Did you know that the same company that built the Empire State Building also built Camp Blanding in Clay County? This and other unique historical facts are being incorporated into a fun, new challenge for Clay County residents and visitors.
The Clay County Clerk of Court and Comptroller’s Office, Archives Center, Tourism Department and District schools have collaborated to create a History Bingo Pass as a way for citizens to learn and explore the county.
The History Bingo Pass is a virtual bingo card featuring 24 historic sites to visit within Clay County, each with unique backgrounds. Families and citizens can use the bingo card as a game, exploring suggested historic sites throughout the county, and marking them off as they go.
“What we wanted to do was come up with a marketing strategy that helped tell the story of our home county every day of the year, not just a few months of the year,” Director of Tourism and Film Development Kimberly Morgan said.
Those wishing to participate can visit the ExploreClay website to download their virtual passport on their smartphone to get started. The passport will be instantly delivered via text and email and is ready to use immediately. A guide provides the 24 sites within the county, a built-in GPS, and a ‘check-in’ button which is used to mark off an attraction on the bingo card.
Once participants have visited 10 of the historic sites, they will be entered into a drawing to win a prize, Morgan said. Prizes will be given out in May, for Clay County History Month, then quarterly thereafter.
“We thought a quarterly drawing was the best option for prizes so that it gives people the time they need to actually visit and explore 10 different sites,” she said.
Those who visit 20 sites will be given two entries into the drawing.
Prizes are still being discussed, as the bingo card is a new edition to Clay County, but Morgan expects to announce prizes within the next two weeks, she said.
There is currently a big push for families and students to complete the bingo card during summer vacation, Morgan said, noting that it is a great way to get out of the house and be active, while also learning and exploring different parts of the county.
“It is truly a great partnership because so many fantastic things came together from each group involved in the project,” Morgan said. “We know there is this valuable story to tell about Clay County and the historical sites we have in our community that sometimes get overlooked.”
The Clay County Archives Center provided a large majority of the content that is incorporated into the bingo card and made usable and digestible for the everyday person and child, she said. The hope, she said, is that the bingo card will also be a resource for those visiting Clay County for the first time.
More information for visitors is provided on the ExploreClay website as well, featuring a guide that includes navigation to historic locations, local venues and restaurants, family fun and other landmarks.
This will be the first year that Clay County uses the bingo card as a way to highlight unique aspects of the county, but they are already anticipating new additions, Morgan said.
Next year, Morgan said, more locations to visit may be added to the card as well as a “golf-enthusiast” trail, a coffeehouse trail and neighborhood history tours.
“A lot of people call this place home, but do not know, in-depth, how unique Clay County actually is,” she said. “I think this is going to be a big hit and a great way to fall more in love with this area.”
For more information, or to download your Bingo card click here.