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UMPI, Wintergreen host Wild PI Goose Chase

It will be a fine feathered frenzy this summer when the University of Maine at Presque Isle and Wintergreen Arts Center present the Wild PI Goose Chase, bringing together the fun of a scavenger hunt with the thrill of the Amazing Race. This family-friendly event will be held on Saturday, July 27, from 9 a.m. to Noon; the start/finish line is at the soccer field at Riverside Park, and registration, next to the soccer field, begins at 8 a.m. All are encouraged to take advantage of the early bird rate of $25 for a team of up to four people and $40 for more than a four-person team, through June 30. Registration increases to $35/$50 starting July 1.

The Wild PI Goose Chase is designed to allow people of all ages and ability levels to explore the Star City, support local arts, and have fun while using mobile technology to complete a series of challenging missions. The event, which serves as a benefit for arts programming in Presque Isle, will feature three categories: walkers/runners, non-motorized wheels, and automobiles, and can be done solo or as a team. Prizes will be given to the top team or individual in each category.

“We’re so excited to be bringing this brand new event to the area, and to continue the tradition we established with our Color PI 5K of celebrating the arts and fundraising for local arts programming in a unique and fun way,” Rachel Rice, Wild PI Goose Chase event co-director with UMPI, said. “This is going to be a scavenger hunt like you’ve never experienced it before, and we can’t wait to bring families and friends together for a morning of adventure.”

The Wild PI Goose Chase uses the GooseChase smartphone app to take participants through a specially designed course with missions that need to be completed at specific stops along the way. Those missions could include “snapping evidence” by taking photos or videos, answering questions via text, or doing a GPS check-in. Teams receive points for each completed mission and those with the most points in each category win. Teams must stay together throughout the course and only one smartphone/device per team is allowed. Creativity and fun are highly encouraged, and bonus points will be awarded for things such as costumes and overt displays of fun and teamwork.

“We are really looking forward to seeing how creative the teams can be with their names, costumes, and mission completion tactics,” Kim Guerrette-Michaud, event co-director and chair of the Wintergreen Arts Center board, said. “It is going to be a fun day, and we want all participants to remember: It’s not whether you wing or lose, it’s how you play the game.”

Funding from this event will help to support all programming at Wintergreen Arts Center, including the After School Arts Program, as well as UMPI’s Empty Bowls benefit and Visiting Artist Program.

Participants and community members are invited to help spread the word and the excitement for the upcoming Wild PI Goose Chase by liking and sharing the event’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/wildPIgoosechase and by joining the conversation across social media platforms by using the tag #wildPIgoosechase.

The early bird registration fee is $25 for a team of up to 4, or $40 for more than a four-person team, through June 30. Registration increases to $35/$50 starting July 1. Children under 10 must be on a team with a parent or guardian. Registration is payable by cash or check (or by credit card online until 4 p.m. on July 25). The registration fee includes an event bib for each team member and a tote bag for each team that includes instructions for using the GooseChase app, game password, and swag items. Course maps will be available at check-in, which will be underway on Friday, July 26 from 6-8 p.m. at Wintergreen Arts Center, and on Saturday, July 27 starting at 8 a.m. next to the soccer field at Riverside Park. Register at www.umpi.edu/wildPIgoosechase or in person at Wintergreen Arts Center in Presque Isle.

For more information about this WILD event, please contact Gayla Shaw at gshaw@maine.edu or contact the Wintergreen Arts Center staff at wintergreenarts@gmail.com or 762-3576.