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Can you find one of the '3 Forks in Three Forks'?

A holiday promotion created by local small business owners is allowing shoppers to win gift cards by finding the "3 Forks in Three Forks.

During the promotion, which started last week during Small Business Saturday and will run until December 17, shoppers can sign up to win gift cards by filling out a ticket after finding one of the "3 Forks" at participating businesses.

According to Jessica Oehmcke, the idea for the event came following the third annual Ladies Night Fall Walk in October.

"I really wanted to do something that was a low manpower, low-cost event for our Three Forks area businesses because, frankly, after Ladies' Night, the shop owners were wiped out and exhausted. We all are facing staffing shortages, so staying open late is taxing. Plus, we had such astonishing support from our customers, that we need to keep that momentum rolling," she said.

While generating ideas for promotions in a group text with her mom Pam Carey and aunt Lana Torrence, Oehmcke said she was thinking about a few in December for area businesses. Oehmcke initially thought of something like an Elf on the Shelf that goes from business to business, with whoever finds it earning a ticket that could win a prize in a drawing.

She originally wanted something like a stuffed animal that kids can find at a Trader Joe's but said Torrence came up with the idea of the three forks, all with little Santa hats on.

"We took that idea and ran with it," she said.

To participate, local businesses must contribute $10 gift cards.

Organizers are encouraging each of the "hosting" locations for the forks to move them to a new and different business willing to participate every three or four days. They are also hoping to have the forks at locations that were not involved in the Ladies Night event and ones that may be off Main Street or have varied hours.

During the first day of the event, Oehmcke said people told them they had seen a fork but were unsure what to do.

"If a person spies it, ASK the shop owner to sign up for the drawing," she said.

No purchase is necessary to sign up, and a winner will be picked for each gift card on December 17.

Those wanting to participate, have questions, or need more tickets for the drawing are asked to call Legacy Trading at 406-285-3172 or Oehmcke at 406-581-0765.

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