Salina Arts & Humanities announces that the winner of the 2023 Festival Medallion Quest (FMQ) is Sheri Chase Jones.
On Sunday morning, Chase Jones waited for clue #8 to be released and then headed to the City Lights Stage at Santa Fe Ave. and Ash St. The clue, “A great location.”had her looking at grates and “Hanging down.” directed her to downtown Salina. As she searched the alley behind Ad Astra Books & Coffee House for the first time, she found a grate with a chain and pulled it to discover the Medallion around 10 am. “It happened so quickly!” she said.
Chase Jones is no stranger to the Festival Medallion Quest and has participated for eleven years. She is the former Director of Finance for Global Spectrum and lived in Salina from 2012-2015. This year her strategy was to stay calm and focused, “more thinking and less walking,” she shared.
Her son, Logan Jones, lives in Salina and was her partner in the search this year. She drove into town on Friday night, and they headed downtown to the intersection of Santa Fe Ave., and Ash St. Chase Jones looked around Lakewood Park but kept heading back downtown. She used a mirror on an extending stick to aid her search.
Chase Jones is the 17th winner of the Festival Medallion Quest, which was started in 2009 by the Smoky Hill River Festival. “Never take the clues for face value,” she said, sharing that she believes some clues describe the medallion itself. “Is this a thing or a place?” she asks herself. Or, “How can I twist this [clue] to be something different from what it appears to be?”
Chase Jones thinks about the FMQ all year long and counts down the weeks as she prepares in advance by working on word puzzles. She is a frequent art patron at the Smoky Hill River Festival and is excited to buy art with a larger budget than usual this year.
The 2023 Quest took nearly five days, and clues were shared online at festivalmedallionquest.com and posted outside the Eighth Street Salina Arts & Humanities office doors. To view the complete set of FMQ clues, go to festivalmedallionquest.com and click on the Clues page.
The 2023 Medallion is a three-ounce artificially aged, rectangular glass bottle with a metal cap sealed with wax. Inside the bottle was a rolled piece of paper with the medallion information and the message “You found it” inscribed so it could be seen through the glass. An artificially aged wire was wrapped around the neck of the bottle and used as a hook to hang from the grate where it was hidden in a storm water drain in the alley of the 100 block of North Santa Fe Ave. between the rear entrance of Ad Astra Books & Coffee House and the Townsite building. Both the clues and medallion are conceived by artists.
The 2023 Quest winner receives a prize package of $1,000 in cash and $2,000 in Gift Certificates for shopping at the River Festival 2023 Fine Art and Craft Show. Other prizes include four Festival admission wristbands, a complimentary on-grounds VIP parking pass, an invitation for four to the Thursday-evening PREMIERE Art Patron party, and four River Festival 2023 T-shirts.
“I appreciated the positive exchanges people had on social media and the cooperative spirit that Medallion hunters showed,” said Salina Arts & Humanities Executive Director Brad Anderson. “The Festival Medallion Quest celebrates our community's patronage of the arts. It is exciting to see how Questers explore and think differently about their city in search of the medallion as it leads up to the Smoky Hill River Festival,” said Visual Arts Coordinator Crystal Hammerschmidt. Over the years, families have searched side by side, solved riddles, and endeavored to find the Medallion. It marks the official countdown to the River Festival.
The Smoky Hill River Festival, now in its 47th year, is the flagship event of Salina Arts & Humanities, a department of the City of Salina. The River Festival draws many local residents and out-of-town guests each year to Salina to enjoy outdoor art installations, the Fine Art and Craft Show, three stages of live entertainment, the Artyopolis kid’s area, Festival food, and more. The River Festival generates approximately $3.5 million in revenue annually within the local community.
Advance-price, four-day Festival Wristbands are available until late Tuesday, June 6, at about 40 Salina locations and in 18 other regional cities. Children 11 and under get in FREE.
For more information on the Festival Medallion Quest or the Smoky Hill River Festival, call 785-309-5770 or visit riverfestival.com
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