In the hunt again

May 23 marks the beginning of the Hillsboro Folk Festival’s second annual medallion hunt.

The medallion will be hidden someplace within the Hillsboro city limits, and the first clue will be published in the newspapers May 23. Each day after, one new clue will be given to local participating businesses.

The first person to find the medallion will win $300 in cash, prizes and gift certificates from local merchants.

The hunt is sponsored by the business promotion committee of the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce.

“We are looking forward to a fun time with the hunt,” said Joel Klaassen, committee chair. “We hope it will bring people into our local businesses.”

Last year Justin Frost and Eric Driggers, both of Hillsboro, found the hidden treasure on Friday after three days of clues.

“This year I want to write the kind of clues that will spread the contest out a little longer and involve more people,” said Brian Unrau, the official clue writer.

“Last year was too easy.”

Besides writing the clues, Unrau also chooses the hiding spot for the medallion.

“I try to write the clues so the readers get an idea of the basic vicinity of the medallion, but still leave a bit of mystery in it for them to think about.”

Unrau began his “clue writing” hobby about 13 years ago when he attended a friend’s scavenger hunt.

“It was a lot of fun,” he said. “But as I read the clues, I thought to myself: ‘I could do better than that!'”

For the past 12 years, Unrau has had fall scavenger hunts at his home, involving 70 to 80 people. And he writes all the clues.

Unrau, who is a supervisor at Hillsboro Industries, said it is sometimes hard to decide where and how to begin the clue writing.

“I like to write clues so there are several ways to read the messages hidden inside,” Unrau said.

“The medallion hunt has some good prizes-people need to work a little to find it.”

Klaassen said the medallion will be out in the open and “there is no need for any earth moving equipment” to find it.

Whoever finds the medallion should call the Chamber of Commerce and leave a message if it is after hours.

The telephone number is 947-3506.

After the first published clue on May 23, daily clues will be given and can be found at the following participating businesses: Quick Flick, Ampride, Boucher’s Red Barn, Thee Bookstore, Country Haven Inn, Sunflower/Kitchen Corner, Nancy’s Fashions, the Hillsboro Free Press, The Real Estate Center and Total Home Repair.

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