The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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May 25, 2014

CONTEST | Virtual flood tour will be a trip for prize winner

JOHNSTOWN — Greater Johnstowners have, for generations, grown up with stories of floodwaters tearing through the city - many lived through the most recent disasters. Valley dwellers are literally surrounded on all sides by living history.

What if taking a leisurely springtime stroll through the scenic backdrop of the Great Johnstown Flood of 1889 could land you a fantastic prize? The Tribune-Democrat is giving away a 3-day, 2-night hotel stay for one lucky hiker who treks through the historic Path of the Flood Trail.

All you’ve got to do is walk.


You’ll need a smartphone or tablet with a camera and data plan, a account, the Foursquare app, an app that allows your device to scan QR codes (there are many free options on the Apple App Store and Google Play store) and a pair of comfortable walking shoes.

Hikers will find several informational kiosks along the Path of the Flood Trail, which detail the historical and cultural significance of trail sites and recant colorful accounts of the flood. Near these wayside signs, contest participants can find Tribune-Democrat 125th Flood Anniversary placards. Each placard has QR codes that participants will scan via their smartdevices.

Simply download, install and open the scanner app, then point your device’s camera at the square-shaped code.

One of the QR codes, when scanned, will send participants to a Foursquare location page.

Participants must leave a “tip” at the location when checking in, so we know who’s been to each location and so we can determine how many entries participants will receive when we draw the winner. Each tip counts as an entry for the giveaway. Tips on are general comments about the location. Tell us how you’re enjoying the trail, tell us about interesting flood facts you’ve learned or just say “Hi!”

The more Foursquare tips you post along the flood trail, the better your chances of winning. Print readers can get a freebie entry by scanning the “South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club” QR code near this article. There are eight location check-ins along the flood trail and two in downtown Johnstown, making 11 possible contest entries.

After the QR code is scanned, the Foursquare location page will appear in the browser. The option to check-in to the location via the Foursquare app should also be displayed. Open the location page in the Foursquare app to leave a tip.

Separate QR codes on the signs will direct participants to articles, photo galleries and video produced by The Tribune-Democrat for the 125th flood anniversary edition. Hikers can get a firsthand look at local history while reading stories that make Flood City culture come to life.

The contest will begin on Wednesday, May 28 and will continue for a week. The final day to accrue contest entries is Tuesday, June 3.

All participants must register by sending an email with their name, Foursquare user ID (if users haven't created their own Foursquare ID, it appears as a string of numbers at the end of the Foursquare profile URL), phone number and address to Use the subject heading “Path of the Flood Trail contest.” Don’t worry, personal information will only be used to contact the winner and award the grand prize. Participants can register before or after hitting the flood trail and scanning the signs, but the email must be received by the contest deadline.

Multiple tips and check-ins at the same location from a single user will count as one contest entry. The Foursquare contest locations are private and unsearchable, so the only way to participate is to scan the codes at each location along the trail. The winner will be drawn at random after the contest deadline.

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