This year’s medallion was hidden inside an empty pistachio bag at the base of a tree in Meadowlark Park.
Here are each day’s clues and what they meant.
Hello, you hunters, welcome to Riverfest.
There’s $1,000 if you win the quest.
For rule-breakers, chance of winning is bleak.
Stay flexible, it’s a disk that you seek.
The main point of this clue was disk, a reference not only to the medallion, but the circular playground — which contains a merry-go-round — at the park. Stay flexible meant to not think of disk in just a literal way.
There is a theme, both natural and not.
That you could find around our hiding spot.
Could there be a pie seen? That one is in doubt.
Entrenched and unmoving, two sides in this bout.
The theme of the area was aquatic. A creek runs along the east edge of the park (natural, also entrenched) and there is a concrete dolphin and a concrete turtle (not, also unmoving) in the playground. Pie seen could be read as piscine, meaning fish, of which there are none.
Don’t be neutral when reading this verse.
Keep going forward, never reverse.
What do you need? Well, it’s not your drive.
There’s one you want, from the clue contrive.
This clue pointed to it being in a park. Neutral, reverse and drive are all options when shifting your car. All are mentioned as negatives, meaning you don't want them. The remaining one is park, which you do want.
Nice and wrapped up for you to find.
You could say it’s one of a kind.
Mounds of commercials do half sing its praise.
Also a color, but one you can graze.
Here it was about the pistachio bag the medallion was in. Nice was the brand of pistachio and the medallion was wrapped up by the bag. Mounds of commercials and half sing its praise refer to old Mounds and Almond Joy commercials, which included the line, "Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't." You wanted a nut, but one of a kind of nut. Pistachio is a shade of green and you can graze on one as well.
This starts out as a childish pursuit.
To find the prize, follow a volute.
Needing direction? Which one’s best?
Our hiding spot leans toward the west.
Childish pursuit is a reference to the playground at the park. If you were to follow a volute, or spiral pattern, from the playground, you would arrive at the tree where it was hidden. The tree itself leans at a pronounced westward angle.
If you want to reach one, just once isn’t enough.
If you do as a swimmer, it could make you buff.
Almost a nine, our little frivolity.
Also a sign that you’re now at equality.
There are signs at the park that read "MEADOWLARK PARK 8.6 laps equals 1 mile." To reach one mile, you have to go around multiple times. Do as a swimmer leads to laps, almost a nine is for 8.6 and equality is for equals. A sign means just that.
We’re past the little hunting, time for the fame.
Bigger than a molehill, it’s all in the name.
Quest love is key if you’re part of our group.
But you will want to be out of the loop.
Here, we were pointing to Mount Vernon, the street that runs next to the park. Little Hunting was the original name of George Washington's Mount Vernon, and hunters should look past that original name. The second line is referencing the phrase "making a mountain (or mount) out of a molehill." Quest love is for musician/producer Questlove, who was a founding member of the group The Roots. The medallion was by the roots of the tree. Out of the loop meant hunters should look outside the loop that goes around the playground.
There are more cardinal states, but we’re No. 2.
Officially speaking, for this final clue.
We’re at the edge, so here’s our last scribbling:
Imagine a lemon that was dribbling.
This was all about the park name. The meadowlark is the official state bird of Kansas, and holds the same distinction in five other states. The cardinal is the official state bird in seven states, making the meadowlark No. 2. The tree where the disk was is at the edge of the park. A lemon that was dribbling refers to noted basketball player Meadowlark Lemon.