A 'feel-good find': St. Paul woman finds Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest medallionJana Armstead discovered her long-sought “feel-good find” in Cottage Grove.
By: Scott Wente, South Washington County Bulletin
Jana Armstead discovered her long-sought “feel-good find” in Cottage Grove.
Armstead, of St. Paul, has searched for community festival medallions with friends around the Twin Cities for over 25 years but it had been several years since she uncovered a prize herself.
That changed Sunday when after only three clues and a few hours of hunting she unearthed the Strawberry Fest medallion in Hamlet Park.
“It was a feel-good find because it’s been a while,” Armstead said. “I really wanted to pick it up myself.”
Armstead’s friends had started searching for the medallion on Friday, when the third clue was released by the Bulletin and Edina Realty-Cottage Grove, the medallion hunt co-sponsors. But Armstead didn’t start her search until Sunday. She said the early clues led them to Hamlet Park because it was the largest city park on the west side of Highway 61.
While her friends searched around a bench near the walking path toward the south end of the park, Armstead headed to a bench along the walking path close to the football and soccer field.
It seemed like a good spot to hide a medallion, she said, so she started looking around in a group of trees nearby.
The medallion was hidden at the base of a tree just to the right of the bench.
“I let out a big yell,” she said.
It was Armstead’s first time participating in the Strawberry Fest Medallion Hunt. She had purchased a Strawberry Fest button, so will receive the full $300 prize. She searched with a group of about five people, but is splitting the award with search partner Brad Tegantvoort, a Cottage Grove native who lives in Inver Grove Heights.
They bought a round of drinks for their friends at American Motorsports Bar and Grill after the discovery Sunday afternoon.
Armstead said they like to support businesses in the cities where they search for festival medallions.
“We do spend a lot of money in the city; we’re all really loyal in that area,” she said. “Hopefully the towns don’t think that they’re not making something back on this.”