Downtown Vernon Association is putting on the ultimate scavenger hunt, Gold Rush, during the 61st annual Vernon Winter Carnival Feb. 5-14, 2021. (DVA - Facebook)

Downtown Vernon Association is putting on the ultimate scavenger hunt, Gold Rush, during the 61st annual Vernon Winter Carnival Feb. 5-14, 2021. (DVA - Facebook)

Gold nugget up for grabs in Downtown Vernon’s scavenger hunt

DVA gets creative amid pandemic Vernon Winter Carnival planning

The 61st annual Vernon Winter Carnival is only days away and tickets are already up for grabs to participate in Downtown Vernon Association’s (DVA) Gold Rush and one lucky winner could score a real golden nugget.

This scavenger hunt will have social bubbles exploring the city in a new — and safe — way, DVA marketing coordinator Peter Kaz said.

“A lot of people are going to learn a lot about downtown Vernon and Vernon in general,” said Kaz.

The first ticket, available now at the Winter Carnival office for $10, provides the first clue. Then, starting Friday, Feb. 5, the entire clue package with the remaining questions will be available for pickup.

“Each clue will take you somewhere within the 48-block radius of downtown,” Kaz said.

Cohorts will have until Feb. 17th at 6 p.m. to submit their completed clue cards, by email, for a chance to win great prizes.

“We’ve got 20 sponsors that have been incredible,” Kaz said, noting prizes include cases of wine from Correales’ Wine Cellar, goodies from Sweet Hoopla and Teassential, crock pots and gift baskets and even a golden nugget from Gold’N Time Jewellery.

Several of Vernon’s popular retail outlets and restaurants are also throwing their support behind the COVID-safe event in support of the North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society.

Sponsors include Station BBQ, the Kal, Expressions of Time, Vernon Teach and Learn, Lyon’s Den Hair Design, Little Plum, the Fig and Ratio Coffee and Pastry, Starting Block, Pharmasave, Tidal Elements, Sauve Boutique, Cento Wear, Wedge Cheesery and Harris Flowers Simply Baskets.

COVID bubbles out exploring Vernon can then top off the day at one of four participants of the 12th annual Chili Cook Off.

“It’s going to look a little different,” Kaz said. “We can’t have gatherings, so we decided to allow the participating restaurants to put chili on the regular menu during carnival.”

This way, when people visit Ratio, Kal, Station BBQ or Marten Brewing Co., between Feb. 5-14, they will be able to try to the special item on their own time, preventing the possibility of gatherings.

Chili lovers will be given a special ballot that they can bring with them to the other restaurants. They can then cast their votes for Team Spirit and People’s Choice awards.

The eateries are vying for four top prizes — the golden spoon, people’s choice, judge’s choice and team spirit.

Plus, the winner will have bragging rights.

For more information on these and all other events during the Vernon Winter Carnival, visit

READ MORE: Vernon Winter Carnival saddles up for wild west event

READ MORE: No indications of community spread after COVID-19 variant detected in Interior: IH


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