Fresno Puzzle Hunt
There’s a lot of things to do in Fresno. I hope we have long since proved that to you by now. But this week, I came across something that is completely different from anything else that you can sign up for. The Fresno Puzzle Hunt held its inaugural competition last year, with 80 participants and a $500 prize. This year, it’s back and even bigger.
On October 22nd, the Fresno Puzzle Hunt will take participants on a race of the mind across the Tower District. It combines some of my favorite things: brain teasers, exploring Fresno and, this year, Halloween costumes! (Is there anything better than running around in public in costume?!)
The Fresno Puzzle Hunt was started by Daniel Hoult. He was inspired by the Washington Post’s Post Hunt, which he participated in when he was living near Washington, D.C.
“When I moved to Fresno a couple years ago, I looked around for something similar but couldn’t find anything. That’s when I got the crazy notion that I could start a puzzle hunt here,” Daniel said.
Daniel had never organized anything like it before and described the process of putting on the first hunt as a “rollercoaster” that was both stressful and a lot of fun. The positive feedback he received from the event made him want to do it all over again this year.
“No doubt some people disliked me for making their brains hurt by the end,” Daniel said. “But it was a new experience for everyone and most people had a blast. … Even if someone’s team was struggling, it was still exciting and everyone was enjoying themselves. No one was bored.”
You can see what kind of brain teasers you might be in for by checking out the Fresno Puzzle Hunt’s website. Last year’s puzzles and answers are posted there. If you enjoy these sorts of problem-solving riddles, naturally the hunt is perfect for you. But really it’s enjoyable for anyone who likes to go out and try a new activity.
“It’s also a very social event that’s incredibly engaging and allows everyone to be involved and contribute in some way, regardless of how ‘smart’ you think you are,” Daniel said.
Everyone’s minds work in different ways, and it really takes a variety of people to make a team successful. (Your team can have up to six for the Fresno Puzzle Hunt.) I can attest to this because I’ve done many escape rooms, which are a similar idea in a much more confined space. You can check out what those are in our feature of Breakout Fresno here. Daniel actually recommends doing an escape room if you want to prepare yourself for what Fresno Puzzle Hunt might be like.
This year, the hunt will also include a Halloween Costume Contest with additional prizes. If the hunt doesn’t seem like your kind of thing but you’re still interested in contributing to such an awesome community event, the team is still looking for volunteers to help set up puzzles and distribute handouts. You will be paid in food! The Fresno Puzzle Hunt starts in The Landmark parking lot at 644 Olive Avenue on Saturday, October 22nd and will run from 12 to 5 PM. For more information or to register your team or as a volunteer, visit the Fresno Puzzle Hunt website. Prices start at $18 per person. You can also register at the door. The grand prize is once again $500!
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