe hadn’t heard of before.”

Donald said the contest will run through the end of the day on Sunday. Those who post all 16 of the images required for the contest will be placed into a drawing to win a gift card from a local merchant. The contest will have multiple winners, and the winners will be drawn on Monday.

President Mita Bates said the contest will also help with area tourism which has been significantly disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We want to give people the opportunity to safely experience places throughout Ardmore and Southern Oklahoma, and this is a safe way to do that,” Bates said. “Parents can even turn this into an educational moment for those students who are at home right now. We hope they’ll get out there, enjoy themselves, and learn a little more about our community safely. And perhaps while they’re out they can pick up some to-go food from one of our local restaurants or see something in a shop window and be encouraged to get online and support some of our local retailers.”