It’s a Minnesotan’s midwinter dream come true: a pair of free round-trip tickets to a sunny Caribbean country. No joke.
To promote Sun Country Airlines’ new nonstop service to Belize, the airline and the Belize Tourism Board on Friday hid seven Belizean toucan statues made of foam core in parks in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Those who found the toucans — each of them measuring just a foot square — won the tickets.
Five foam toucans were found so quickly Friday morning that two more were added. By Friday night, only one remained.
The scavenger hunt, dubbed “Freeze to Belize,” officially started at 7 a.m. Friday, after the season’s first overnight freeze was recorded at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
To get clues on the toucans’ whereabouts, searchers used a mobile device to send a message to the Belize Tourism Board’s Facebook page. A chatbot then provided a series of hints based on the searcher’s proximity to the nearest toucan.
The #FreezeToBelize community was active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Rules for the contest are available at bit.ly/freezetobelize.
Sun Country last month announced that it will offer nonstop service to Belize from MSP beginning Dec. 22 and running through April 20.
Belize is considered both a Central American and Caribbean nation. It is home to the world’s second-largest reef, the Belize Barrier Reef, and is a popular spot for adventure travelers.
No need to despair if you didn’t find a toucan — there’s another opportunity coming. Sun Country will be giving away vouchers to Belize on Sun Country’s Facebook page later this season.
Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747 Twitter: @rochelleolson