13AllAmericamOn March 25, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the USO of North Carolina, Fort Bragg Center and the Downtown Alliance will host a fundraiser called the All-American Fayetteville Challenge to support their work assisting the local military members and their families. “There is a reason we do fundraising. We saw 135,000 service members and their families at two of our three centers last year. It takes a lot of resources to operate at this high level. We fundraise to keep our doors open and to continue operating at the high level that our military members expect,” Renee Lane the Sandhills Region Director of the USO of North Carolina said. 

The All-American Fayetteville Challenge is essentially a giant scavenger hunt for teams of two. “It is a cross between the Amazing Race and a scavenger hunt. We are always looking for new ways to engage the public to support local military members. The USO of North Carolina is this conduit in the state and locally,” Lane said.

Firstly, teams check in at Festival Park, which is where the last standing USO building was in Fayetteville. Then teams use a smartphone to access a webpage that guides them through the scavenger hunt. The hunt features landmarks and businesses in Downtown Fayetteville. At each key location downtown, the teams must complete a challenge and collect challenge tokens. Points will be tallied to complete the challenge and determine the winning teams. Winners will be announced at a light lunch at the Fayetteville Area Transportation Museum. The teams with the highest point tally win. First-, second- and third-place teams will receive gift baskets. 

A fully-charged smartphone is a vital part of this adventure. It will allow participants to access the website connected to the event. This website details the key locations where challenges must be completed as well as restrooms and supporting businesses that can be visited to collect extra points. The website will also keep a digital tally of points that participants collect along the way. 

Tickets to participate are $30 and can be purchased at 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/all-american-fayetteville-challenge-tickets-31423765328. Teams must be made up of two persons, and there is a limit of 100 teams. Tickets also include swag bags filled with items from various downtown businesses and sponsors. These bags will be collected at the initial check in and can also be used to collect items during the scavenger hunt. 

Another fun way to explore the city is the All-American Historic Tours. The Downtown Alliance has partnered with S and S Carriage Rides to provide historic tours by horse-drawn carriage every month from March to November. Normally these historic tours are on the second Saturday, but this month, they have been moved to March 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. to help the city celebrate the All-American Weekend. 

The 45-minute tours focus on Fayetteville’s early Colonial and Revolutionary War-era history. “The tours visit sites as early as Cool Springs Tavern, which was built in 1788. It is the oldest man-made structure in Fayetteville. They also see Liberty Point, which is where 55 patriots signed the Liberty Point Resolves and pledged their lives and fortunes to American independence. This happened a year before the Declaration of Independence,” said Hank Parfitt, an event organizer with the Downtown Alliance. 

The departure point for the historical tours is 222 Hay St. Tickets are $25 per person, $20 with military ID and $15 for children under 12. For more information or to reserve tickets visit www.visitdowntownfayetteville.com or call (910)222-3382. Carriages can accommodate 10 to 12 people, and there will be four tours from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

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