River Festival

Eagle Medallion Hunt disk found in pistachio bag at Meadowlark Park

Jason Lansdown, with his wife, Linda, and daughters Elise, 11, and Lyla, 9, found the Wichita River Festival Medallion on Thursday morning. (June 7, 2018)
Jason Lansdown, with his wife, Linda, and daughters Elise, 11, and Lyla, 9, found the Wichita River Festival Medallion on Thursday morning. (June 7, 2018) The Wichita Eagle

For the Lansdown family, the annual Eagle Medallion Hunt is a generations-long family tradition.

Linda Lansdown found the 2018 medallion inside a plastic pistachio bag near the base of a tree in Meadowlark Park.

The medallion was found at around 4 a.m. Thursday, during hours that Wichita parks are officially closed, though there were no signs stating that at Meadowlark Park. Because of that, they are donating the prize to charity, splitting the $1,000 between Carpenter Place and Family Promise of Greater Wichita. The family said it had been their intention to donate to charity from the beginning of the hunt.

They have searched for the medallion since 1993, stopping only when they moved away from Wichita for a few years. They waited in line with the crowds outside The Eagle's building late at night, eagerly anticipating the next clue in the newspaper.

"Back then we would wait in line at The Eagle, and they would let you have it (the newspaper) at midnight," Linda Lansdown said. "It was fun. The camaraderie, other people that share your excitement about it."

Jason Lansdown said it had been a tradition in his family when he was younger.

"We truly do it for family time, the memories," Jason Lansdown said.

2018 Wichita River Festival - Includes everything from the Sundown Parade to Wednesday's Cypress Hill concert.

Linda Lansdown said one of the things that makes the medallion hunt special is finding new areas and learning new things about Wichita.

She said, "You-have-to-be-there clues" are key to the medallion hunt.

"You can't look it up. You can't Google it. You have to just be there to see it," she said. "I would guess that the point of it when it was started was to get people out and doing things and having fun and seeing all the city parks and whatever."

Elise Lansdown, 11, said the search is like a game of hide and seek for families.

"The medallion is one of my favorite things about Wichita because it's like something that a lot of families work together on," she said. "It just kind of unites families."

Wichita Riverfest official site

Eagle coverage of 2018 Wichita River Festival

The Matthew family talk about how they solved each day’s clues to find the medallion. They’ve been hunting for it each year since 1984.



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