A new elf is on a journey through Downtown Chico, can you find him?


CHICO, Calif. - If shoppers aren't looking carefully, chances are they'll overlook this elf on the shelf.

"The elf just shows up and finds a place to sit himself, he just comes in the door," said Bob Malowney, owner of Bird in Hand.

Bird in Hand is the store the elf chose to hide Tuesday, but tomorrow he'll be at another location in downtown.

It's a new program hosted by the Downtown Chico Business Association called the "Downtown Elf on the Shelf Adventure." Starting November 20, Chestnut the elf has gone to a new participating downtown Chico shop every day and will continue on this journey until December 20.

Anyone who spots him will get a raffle ticket to be entered for a chance to win one of three Christmas baskets on December 21.

"I think it's a great way to get people downtown and to get them into all different stores and get them excited about winning baskets and fun stuff for Christmas," said one local who found Chestnut in Bird in Hand.

To help scavengers find him, Chestnut will post a clue on the Downtown Chico Facebook and Instagram every day.

"He always [will] Instagram and Facebook a clue, as well as he's very mischievous so he'll do a little instagram story, as he's moving from place to place, of the fun things he's doing in Downtown Chico," explained Christian Gutierrez, administrative manager for the Downtown Chico Business Association.

Chestnut will decide where he wants to hide depending on the store. Sometimes it will be in the middle of a Christmas display, or other times on a shelf.

"I think it's fun for the shopkeepers, as much as it is for the community," Malowney said. "It gives people who are in the store thinking 'Oh! There it is!' And it gives them a chance to explore a little more downtown."

Chestnut will be collecting goodies at each of the 30 stores he stops at to include them in the three gift baskets.

Anyone who shopped Downtown Chico on Small Business Saturday last weekend can also bring their receipt to the Downtown Chico Business Association office to get one raffle ticket to be entered for a chance to win the gift basket as well.

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