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Now in its 10th year, the Great Northwest Glass Quest is more popular than ever. Beginning on February 5 with a reception from 6 PM to 8 PM at the Camano Center, businesses will get their clue balls and prize glass balls and the public and meet the artists Mark and Marcus Ellinger.The Great Northwest Glass Quest

This unique treasure hunt started 10 years ago and now has grown to over 15,000 treasure hunters from all over the Northwest. These hunters explore the Stanwood and Camano Island area for 450 handblown limited edition glass balls about the size of a large softball. Hunters check-in online or at one of the participating businesses. Most businesses have a check-in station with the rules of the game and their own clues. This allows the business to keep track of the hunters and can offer coupons for items or services in their business. Each merchant will hide clue balls, a hollow plastic ball with instructions inside how to claim a glass treasure. All of these will be in different places throughout each business. Clue balls are about the size of the circular ornament but many are camouflaged with paint, texture, or decorations. If a hunter finds one of these clue balls, they can trade it in for a one-of-a-kind glass ball created by Mark and his son Marcus at their studio north of Stanwood. These limited-edition creations will feature the Roman Numeral X for the 10th year the quest has been in effect. Some businesses will also sell handblown glass balls in their shops.

Make sure you read the guidebook which offers rules, tips, and clue ball locations. There’s also to specific search days over the week for younger kids and anyone 65 and older with physical disabilities. For kids 12 and under, this search is planned for 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM Monday, February 18 at Freedom Park on Camano Island. For those over 65 or people with disabilities, their search day is February 16 at the Camano Center located at 606 Arrowhead Rd. on Camano Island from 10:00 AM until dusk.

While you’re out there, grab a trash bag and pick up any garbage as you hunt through businesses and area parks. For those that want even more of a challenge, there will be a series of balls hidden in harder than usual spots throughout the area and will be offered complicated clues for those that just love more of a challenge.

Image by Katrad2 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons