STEUBENVILLE - The Fort Steuben Mall's annual holiday shopping contest, "Gifts of Gold," begins at 6 a.m. Friday.
This year, shoppers will have to spot 11 clues tucked in common areas throughout the mall and use the information they provide to correctly identify the 11 items secreted inside the mall's Gold Box.
"They'll have to actually guess what the 11 items are," said Steph McVicker, the mall's marketing director. She added the winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entry forms at noon on Dec. 21.
"Shoppers will walk around the mall and find the clues hanging around, then make their guesses as to what they think the items are. If they guess correctly, they get to be entered in the contest."
For an entry form to be considered eligible, all 11 items in the Gold Box must be correctly identified.
Mall merchants participating in the "Gifts of Gold" promotion include AT&T, Bath & Body Works, Carmike Cinemas, Crafts from the Heart, J.C. Penney, King's Jewelry, Piercing Pagoda, Regis Hair Salon, the Ville Restaurant, Verizon Wireless and Wal-Mart Supercenter.
The grand prize winner will receive the contents of the Gold Box, valued at more than $1,100. Second prize is a $500 Fort Steuben Mall gift card and third prize, a $250 mall gift card.
Prizes must be claimed by 10 a.m. Christmas Eve. If prize winners fail to claim their prizes by 10 a.m. Christmas Eve, or if their entry forms are incomplete or incorrect, an alternative winner will be chosen from among all the entries submitted.
McVicker said the contest is intended to "drive traffic around the mall."
"This one, in particular, will hopefully get people into the stores and see what they think the items are," she said.
The mall also has set the hours area children will be able to visit Santa Claus, who is appearing at the mall daily through Christmas Eve. Santa's workshop will be closed today for Thanksgiving, but will be up-and-running from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Beginning Monday, Santa's Workshop hours will be noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays. He'll be in the workshop from 11 a.m. through 7 p.m. each Sunday in December. Special hours will be in effect Dec. 17-21 - 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Christmas Eve, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Entry forms and complete rules for the contest are available at the mall's customer service station. For information, contact McVicker at (740) 264-7781.