FLake Festival medallion found in Bridle Pass Park
Roberts team wins hockey tourney; button raffle winner sought
The third time was a charm for this year’s FLake Festival Medallion Hunt champion.
Matt Metty is a veteran treasure hunter, having explored area parks along with his kids and girlfriend in search of the medallion in both 2011 and 2012.
The Forest Lake man came upon the clear, acrylic sphere in Bridle Pass Park last Thursday.
His search began the previous Saturday in five or six parks with the strategy of “just look and maybe get lucky,” he said.
After picking the kids up from daycare last Tuesday, Metty took the crew to Southview Park. By Wednesday, he was pretty sure that Bridle Pass was the place to be.
“I started thinking of all the horse racing references [in the clues],” he said.
A man and a woman were there along with Metty on Thursday morning. The woman was in her fourth day of searching the park.
“We were digging all over the place,” Metty said.
Eventually, he searched by some trees away from the park’s center area. On his way back to the playground area, he ran smack into the medallion, sitting in plain sight.
“There it was, right on top of the snow,” he said. “It had a little bit of frost on it, so it blended in pretty well.”
Metty sent a picture to his girlfriend, Jill, then went to the Forest Lake Area Chamber of Commerce to claim his $500 prize. The traffic control supervisor plans to treat Jill and the kids to a weekend getaway with the winnings.
He figures his find will not keep his kids – ages 15 months, 5, 7 and 9 – from wanting to take part in the hunt next winter.
“They usually find the playground and that’s about it,” he said.
After finding the medallion on Thursday, he picked the kids up and asked if they wanted to go search for it. When they affirmed, he pulled out the medallion.
“I’ve got a place to start looking,” he told them.
Medallion hunt organizer Renae Reedy, the city’s park director, said Bridle Pass Park has stuck in her head since the park’s playground was burned due to arson in 2011. It was rebuilt last year.
“It was kind of in the back of my mind that it might be a good place,” said Reedy of the park as a hiding spot for this year’s medallion.
She usually visits a handful of parks before deciding on the placement. This winter, Reedy threw the medallion into deep snow, so she was surprised to hear that Matt Metty found it atop the snow cover.
“It’s funny, you put it out there and a week goes by – it’s not like you can go check on it,” Reedy said.
The six verses of clues revealed before the end of the hunt featured several references to horses. This, Reedy said, alluded to Bridle Pass Park’s name and its location in a development with streets named after horses.
As usual, Reedy included several more subtle clues. A phrase telling hunters to reach high referred to the park’s position atop a hill, but Reedy figured many took it to mean the medallion was in a tree.
The second verse said “We set it, but then, Will we go there again?” Reedy explained this was a reference to the fire and the rebuilding of the playground.
Perhaps the hardest clue was “Ask the neighbors, they know. Rewards come to people who seek.”
This relates to the park’s origin, when nearby residents approached the city with a detailed proposal to have a park located there.
Another festival winner is yet to know of their luck. The chamber is looking for the owner of FLake Festival button No. 298. That number was drawn in the button raffle for $200 held Friday at Vannelli’s by the Lake.
The owner of the button has until tomorrow, March 1, to claim their prize by contactin g the chamber at 651-464-3200.
In pond hockey action, the team from Roberts Family Funeral Home won the FLake Festival tournament on Saturday with a 4-1 score in the championship game. Team members include former Forest Lake Rangers Matt Stendahl, Jon Bjork, Cory Minke, Corey Roberts, Clint Blum and Christian Fogerty.