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Hunting for clues is all in the family: Dew Days Medallion Hunt starts Tuesday

This year new leadership heads the 2018 Dew Days Medallion Hunt in father-daughter team of Kyle Thompson and Cassi Brand. The two enjoyed figuiring out clues and playing together for years and won the contests 2013 and 2015. Kara Hildreth / contributor

FARMINGTON — Cassi Brand remembers getting clues as a child to find gifts hidden around the house.

She grew skilled at deciphering the messages. Perhaps this family fun tradition served as training to win and lead the Dew Days Medallion Hunt.

This year the annual Farmington Dew Days Medallion Hunt will be led by father Kyle Thompson and his daughter, Cassi Brand.

Together they won in 2013 and 2015 and report to have had fun playing the last five years. This year they decided to join the Dew Days Committee and committed to leading the event.

Last year longtime leader Zack Mohlis announced he was looking for new leadership. Each year he strived to make the medallion hunt more engaging, fun and competitive with themes as he hid the items in parks across the city. He was ready to step down since he moved away from Farmington. Mohlis reached out to Brand and Thompson since they were good at the hunt.

The father-daughter team aim for the same mission: Improve the festival tradition by making the hunt fun and the clues a challenge. They hope to engage more individuals and families to play together.

"When I little he hid my Christmas and birthday presents," Brand said. This tradition created wonder, adventure and excitement.

"I have always wanted to be a part of Dew Days and the committee," she added.

Taking part in the hunt, Thompson said, was a way for him and his daughter to bond and spend time together. Granddaughter Cecelia was only a year old when she went out on her first medallion hunt adventure.

Thompson recalled the 2013 victory. The medallion was tucked away in a little tree in Vermillion Park Grove.

"It was off the side of the path in a patch of grove trees that was off on its own," Brand said.

In 2015, after contemplating the clues and formulating a strategy, they discovered the prize was inside a dinosaur egg hidden behind some pine trees in a nest.

"Most of the time we talk about it and make a few phone calls and texts and try to figure it out together, and then when my dad got off work after 5 p.m., we would go out," she said.

"The first year it was easier because I was working third shift," Thompson recalled.

Clues will be posted online at noon Tuesday, June 12, the first day of Dew Days at www.dewdays.com and on Facebook, where the event page can be found at Farmington Dew Days Medallion Hunt.

"This year we are going back to the original way it was done with the medallion," Brand said.

Paper copies of clues also will be available at City Hall and Rambling River Center. "That is for people who do not have internet access or do not have cellphones and still want to be part of it," Brand said.

Here's an early tip: there will be some clues regarding the history of Farmington. There will be a total of five clues posted online each day.

The finder will receive $200 in cash as long as the person has a Dew Days button in hand.

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