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Scavenger Hunt in Boutique District

Serious shoppers are gearing up for the signature event of the fall season in Northern Virginia — the third annual Scavenger Hunt in the Old Town Boutique District.

The Old Town Boutique District, a cooperative association of 28 Alexandria boutiques, is giving away more than $5,000 from participating merchants during its Third Annual Scavenger Hunt, Sept. 17 to 19.

"If you’re serious about shopping, there’s no better place in the region than walkable Old Town Alexandria," said Elizabeth Todd, owner of The Shoe Hive. "This is a fun way to see all that Old Town’s boutiques have to offer."

Shoppers are eligible to win a $2,800 grand prize shopping spree by obtaining a "passport" and getting it stamped at all 28 stores between Friday, Sept. 17 and Sunday, Sept. 19. No purchase is necessary. Twenty-eight second place winners will be drawn at random to receive a $100 gift certificate from one of the participating merchants.

Subscribers to Boutique Buzz, the Boutique District's e-mail newsletter, will receive Scavenger Hunt passports in their e-mail inbox. Passports can also be downloaded from the Boutique District's web site, www.oldtownboutiquedistrict.com/scavengerhunt.

During the Scavenger Hunt, every shopper will receive free gifts they can use to build their own gift bags. Each store will offer free items, while supplies last, that scavenger hunters can pick up and add to their collections. They can collect as many or as few items as they want, but only one per store per customer.

No purchase is necessary to receive the free gifts, but shoppers must show a Scavenger Hunt Passport to be stamped.

"We thought this would be a fun way to encourage shoppers to visit more independent Alexandria shops and boutiques," said Amy Rutherford, owner of Red Barn Mercantile. "They can get free gifts from the merchants of their choice, or if they really want to win big, they could visit every store and take their chance at winning the grand prize."

"We have a lot of wonderful shops and boutiques right here in Old Town; you don't have to drive out to Tysons Corner or the outlet malls to find great deals on quality merchandise. And when you shop locally you are also supporting the Alexandria community because more money stays here in our local economy."

<ro>Participating Merchants:

<lst>Apple Seed, 115 South Columbus St, 703.535.5446, www.appleseedboutique.com

Arts Afire, 1117 King St, 703.838.9785, www.artsafire.com

Bellacara, 1000 King St, 703.299.9652, www.bellacara.com

Bloomers, 924 King St, 571.312.0852, www.shopbloomers.com

Diva, 116 South Pitt St, 703.683.1022, www.divaboutiqueva.com

fibre space, 102 North Fayette St., 703.664.0344, www.fibrespace.com

Fitness on the Run, 109 South Alfred St., 703.299.9333, www.fitnessontherun.net

Grape & Bean, 118 South Royal St, 703.664.0214, www.grapeandbean.com

Gossypia, 325 Cameron St, 703.836.6969, www.gossypia.com

Hooray For Books, 1555 King St., 703.548.4092, www.hooray4books.com

Hysteria, 125 South Fairfax St, 703.548.1615, www.shophysteria.com

Imperfections, 1210 King St, 703.837.1670

La Cuisine, 323 Cameron St, 703.836.4435, www.lacuisineus.com

Lauren B Gallery, 1316 King St, 703.535.7880

Lawrence Miller & Co, 121 South Royal St, 703.548.0659, www.lawrencedmiller.com

The little Monogram Shop, 106 1/2 North Columbus St, 703.549.3777, www.thelittlemonogramshop.net

Mint Condition, 114 South Royal St, 703.836.6468, www.shopmintcondition.com

Monday’s Child, 218 North Lee St, 703.548.3505, www.mondayschildofalexandria.com

Mystique Jewelers, 211 The Strand, 703.836.1401, www.mystiquejewelers.com

Periwinkle, 1557 Potomac Greens Dr, 703.519.5242, www.periwinkleshop.com

Pink & Brown, 1212 King St, 703.684.1050, www.pinkandbrownboutique.com

Red Barn Mercantile, 113 South Columbus St, 703.838.0355, www.redbarnmercantile.com

Stanton Gallery, 121 South Royal St, 2nd floor, 703.299.3055, www.stantonjewelry.com

The Christmas Attic, 125 South Union St, 703.548.2829, www.christmasattic.com

The Full Cup, 218 North Lee St, Ste 206, 703.836.9441, www.thefullcup.com

The Shoe Hive, 127 South Fairfax St, 703.548.7105, www.theshoehive.com

The Sugar Cube, 210 North Lee St, 703.548.2868, www.sugarcubesweets.com

Treat, 103 South St Asaph St, 703.535.3294, www.shoptreat.com

For more information, visit the Old Town Boutique District Web site at www.OldTownBoutiqueDistrict.com.