The countdown to this year’s Eagle Medallion Hunt has begun. On Thursday, The Eagle will release its first clue about the medallion’s whereabouts.
And this year, the medallion scavenger who wins the hunt will get a full outdoor patio set worth $2,400 from Williams Ace Hardware in Andover.
“We’re a lifelong Wichita company, so we just thought it would be really cool to be involved,” said Kurt Oswald, director of operations and marketing for three Ace Hardware locations, including Andover.
The prize consists of an outdoor fire pit and patio set with chairs, a table and an umbrella, a Big Tex Grill, 24 bags of grill pellets, 12 bags of pinion wood and barbeque accessories.
Participants have until midnight June 4 to find the medallion and must bring it to The Eagle’s lobby, 825 E. Douglas, by 3 p.m. on June 5. Beginning Thursday, The Eagle will release clues in print and online at Kansas.com around 7 a.m. each day.
The status of the contest will be updated daily in the newspaper, on Kansas.com and on The Eagle’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Only one person can claim the prize, and the winner must be a Kansas resident, be at least 18 years old and have a valid ID.
This year marks the 41st anniversary of the medallion hunt in Wichita. But the hunt took an eight-year break and started up again in 2009 as a “virtual” hunt, returning to the traditional hidden medallion in 2011. Sherry Chisenhall, editor of The Eagle, said it’s exciting to hear people talk about the event and hunt for the medallion year after year.
And contrary to popular belief, only two people, both Eagle employees, know the medallion’s hiding place.
“I don’t think there’s any way, unless you get super lucky, that you can solve the clues without learning something about Wichita and the history of the place,” Chisenhall said.
Oswald said one of his store managers, Bryan Garton, participates in the scavenger hunt each year and even broke his ankle looking for the medallion last year. Garton said he kept searching for the medallion on crutches and is bummed he can’t participate in the event this year.
That’s because employees and immediate family members of The Eagle, the McClatchy Co., Ace Hardware, Wichita Festivals Inc. and board members of Wichita Festivals Inc. are not allowed to participate.
Garton said he and one of his friends usually would wait at The Eagle for the papers to run down the chute for paper carriers.
“We’re one of the first people in Wichita to get the paper,” he said. He said they use the hashtag #medallionfordays during the hunt and like seeing the other hunters around town.
“It’s something fun and productive that involves the whole city that’s not disruptive or destructive,” Garton said.
The medallion will be hidden on public property. Finding it will not require access through private property and will not require digging. Hunters who trespass, damage or destroy public or private property will be disqualified.
For the full list of rules and more information about the medallion hunt, visit www.kansas.com/riverfest.