SOMERVILLE, NJ - Downtown shoppers will be looking for Barnsie the Bear instead of Pokemon for a chance to win prizes and giveaways during a mutual promotion with local businesses and the Barnes & Noble Store in Bridgewater from Monday, July 25 to Thursday, July 28.

Businesses and organizations will become “Barnsie Stops” that can be identified by a promotional window sign with people encouraged to visit each stop to take a “selfie” photograph with Barnsie, according to Nicolle Oppenheimer, Community Business Development Manager for Barnes & Noble.

Posting those photos to Barnes & Noble’s social media via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram along with the hashtag #SummerofBarnsie2016 gives people a chance to win prizes that will appeal to all ages. At each stop, people will also find a clue to help them guess where a hidden Barnsie can be found in downtown Somerville on Thursday, July 28.

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“We wanted to find a way to partner with our local businesses in a way that would be mutually beneficial for everyone involved.  The downtown Somerville businesses have so much to offer, why not work together to help the communities we serve have a great time and learn more about all of us?” said Ms. Oppenheimer.  “We hope that everyone gets out and has a great time exploring everything our businesses have to offer.”

Barnes & Noble will make a social media post on Thursday announcing that Barnsie is ready to be found and will provide one final clue.  The first person to find the hidden Barnsie in downtown Somerville and hashtag their photo #SummerofBarnsie2016 will win the grand prize.

Participants in the promotion include 75 West Salon, Assemblyman Jack M. Ciatterelli, Bhodi, Black Belt World Taekwondo, Blue Sheep Bake Shop, Carol’s Creative Chocolatez, the Courier News, the Dessert Plate, Evolve Clothing Gallery, From the Hive, Pinoy Filipino Restaurant, Remax Classic Group, Revive and Sports Clip.

“We are excited to partner with Barnes & Noble for this promotion which will be fun for the whole family,” said Beth Anne Macdonald, executive director of the Downtown Somerville Alliance (DSA). “This is a unique opportunity for local businesses to interact with consumers beyond our downtown, and follows several successful “pop-up” stores presented at the Bridgewater Commons Mall by downtown Somerville business owners.”

For more information about the Barnsie promotion, visit the event’s Facebook page at For more information on programs and services provided by the Downtown Somerville Alliance, including directories of businesses and restaurants, visit, or follow news from Somerville on social media at and