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Street Vendor Scavenger Hunt to Kick Off in Corona Plaza Next Month

Corona Plaza at 103rd St. and Roosevelt Ave. (Queens Post)

Oct. 19, 2021 By Allie Griffin

An inaugural street vendor scavenger hunt will kick off in Corona Plaza next month in an effort to support the city’s local vendors.

The five-borough scavenger hunt, organized by the Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center, will challenge participants to visit vendors and complete a number of tasks that require meeting vendors and sampling their wares over the course of a month.

The hunt launches on International Street Vendor Day, Nov. 14, with a gathering in Corona Plaza, where a diverse group of more than 80 food and merchandise vendors have created a thriving outdoor market. There, participants can complete their first challenges and purchase authentic dishes like Ecuadorian papas con cuero (potatoes with pork skin) or Mexican tlayudas oaxaqueñas (a pizza-like dish made with corn tortilla flatbread) from the vendors.

Participants will have until Dec. 14 to complete as many challenges as they can. The individual or team — of up to five people — who completes the most challenges will win a prize.

Teams or individuals can register for the scavenger hunt online and will then gain access to a mobile app on Nov. 14 where they will unlock the challenges — such as ‘learn the ingredients of a Halal cart vendor’s white sauce,’ ‘take a picture at a pushcart with a Cevallos Brothers hand-painted sign,’ or ‘visit a vendor in Staten Island’ — and upload evidence of completed challenges.

Registration for the scavenger hunt opens Thursday and costs $25. Teams are also encouraged to raise funds beyond the initial $25. The team that raises the most money will also win a prize.

All the proceeds will benefit the Street Vendor Project, a membership-driven, non-profit organization that champions the rights of street vendors as small businesses to earn a living and contribute to the culture and life of New York City.

The Street Vendor Project said it created the scavenger hunt as a way to encourage New Yorkers to visit their local vendors and help the industry recover from the economic fall-out of COVID-19, while also supporting the organization with its mission to support street vendors.

Street vendors have had a particularly hard time rebounding from the pandemic, the Street Vendor Project said. They were largely excluded from economic relief due to their business model and/or immigration status. Now, they are still seeing a significant decrease in sales as they largely rely on foot traffic often composed of tourists and office workers, according to the organization.

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