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Experienced searchers: Repeat Strawberry Fest medallion winners claim 2017 prize

Matt Koskie (right) and Steven Sanftner found the 2017 Strawberry Fest medallion with the help of Sanftner's 3-year-old son Skylar. Scott Wente / RiverTown Multimedia

Matt Koskie and Steven Sanftner waited until the third clue was released to start their search in the 2017 Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest Medallion Hunt.

They only needed one additional clue before they found the prize.

Koskie and Sanftner — with the help of Sanftner’s 3-year-old son Skylar — found the medallion Thursday, June 15, at Grey Cloud Dunes Scientific and Natural Area. Having purchased Strawberry Fest buttons, they won $300.

They started searching after the third clue mentioned looking west and south of Kingston Park.

“I basically just went on a speed run through all the parks,” Koskie said. They checked Nina’s, North Ideal, Hearthside and Hazen P. Mooers Park.

Sanftner headed to Grey Cloud Dunes and with this son began poking around at the entrance at Hadley Avenue and 103rd Street.

“It felt good,” Saftner said of the area.

The fourth clue started with: “Unless under a rock...” Saftner started overturning rocks near the entrance and eventually found the medallion hidden under a pile of rocks at the base of an information sign.

Koskie, 27, whose parents live on the Hastings-Cottage Grove border, lives in Minneapolis and goes to the University of Minnesota, giving him time to search. Sanftner, 29, of Falcon Heights, searches around his work schedule.

It’s not their first medallion hunt — or discovery. Sanftner and Koskie found the 2016 Strawberry Fest medallion at Pine Tree Pond Tree, and Koskie found an earlier one on his own at Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park. They bounce from community to communities around the Twin Cities each summer searching for festival medallions.

The medallion hunt is co-sponsored by the South Washington County Bulletin and Edina Realty-Cottage Grove.


Here were the clues that led Koskie and Sanftner to their prize:

Clue No. 1:

Strawberry Fest comes but once a year

Parade, music, rides and cheer

But don’t forget the big news today

It’s time for a medallion hunt, we do say

Clue No. 2

It’s only Day 2 but medallion searchers are out

Everyone should find out what this fun is about

To find the big prize keep this in mind:

Leaving public property will put you behind

Clue No. 3:

Enthusiasm is building as the fest is near

But the medallion’s location sure isn’t clear

This hunt highlights the city’s great public lands

From Kingston head west and south, far from the festival’s bands

Clue No. 4

Unless under a rock, you know the fest starts today

Partake in the fun, but don’t give up a search underway

To a marker west of 61 you should head

Toward a place too few seem to tread

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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