‘Dashing Through The Shires’ campaign provides holiday fun and travel interest

A traveler participates in the Dashing Through The Shires challenge (photo courtesy of the Southwestern Vermont Chamber)

Vermont Business Magazine The Shires of Southwestern Vermont Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), in partnership with the Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce, will launch a fun, scavenger-hunt-like social media challenge for travelers and residents alike this upcoming holiday season.

Starting Saturday, November 27 on Small Business Saturday, the organizations will launch their “Dashing Through The Shires” campaign highlighting that there is no better time to visit The Shires of Southwestern Vermont then during the holiday season!  With snow covered red bridges, unique craft gifts at local stores, farm feasts at regional dining establishments, warm holiday toddies, and real Green Mountain holiday trees for sale, the campaign aims to highlight some of the regional fun and Vermont traditions of the season.

This year, as the region, retailers and travelers emerge from the pandemic, the Shires DMO and Chamber are encouraging residents and travelers to participate in the campaign. How best to, “Dash Through The Shires?” The organizations have created a list of fun and easy challenges to complete for followers of their social media accounts!  People following those accounts will be given two to three challenges a week.  If followers complete the challenge, share their success and mention @shiresofvermont or tag #exploretheshires and #dashingthrutheshires they will be entered to win gift cards from area businesses.

“We’re just looking to have some fun this year while getting people to explore the region,” Matt Harrington, executive director of the Southwestern Vermont Chamber says.  “This seemed like a fun, easy way to get people engaged, shopping, eating, celebrating and winning this season!  We hope our travelers get into it and maybe we even attract some new travelers here for the first time!”

Challenges include “take a picture under a snowy covered bridge in The Shires,” “finding an epic background in The Shires and sing at the top of your lungs your favorite holiday carol and uploading the video,” and to “get a picture with ol’ Saint Nick, or find someone in town that looks like him, or take a pic with one of his helpers.”

Other challenges will focus on small businesses in The Shires including “getting on the Holiday Inn Tour this weekend and taking a picture,” “having a warm toddy at one of our local establishments,” and one called “Family Feast” encouraging locals with family in town to reserve a table at a local dining establishment.

All in all, there are 12 challenges for the brave and holly-jolly-filled.  You only have to complete one to compete for gift cards, but why not try them all!

Local stores who have contributed prizes include Apricot Lane, The Bennington Banner, Casablanca Motel, Charlie’s Coffee House, couch + cork, The Crooked Ram, Dorset Theatre Festival, The Hampton Inn & Suites Manchester, Heritage Family Credit Union, JK Adams, Knapps, La Peche, Pastime Pinball, The Little Rooster Cafe, South Shire Inn, The American Museum of Fly Fishing, The Arlington Inn, The Bennington Bookshop, The Village Chocolate Shop, the Village Peddler, The Works Cafe, Total Fitness Equipment, Union Underground, Zippy Chicks and more to come in. 

For those that participate and tag the social media accounts, the DMO and Chamber guarantee great local gift cards to be handed out weekly to raffle winners!

Follow “Dashing Through The Shires” campaign on Facebook at The Shires of Southwestern Vermont page (Facebook.com/theshiresofvermont) or on Instagram at @shiresofvermont.  Follow the hashtag at #dashingthrutheshires and #exploretheshires. Explore more of the campaign at https://exploretheshires.com/dashing-through-the-shires 

The campaign’s partners include the Manchester Business Association, the Better Bennington Corporation, the Bennington Banner and Old Mill Road Media.

Source: Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce. Bennington. 11.22.2021