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Here comes Armstrong-Opoly

| Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Move over Marvin Gardens — Armstrong-Opoly is here.

Do not pass go and do not collect $200. Instead, take $30 of authentic United States of America currency (Parker Bros. beige, white and yellow bills are non-negotiable), and go directly to the Armstrong County Tourist Bureau and purchase a first edition Armstrong-Opoly game.

As part of the celebration of its 50th anniversary, the bureau created this special game and will kick off its sale at the Fort Armstrong Folk Festival. Orders for the game can be arranged in advance; however, distribution of Armstrong-Opoly begins Aug. 1.

This unique game can be purchased at the office at Market and North Jefferson Streets during regular business hours (8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday) and at the Bureau's mobile site in the festival grounds.

According to Kevin Andrews, director of the Tourist Bureau, many months were spent considering this idea, which was proposed by Charity McEntire, employment coordinator for Armstrong County.

“It was really a collaborative effort,” says McEntire. “The Tourist Bureau did an excellent job of seeing it to completion and I am flattered to have been able to participate in the process.”

The end product is not a Monopoly-wannabee. Although the overall play is similar, everything else is all Armstrong.

There is no Baltic Avenue and jail sentences are few. Property deeds are local names of those who helped to sponsor the project.

“We sent announcements to all Tourist Bureau members,” Kevin Andrews explains, “and the response allowed us to fill up the board.”

Images of well-known places, such as the Kiski Junction Railroad, as well as familiar experiences, such as following an Amish buggy to Smicksburg, help to keep the theme.

It's good-bye top hat and Scottie dog. Players will make their way around Armstrong with the help of a miner's helmet, deer antlers, a bicycle, caboose, speedboat or tractor.

Regardless of how you get there, the Tourist Bureau will be happy to supply buyers with what could become a true classic.

Diane Orris Acerni is a Leader Times correspondent.

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