PLAINVILLE - Teams dressed in St. Patrickâ€™s Day green will participate in scavenger hunts and challenges all throughout town on March 10, as part of the Wheeler Regional YMCAâ€™S 10th annual Oâ€™Mazing Race.
Participants will depart from the Plainville VFW at 8 Northwest Drive at 5 p.m. and until 7 p.m. they will travel throughout town, collecting items and taking pictures doing odd tasks in an effort to quickly rack up the most points.
They will then head back to the VFW for the award ceremony and an after-party with music by On the Loose and beer and wine donated by Crazy Bruceâ€™s of Bristol.
Mary Perlini, business manager at the Wheeler Regional YMCA, said 20 teams of four participated in last yearâ€™s event, including herself and her family. This year, they are hoping for at least 25 teams.
â€śWith 80 people last year we were able to raise $9,000, which helped us provide financial aid to 35 children so that they could sign-up for our summer camp,â€ť she said. â€śIt has been a very popular event and weâ€™re starting to see many of the same teams come back year after year. The Blarney Brunettes team won these past two years so the other teams will be hoping to knock them off their pedestal.â€ť
Perlini said that, in honor of the eventâ€™s tenth year, organizers are hoping to make it â€śeven more crazy, fun and uniqueâ€ť than ever. However, since she is participating, she wonâ€™t be able to see this yearâ€™s scavenger hunt list until the day of the event.
â€śSome of the challenges I remember from last year were that you had to convince someone to let you take a bite of their food in a restaurant,â€ť she said. â€śOur team ended up going to Subway and getting someone to give us a chip. There was also a challenge for shooting basketball hoops, one for slipping an item into someoneâ€™s shopping cart without them noticing and one where we had to take a picture with our team in a tree. The nice thing is that there is some leeway in interpretation. One challenge was to bring back a Christmas tree. Some teams brought back their full-sized artificial tree; others brought in a little toy.
â€śFor the take a picture in a tree challenge, our team lost so much time trying to find a good tree that wasnâ€™t covered with snow. Another team just went into the Childrenâ€™s Department here at the Y, where there was a play area shaped like a tree.â€ť
Perlini said that different point values are awarded to different challenges, with the harder and more embarrassing challenges being worth more,
â€śItâ€™s the most fun you can have without getting arrested,â€ť she said. â€śWe try to give a heads-up to any of the local businesses who might be involved.â€ť
Perlini said that the race has grown every year. Going forward, she said that she would like to see more community organizations participating. Last year, there was a Rotary Club team. She said that she would like to see a fire department or police department team.
Registration is $200 for each team of four. Participants must be 21 or older. Each team that signs up will receive an Oâ€™Mazing Race shirt but St. Patrickâ€™s Day costumes are also encouraged.
For more information, or to register, visit the Wheeler Regional YMCA at 149 Farmington Ave., call them at 860-793-9631 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.