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Mindy Anderson and her daughters (holding Mardi Gras masks here) found the Ellsworth Cheese Curd Festival Medallion at Ellsworth Middle School Thursday afternoon. Attending a check presentation at the local Bank Mutual office, from left to right in the front, are: Julia, age nine, and Stella, 12. In the back are: Raynee Farrell of the bank and Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce’s festival committee, Anderson and Lydia, 14. (Herald photo by Bill Kirk)

Andersons find curd fest medallion by Ellsworth Middle School

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Andersons find curd fest medallion by Ellsworth Middle School
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

Mindy Anderson and her daughters—Lydia, Stella and Julia—found the Ellsworth Cheese Curd Festival Medallion at Ellsworth Middle School around 2 p.m. Thursday.


The Andersons said it was stuck between the back of a sign and the post holding that sign. They had driven to the school and stopped. Lydia got out of the vehicle first; shortly thereafter, she had the prize in her hand.

“I’ve been reading the clues for 30 years, ever since I was a kid,” Mindy Anderson said about her family’s first medallion find. “Next year, I’ll probably be even more excited to look.”

The group had followed the clues this year too, gaining success once the fifth one was issued. Referring to items in the clues which helped them, Anderson said a reference in the fourth clue to “pooling your resources” directed them to the Klaas-Jonas Community Swimming Pool, which is adjacent to EMS.

For clue five, she said they researched “The Five Man Electrical Band’s famous hit song,” discovering the lyrics “Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs…” That, along with the same clue’s directive to “Go right or go left…” made them believe they were on the right track because of all the signs near the front entrance to EMS (they regard pets, parking and deliveries).

“A median is the best measure to make…” is another line in the fifth clue, convincing them the medallion had to be near a median, she said. At one point, they drove out to the median where Hwys. 10 and 63 split (“Go right or go left…”), but the girls were reluctant to get out of the vehicle and search there. The median outside the local Holiday Station Store wasn’t the answer, either. Finally, they returned to the median in front of the school.

They’d been to the schools for the search before, having ridden their bikes earlier, Anderson said. At that time, the part of clue four saying “Go long to see where the hiding place is” had them mistakenly thinking the long jump for the track team was somehow involved.

Besides the $200 prize they claimed, the Andersons were given Mardi Gras masks at Thursday’s check presentation, symbolic of this year’s festival theme with the slogan, “Welcome to the Big Cheesy!”

The fifth and final clues was:

Clue 5

The Five Man Electrical Band’s famous hit song,

Is a massive clue that won’t steer you wrong.

If you are behind you are not alone,

Amid the arrows is the right zone.

Go right or go left, it’s hard to tell,

Examine this rhetoric and you will do well.

A median is the best measure to make,

Near a bell-shaped curve you will see the take.

Bill Kirk
Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.
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