Saturday, September 3, 2016

Clue Explanations

This year's chosen location had been on my short list for a few years.  When I went out to research it more closely I knew exactly what references I had to work with.  It is one of those "hide in plain sight" spots that is so noticeable on the periphery but unknown regarding specifics.  Walking up and looking at the gated west side I knew immediately I could have some fun with it.  From signs, to generators, and a fence with barbed wire at the top, there were possible references galore.

A cell tower is impossible to hide, but here, many of the clues lied at it's base.  With the bushes that surround it fully hiding and enclosing the area, there was no doubt that it was time for "game on".

Here are your explanations:

Clue #1

It is no secret that in the past I have used numbers and letters, and sometimes a certain number of letters in total or a particular sequence.  For example, one year, when the medallion was hidden at the dog training area, I wrote a clue with nine "k's" in it to represent K9 or Canine.  In the first verse of Number One, the letter "h" appears four times.  The hiding place is close to a number of 4H building.

In the second verse I was setting up some hunt parameters.  There are many signs in the area with plenty of numbers - both on Stadium Drive that runs next to it, as well as the signs on the cell tower area fence.  "Boundaries: refers to the tall chain link fence that encloses the area.

Clue #2

One thing I noticed when I explored the area was an access road that is hard to see from Stadium Drive - other words, "often unseen".  But looking at MapQuest's Satellite View it is plainly obvious.  That view also shows that the enclosed area revealed that "everything is there" that you would need.  The second verse pointed to one of the "ironies" or oddities that I sometimes stumble upon when seeking clue sources.  There is a road sign within mere feet of the cell tower enclosure that says "Cell Phone Use Prohibited".  I found it a strange "coincidence and irony".

To notice that you really had to "look, but think."  I didn't recognize it until I was looking at the hunt prep photos I took.

Clue # 3

If you found the general area, this clue would likely seal the deal for a hunter.  "Power" refers to the generator inside the tower enclosure.  There are bat houses in the area so it "drives you batty." Nearby is an "underground" cable marker.  A "sign: tells you how about "FCC Registration" which is an extension of the word "register".  The second verse is an attempt to draw your attention to the cell tower and general area.  If you "shake your head in acknowledgement", you are moving it up and down - just as you would when looking at a cell tower.  It can also be a pain in the neck that is an "exercise that exacts a price".  A difficult exercise would also be climbing up the cell tower ladder- a "a climb (that) is certainly not nice".  Finally, that are of Mineral Springs Park runs "broad ( and to Broadway) and deep".

Clue # 4

"Heard" is a cell phone reference as is "everyone's discussing it."  "Easy disguises may not be enough" refers to the large evergreen skirting that hide the electrical items at the tower base but clearly is not enough to hide or completely mask the cell tower.  When reviewing the clues with my trusted "Bouncers" they admitted to not even noticing that a cell tower is there.  There eyes "play tricks".  "Discover by hook" describes the chain "link" fence.

"Doors so few can open" are the gate to the area and the doors on the side of some of the electrical facilities within.

Clue #5

The first verse begins with cell phone references.  "Family and Friends" is a play on the popular "Friends and Family" discount cell phone plans.  "All the people we reach" is another cell phone usage reference.  "Lessons and learning", "wisdom", and "teach" refer to Pekin High School at the top of the nearby hill, and the differing lessons provided through a wide selection of Pekin Park Programs.

The last verse deal with the circumstances that places a cell tower in that location.  Those towers are private facilities.  They pay a lease to a public body - in this case the Pekin Park District.  Consequently, "they don't seem to belong" and as a privately owned entity in a park, they are "not where you'd expect them to be."  However, by paying that lease - often for many years - "they've earned the right to be there."

Clue #6

This clue zeroed in on items easily recognizable if a person was in the area and studied the cell tower enclosure.  If you were right there, these references would have tipped the hunter off that they were very close.

There is a  diesel "fuel" tank that refers to a 210 gallon "capacity."  "Color of cowards" is yellow and you will notice the two yellow squares in the diamonds on the power generators ("spotted in more than one place")  Finally, "strung alone" relates to the rope and bollard that runs along the bike trail adjacent to the area.

There you have it.  Christie Gray is the third repeat winner in the history of this storied event.  Every winner can testify to this being both an intellectual and physical exercise.  As a matter of fact, Christie shared that she had walked 7700 hundred steps the morning she found it - and she was just getting started!  Medallion Hunt success always is characterized by working smarter, and harder.  Anyone who finds the Pepsi Marigold Medallion can justifiably make the claim: "I earned it!"

As always, thank you to Pepsi for their on-going support; thank you to a fantastic staff at the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce; thank you to my Bouncers and my Designated Hider; and thank you to all who make this event a part of their life for a few days at the end of summer.  My hope is that I bring you a little bit of joy and escape, and get your heart racing knowing that maybe this might... "be your year."

Gary Gillis
Cluemeister... Since 1988

The Medallion has been found!

Congratulations to Christie Gray who found the 2016 Pepsi Marigold Medallion late Saturday morning.  She found it in bushes near near the cell tower located in Mineral Springs Park.  This is off stadium drive, north of diamond six, and near the 4-H buildings.  Christie is an avid hunter who also found the medallion in 2011!

Clue Number 6

Clue Number 6

Time to fuel your efforts,
Feeding your hunt capacity.
In some ways I'm dying to get this over with.
It's all the same to me.

I saw the color of cowards,
Spotted in more than one place.
Will you quickly pick up on these references?
Or be strung along in this race?

Friday, September 2, 2016

Next Clues?

For all of the hunters who are planning ahead...

Clue #6 will be released at 6:30 am on Saturday morning and Clue #7 will be released at 6:30am on Monday morning.  (No clue on Sunday.)

Good luck!

Clue Number 5

Clue Number 5

Life is really about family and friends,
And all the people we reach.
It is also about lessons and learning,
The endless wisdom we all should teach.

There are things that don't seem to belong;
Not where you'd expect them to be.
But they've earned the right to be there.
In life, nothing is ever free.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Clue Number 4

Clue Number 4

Perhaps you've heard it all before,
About how this effort is so tough,
Now everyone's discussing it,
Easy disguises may not be enough.

Remember your eyes can play tricks on you.
You'll discover by hook or by crook.
Seek doors so few can open.
It's a link to where one should look.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Clue Number 3

Clue Number 3

There's no power in driving you batty,
Or sending you underground.
Go register your complaint,
Filed where something common abounds.

So shake your head in acknowledgement.
This exercise exacts a price.
My meanings could really run broad and deep,
And the climb is certainly not nice.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Clue Number 2

Clue Number 2

MapQuest is a great service.
With maps and a satellite view.
Pretty much everything is there.
The often unseen can be revealed to you.

Interesting things I sometimes come across,
Are coincidences and irony.
A rule before all you hunters,
Look, but think, and you might see.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Clue Number 1

Clue Number 1

Here it is, can you believe,
Your coveted time has arrived?
I can often seem didactic,
As I separate the real from the contrived.

I will cast out your share of numbers;
Words and letters too.
I can't bring you into my confidence yet.
But my boundaries might yield a clue.

2016 Disclaimer

The Pepsi-Marigold Medallion WILL be found on PUBLIC property--either within or contiguous to city boundaries, or property owned by a Pekin public body.

It is NOT hidden on any golf course, inside the stadium area, inside Dragonland, inside any school facility, around the Sun Dial, or in close proximity to the Pekin Archery Range or the UAW Highrise.  The Medallion is NOT hidden within a recessed light fixture at the Pekin Public Library or in close proximity to the Pekin Federal Prison's fenced perimeter.

Hunters do not need to dig up or climb up to find the Medallion. It may be carefully camouflaged or hidden within something easily accessible and not requiring disassembly. The chosen hiding place is always selected with safety and accessibility given the highest consideration.

Finally, be on the watch for Poison Ivy and Poison Oak, and PLEASE, be respectful of others' property as well as your fellow hunters.

For the latest clue or updates, visit or visit the official Facebook page, Marigold Medallion Hunt, or call the Pepsi-Marigold Medallion Hunt hotline at 346-HUNT.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Congratulations to the Helmig Family

Here's the family with this year's Pepsi Marigold Medallion.  Congratulations to Jason and Carrie Helmig and their boys!

Clue Explanations

I had planned to use the R/C Flying Club area of Dirksen Park last year until the Pekin Housing Authority piqued my interest. There is always a risk choosing a place that one group of people may know much better than anyone else. You have to guard against using any reference that would give them a decided advantage. The R/C Club grounds and flying field are quite distinctive. It called for select word play and references not unique to the club or the area. Finding the right mix of words and properly disguising them was a challenge. It always is. But it also adds to the fun. The crazy use of idioms, international signal flags, and Victoria's Secret was something different. That keeps hunters guessing and me ever unpredictable. I really enjoyed writing them this year. Hopefully, you enjoyed them too.


"Friends" is a reference to those who are a part of a known group- in this case the R/C Club. "Well" refers to the old well that lays within a few feet of the hiding location. It is noted by virtue of its large concrete base. "Different references" lets the hunter know of a variety of differing types of references that would be used. "Time" is part of the planned use of idioms- in this case "time-flies". "Colors" and "subtleties" is a background and hunt construction reference. "Angle" refers to the yellow wire support on a nearby utility pole and the leaning poles of the Tee Pee. Next to the hiding place there is a rusty pipe prominently protruding from the ground shaped like a Shepherd's Hook. You'll note its "bend". The road into the park area bends as well. "To succeed you must really care" is a trait an R/C enthusiast must have.


"Times" again is the idiom reference to "Time flies". "Seek assistance" refers to the sign that instructs non-R/C Club members to contact the Park District for help in reaching a club member. "Not everyone is invited" regards "No Dogs Allowed" sign. "Resistance" describes the wind sock on top of the Club's shelter. The entire second verse entails an interesting and somewhat humorous observation. Driving into the park there is a sign that tells you not to park in the grass. But if you look at the four handicapped parking signs, they are all in the grass. So do they "allow it" or "do they deny". It posed a puzzling question.


The first verse is all about the medallion being disguised- or camouflaged. "Idioms" relates to the number of popular phrases I planned to use such as "time flies", "as the crow flies", and "catch more flies with honey".  "Axioms" are the rules- both in the park and in the hunt. "Passionate" refers to the R/C Club members and "vary in shape and size" relates to the different model airplanes they may use.


The first line was the subject of a number of re-writes. I wanted to describe the R/C Club enclosure that lies inside the park, but avoid tempting people to go inside buildings, even though it's disallowed in the rules. Hence the reference to "Within is not in". "Spellbound" relates to the non-traditional spelling of the first name of the flying field's namesake "Hermon" D. Lowery Field. "Spin" relates to a plane's propeller. "Deeply" again refers to the defunct well. The second verse was written for all hunt detectives to do some background work. The three flags are yellow and red. There are three tables adjacent to the flying field that have yellow and red mounts or holders on them as well as the yellow pole support and the red signs in the area. "Proudly waving" again referred to the windsock as well as the American Flag on the grounds.


"Open space" describes the area from which the planes take-off, are flown, and land. To get to the park you have to "travel out" and club members fly their models outside the fenced club enclosure and then go "back in". "Confinement" is the closed off fence area that you must "step outside" of to fly your plane and "let the fun begin". I hope the Victoria's Secret reference doesn't get me in trouble but the reference I was making - and the "two words that really apply" were "runway models." The "rules by which you must comply" relate to the many signs on the outer fence to the club area.


The first verse is all about building a model - in this case a remote controlled model airplane. "Crow" in the second verse relates to the idiom of "as the crow flies". "Life is about diversity" comments on the benefit of having an interest or hobby like remote-control airplanes. "Find your focus" and "more for you to see" refers to how well hidden and camouflaged the medallion was. 

Clue #7

The reference to "your temperature" directed hunters to Route 98. "Spinning" related to propeller and "wheels spinning" denotes distance or traveling farther out to find the hiding place. You catch more "flies" with honey. This related to flying. "Spreading out" as in spreading your "wings". "Out" also hinted that the hiding place was "out of town".  In the second verse "slim chances" stood for "remote" as in remote control. "Pay your dues" is often part of belonging to a club as in "R/C Club". "Do by yourself" is flying RC planes. "Control" relates to remote control.

There you have it. Congratulations to Carrie Helmig and her family on a job well-done. Hunting for the medallion has been a lifetime endeavor for her. But this year she finally experienced the joy of the find. I couldn't be happier for her.

We would be remiss if we didn't thank the folks at Pepsi for their many years of support for this very popular event. They help make it the grand daddy of all hunts that it has become. Finally, thank you to all who show their grit and determination - in all kinds of weather - who think hard and work hard to seek this coveted prize. I know it can be frustrating at times. But perseverance is often well-rewarded. Just ask Carrie Helmig.

Gary Gillis
Pepsi Marigold Medallion Hunt

Monday, September 7, 2015

Medallion Found!

Congratulations to Carrie & Jason Helmig who found the Pepsi Marigold Medallion at about 10:50am on Labor Day after reading Clue #7.  It was found at the Dirksen Park RC Flying Field.  More details and the clue explanations will be posted later this week.

Clue #7

Do you find your temperature rising?
Wheels spinning about?
Catching more with honey.
As I'm spreading it all out.

In life slim chances may be all you get.
Pay your dues or pay your toll.
Some things you do by yourself,
Under direction and control.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Clue #6

Time to lay out pieces before you.
There are instructions to peruse.
Step by step you'll complete it.
It will be finished and put to good use.

I hate to crow about it.
But life is about diversity.
Sometimes you have to find your focus.
For there's more there for you to see.

Clue #7, if needed, will be posted at 6:30am on Monday (Labor Day)

Friday, September 4, 2015

Clue #5

Open space as you continue this race,
Traveling out or back in.
In some ways you'll feel confinement.
Step outside and the fun then begins.

Does Victoria really have a secret?
There are two words that really apply.
One must see the application.
And look for rules by which you must comply.

If needed, Clue #6 will be posted at 6:30am on Saturday and Clue #7 will be posted at 6:30am on Monday (Labor Day).


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Clue #4

Within is not in, now the stress begins,
Spellbound hunters looking about.
It's all in how you spin it.
Think deeply and there'll be no doubt.

So consider International Signal Flags.
Go find O and R and Y.
Proudly waving a message,
Found simply standing by.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Clue #3

Don't forget that I try to befuddle,
Placing things in disguise
You may look but really don't see,
That it's right before your eyes.

Idioms and axioms,
May lead you to your prize.
Just like passionate seekers,
They can vary in shape and size.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Clue #2

There are times that I can be direct,
At others you'll seek assistance.
Not everyone is invited.
Nearby you may find resistance.

Typical markings I found are lacking.
Yet the rules say you must comply.
Then they actually allow it.
Can you do it, or do they deny?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Clue #1

Here we are again my friends.
I really wish you well.
So many different references,
I'll release as time will tell.

Colors again create value.
Subtleties are here and there.
Catch my angle, bend my words,
To succeed you must really care.

2015 Disclaimer

The Pepsi-Marigold Medallion WILL be found on PUBLIC property--either within or contiguous to city boundaries, or property owned by a Pekin public body.

It is NOT hidden on any golf course, inside the stadium area, inside Dragonland, inside any school facility, around the Sun Dial, or in close proximity to the Pekin Archery Range or the UAW Highrise.  The Medallion is NOT hidden within a recessed light fixture at the Pekin Public Library or in close proximity to the Pekin Federal Prison's fenced perimeter.

Hunters do not need to dig up or climb up to find the Medallion. It may be carefully camouflaged or hidden within something easily accessible and not requiring disassembly. The chosen hiding place is always selected with safety and accessibility given the highest consideration.

Finally, be on the watch for Poison Ivy and Poison Oak, and PLEASE, be respectful of others' property as well as your fellow hunters.

For the latest clue or updates, visit  or call the Pepsi-Marigold Medallion Hunt hotline at 346-HUNT.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Pepsi Marigold Medallion Hunt Begins Soon

The 2015 Pepsi Marigold Medallion Hunt will begin soon.  The first clue will be released on Monday, August 31st on this page.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Clue Explanations

I never know what will inspire my selection of the Medallion's chosen hiding spot.  Some years I have the general location in mind months, if not years, in advance.  Other years, it is simply a spontaneous selection.  This was one of those other years.

Traveling down Broadway not too long ago, I just happened to look over at the Pekin Housing Authority office.  I was immediately struck by the thought that it is a public building that doesn't stand out.  Simple, yet modern, it is one of those places that you drive by all the time but seem to never notice.  But for my purpose, it was perfect.

The location did present some challenges, however.  It lies on one of Pekin's busiest streets.  Three sides- the north, east and west-are easily seen from multiple vantage points, making hiding difficult.  There aren't an abundance of usable trees or bushes in which to place the medallion.  The general property is fairly small.  And I knew there were a few avid and active medallion hunters who work in the building, giving them a possible advantage.  As a result, the clues had to be especially cryptic to guard against revealing anything too obvious to anyone who knew the area well.

There is not a lot to work with at the chosen site.  Anything used risked revealing too much- too early. So I chose some nearby components as references to draw the hunter in.  The Park's Old Train Depot was my most obvious choice.  But I also knew that I could use the small shopping plaza to the west, the woods across the street, and the Methodist Medical facility close by.  I'll admit this was a tough one.  But it had to be.  That's also what made it fun and long-lasting.

First Clue:  The  first two lines refer to the addition of a Labor Day clue.  "Variety to work with" deals with the diverse nature of things at the sight- a building, landscaping, variety of bushes, and other differing features.  "Shade and sun" describes the general area.  In the second verse, "different methodology" relates to the initial focus in a nearby landmark- the Old Depot.  Also the "methodology" was a play on the Methodist Medical facility.  "Within and without" refers to the fact that the Pekin Housing Authority has properties inside Pekin's city limits as well as in neighboring communities.  The last two lines let hunters know that, because of the little-known nature of the chosen location, it would be difficult to try to participate in the hunt by just reading the clues at home.  "Purists" know that it also takes a lot of driving around, walking and searching.  "Armchair" loosely refers to furnishings which you would find in a home or apartment.

Second Clue:  "Colors" describes the building and area.  Also, anyone who knows the Pekin Housing Authority (PHA), or would research it, knows that its director is Dennis Green.  "Numbers not easily seen" are the many numbers on the train depot's historic marker, which I refer to often.  "Closer examination" relates to the nearby medical facility and "betwixt and between" refers to one of the middle bushes chosen as the hiding spot.  In the second verse, "sense of direction" relates to the one-way street as does "understanding of rules."  It also reminds the hunter that, according to the rules, the PHA is public property.  The last two lines let the hunter know, again, that by using the depot as a main reference point, it was not the obvious location.  It was a building close by.

Third Clue:  "Continuation of things conducted in the recent past" refers to last year's spot- at the Pavilion- being an "in-town" chosen hiding spot.  "Different perspective" relates back to the depot as a reference point- not the exact point.  "Peripatetic" also lets the hunter know that they will have to look all around, not just fixate on the depot.  "Round and round" refers to the old locomotive turntable that once was adjacent to the depot sight and is referenced on the historic marker.  "Look and study carefully" is a directive regarding that marker.  "The obvious is not where it's found" informs the hunter that, even though they discover the clues gleaned from the depot, the medallion would not be found at that exact location.

Clue Four:  The entire first verse deals with the bronze historic marker prominently displayed on the depot's south side.  "Heartstrings" refers to the cardio unit at the Methodist Medical facility.  If you studied the sign you'd see that the depot was one of five train depots in Pekin at the time.  "Six" is the number of units managed by the PHA (found on their website).  "Any way you choose to turn" again refers to the one-way street which junctions on Broadway necessitating either a right- or left-hand turn.
The last line refers back to the information contained in the historic depot marker.

Clue Five:  "Seeking one of five"  relates back to that reference on the depot historic marker. "Posted" also relates to the sign mounted on that building.  The second verse is entirely about 19th Street which is one way. Turning off Broadway to specifically go to the PHA seems entirely logical but as a one-way street you can't.  So "sometimes what's wrong can really seem right."  (Check it out- in that context, one way seems odd at best.)  The last two lines refer to all the warning signs dealing with the do not enter aspect of the street.  Lastly the word "trained" relates to the depot.

Clue Six:  I really struggled with the first verse.  How do you convey the concept of renting without using the word "rent"?  I end it by sharing a current economic phenomenon of many people now finding it more financially feasible to rent.  That's their "druthers" and does not subject them to other "limits" they may discover in attempting to buy a home.  The second verse relates entirely to the depot and the historic marker.  "Forwards and backwards" relates to trains.  "Seek an original from so long ago" is the depot.  If you look at the sign and add up the listed date of 1898, it adds up sequentially to "twenty-six."  Herbert Hoover who stopped there on his presidential re-election bid was president number "thirty-one."  I put these facts in for those enjoying the piecing together and interpretive aspect to the hunt.  It was a pure exercise in detective work.

Clue Seven:  "Single way" refers to the one-way street.  "Double" refers to the two sets of windows on the PHA's south side.  The windows are sets of three ("third").  And going back to the "third" clue reminds the hunter that the "obvious is not where it's found"- the Depot.  Therefore "near but not right before your eyes" also refers to that.  "Difficult being the middle" relates to the inner bushes on the building's south side. "Faith" refers to the old spiritual hymn "Rock of Ages" in this case the music store.  "Resides" refers to housing.  The "sun comes up and later it sets" relates to east-west.  Broadway is one of Pekin's most east-west routes.  "Travel about" is a road reference, again to Broadway, which passed within yards of the hiding spot.

Clue Eight:  "Track" refers to railroad tracks.  "Roads you cross" relates to the crosswalk at the "end" of the bike "trail."  The south side of the PHA's roof has some distinct vents right above the chosen spot.  In the second verse, "shades of brown" refers to the building and its sign.  "Beauty" is the beauty shop next door.  "Illuminate at all hours" refers to the recessed lighting in the soffit of the building that shines down on the chosen bush after dark.  "Near a building of times of old" refers again to the nearby Historic Train Depot.

Clue Nine:  This one was the clincher.  "Bushed" was the bush in which the medallion was hidden.  "Methods" again played off the Methodist Medical facility.  "Broaden the way" refers to "Broadway."  "Train" is obvious.  The "special sign" was the historic marker with the added reference to "study the words."  In the second verse, "no in, only an out" relates to 19th Street which is one way.  "The spot you seek is near" was for those searching near the depot letting them know that it was nearby but not right there.  "Sounds of traffic" lets hunters know it was a fairly busy street.  And "music" refers to the Rock of Ages music store.

I have received some feedback that the Pekin Housing Authority is not a public body.  It absolutely is.  Even the sign out front boldly refers to "The City of Pekin."  Katelynn Chriswell and Tyler Runyon knew that.  They worked the clues and earned their prize.  Congratulations to them on their success.

As always, there can only be one winner of the Medallion Hunt.  But my goal has always been to make the thrill of the hunt the major attraction.  Families, couples, friends, and neighbors working together and enjoying the possibility of the find is really what the hunt is all about.  Thank you to Pepsi for their wonderful sponsorship and thank you to all who participated this year.
Gary Gillis

Pepsi Medallion Has Been Found !!

Congratulations to Katelynn Chriswell and Tyler Runyon who found the Pepsi Medallion about 13 minutes after clue #9 was released today.  It was found near the office of the Pekin Housing Authority.  More details will be released later.

Clue #9

Clue #9

Bushed by now, your methods depleted,
So I'll have to broaden the way.
Train your thoughts on a special sign.
Study the words with no delay.

There's a place with no in, only an out;
The spot you seek is near.
Listen carefully to the sounds of traffic,
To the lucky it's music to their ears.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Clue #8

Clue # 8

I've tried to track your progress,
No matter the roads you cross.
By now you've vented, your trail nearly ended;
When you win it's worth the cost.

Shades of brown and replication;
A beauty to behold.
I'll illuminate you at all hours,
Near a building of times of old.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Clue #7

Clue #7

Through perseverance, determination and open-mindedness,
There's no single way to seek your prize.
Double your focus ending in the third one.
Since it's near but not right before your eyes.

It's often difficult being in the middle.
But your faith resides within.
The sun comes up and later it sets,
As you travel about to find your win.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Clue #6

Clue #6

You often have to own up to life's demands,
Or borrow from what belongs to others.
They're really found here and there,
Often determined by limits and druthers.

I found that it moved forwards and backwards,
So seek an original from so long ago.
Adding to the mystery twenty-six times,
But number thirty-one was there for the show.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Next Clues...

Clue #6 will be released here at 6:00am on Saturday.

Clue #7 will be released here at 6:00am on Monday.

Clue #5

Clue #5

A holiday weekend is nearly at hand.
So I'll send you seeking one of five.
It's posted clearly for everyone.
Peruse carefully and keep your efforts alive.

Sometimes what's wrong can really seem right.
It's all in how we're trained.
But life is full of warning signs,
A stern denial a familiar refrain.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Clue #4

Clue #4

This year requires some reading.
It's a sign of what's easily seen.
Some will require deep thinking.
The rest is pure history.

I may also tear at your heartstrings,
As you seek the five and look for six.
Any way you choose to turn,
You may find facts thrown into the mix.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Clue #3

Clue # 3

This year I seek a continuation,
Of things conducted in the recent past.
Assume a different perspective,
Or this ruse could perpetually last.

It's really a peripatetic effort,
As you're going round and round.
Look and study carefully,
Since the obvious is not where it's found.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Clue #2

Clue # 2

Colors always bring value.
And there are numbers not easily seen.
There'll be a need for closer examination,
As you look betwixt and between.

You'll also need a sense of direction,
And an understanding of the rules.
Life's answers are not always obvious,
As one may walk away feeling the fool.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Clue #1

Clue # 1
Here we are and we've made a change,
For I've given you more weekend fun.
So much variety to work with,
Benefiting from time in the shade and sun.
I'll employ a different methodology,
As you seek what's within and without.
Armchair quarterbacks may have their focus,
While purists always harbor some doubts.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

2014 Disclaimer

With the announcement of the disclaimer, you know the Pepsi Marigold Medallion Hunt is close at hand.  The first clue will be released at noon on Monday, August 25th.

The Pepsi-Marigold Medallion WILL be found on PUBLIC property--either within or contiguous to city boundaries, or property owned by a Pekin public body.

It is NOT hidden on any golf course, inside the stadium area, inside Dragonland, inside any school facility, around the Sun Dial, or in close proximity to the Pekin Archery Range or the UAW Highrise.  The Medallion is NOT hidden within a recessed light fixture at the Pekin Public Library or in close proximity to the Pekin Federal Prison's fenced perimeter.

Hunters do not need to dig up or climb up to find the Medallion. It may be carefully camouflaged or hidden within something easily accessible and not requiring disassembly. The chosen hiding place is always selected with safety and accessibility given the highest consideration.

Finally, be on the watch for Poison Ivy and Poison Oak, and PLEASE, be respectful of others' property as well as your fellow hunters.

For the latest clue or updates, visit  or call the Pepsi-Marigold Medallion Hunt hotline at 346-HUNT.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The 2013 Clue Explanations

For a number of years, I longed to use the Pavilion as a hiding location. Its high visibility, less than abundant hiding spots, and clearly seen items near it, made the use of it fun but also very challenging. The only place I could put the medallion was under ground-level gaps in the lattice skirting around the Pavilion's deck. There are two obvious openings. But, last fall I spied another on the northwest corner of the building. To insure that the hunt would not be a short one, I knew that I would have to choose a hiding place slightly beneath the decking. That still might make it too visible. Therefore, I chose to attach the medallion to a small piece of wood with nearly invisible fishing line. My hider could then slide the medallion back slightly to avoid quick detection. It would only be that piece of wood that could be easily seen.

More than anything, it was the calendar that led to the Pavilion being selected. It turned 108 years old on July 3rd. Given the popularity of Pekin School District 108, this would provide an opportunity to easily disguise early clues. Sneaky, I admit, but it is what it is. So here are my explanations. Just remember, this is all in good fun.

Clue #1
The first clue has typically been a "set-up" clue whereby I provide some background for things to come. But sometimes there are direct references. "Many ways to decipher"; "so much available to work with", "add" point to the multiple hints and meanings that the hunter will have to work with. The other references were specific to the location. "Pull you in" referred to the fact that the medallion was attached to a 14-inch fishing line that you had to pull to retrieve the prize. "Share" and "memories" applied to two things. One of the plaques on a Lagoon light nearby dedicated to Virgil Vogel recalls "memories" and a bench in the Pergola, which lies in the shadow of the Pavilion, says "memories shared" with a plaque indicating that it was donated by Gary and Becky Gillis.

Clue #2
My eventual reference to 108 referred to the Pavilion being 108 years old this year. That info can be found in the rentals area on the Park District's website. Admittedly, to find it would require "some homework" and perusing the Internet was "technology...useful in your study." "Winning titles" referred to the dedications on two lights in close proximity dedicated to past Park District Commissioners, Tim Soldwedel and Edward Oberle. They were both elected to that office and it was by "winning (those) titles" that they earned the opportunity to serve. In the second verse "oddities" referred to the portico on the east side. I've always found it odd that it provides no direct entrance to the Pavilion Porch. You're covered when beneath it but have to walk out from under its protection to get anywhere. Also the dormers are all made to look bigger by a wide facade that hides that fact that they're smaller than they look. Finally, I wanted hunters to know that I would not use ample themes but use more direct references.

Clue #3
This is where I introduced the key number 108. "Five score" equals 100, "lucky" refers to 7, "plus one" total 108. "Compilation of numbers" and "use of colors" relates to later use of number totals and sign colors. The Pavilion is illuminated at night so the darkness of "evenings do not encumber." "Walk diligently" let the hunter know that to find the next reference requires walking slowly and observing the many plaques on the decorative lights. "Twelve" and "thirty-four" are the number of years that Mr. Soldwedel and Mr. Oberle served on the Park Board as introduced in Clue 2. "Dash" was the "-" denoting the range of years they served. "Assistance" relates to the offer of such on one of the park signs nearby.

Clue #4
The fourth verse all related to information on park signs near the Lagoon deck and patio on the west side. There is a sign close by that says the distance around the Lagoon is 2440 feet. Those numbers individually total "Ten." "Seventeen point five" are the number of total hours referred to as the park being open--6 am to 11:30 pm. My hints to that were "watch" and "times." I begin the second verse pointing out the subtleties in these references as "subtle changes." "Colors of the environment and a rider in France" describe the colors of some of those signs. "Environment" is Green and the "rider in France refers to the Tour de France whose leader proudly wears a yellow jersey. "Lines that run in constant alignment" are the colored bricks that highlight the Pavilion patio. As such they are there "for no other purpose except to enhance."

Clue #5
The first verse was a continued tutorial of what the hunter needed to consider. "Mathematics" and "geometry" defined the type of work the hunt would require. "Signs" again referred to the many instruction signs and some of the park rules were "points denied." "Exercise" relates to the many walkers regularly seen walking around the Lagoon and near the Pavilion.

In the second verse, "go on" and "seems to last forever" refers to the age of the Pavilion and its role as a long standing, revered community fixture. "Pull" is in reference to the medallion being attached to the fishing line that had to be pulled in.

Clue #6
As always, this clue is the toughest since it might need to last the weekend. The intent behind the first verse was to draw the hunter to the name "Pauley." The "pugilistic movie classic" was Rocky. Burt Young played "Paulie" in that movie and the sequels that followed. "Tarzan's...pal" was Jane and the "studious" research of that name could lead to the name Jane Pauley, the former television news anchor. If you "research" Pauley, you'll quickly discover the famous Pauley "Pavilion" in Los Angeles.

The second verse was basically instructional. The key word was "commodities." If you "observe everything in all directions" you would look up and see that the Pavilion turrets have a "silver" roof capped by a "gold" finial. (I labored over the use of the word "finial" but felt that doing so might give it away.)

Clue #7
This one started with an intentional curveball. "This special fall event" referred to Winter Wonderland's popular Opening Ceremony--not the Marigold Festival. It occurs the Sunday after Thanksgiving which is still the fall season. The central gathering place for it is the Pavilion. "Focus on the trees" refers to the many Christmas Trees that adorn Mineral Springs Park during that wonderful event. If you "examine (the Pavilion) closely" you see three main entrances with the lesser known door on the north side creating "more than three."

"Noah had his method" and "orderly system" relates to his responsibility to gather animals two by two. The pillars on the pavilion stand predominately in groups of two. And of course, unlike Noah's creatures, the pillars are "inanimate" objects.

Clue #8
By Wednesday I wanted to work more directly toward a fitting conclusion. The first verse exclusively attempts to draw attention to the Pavilion itself. "One-o-eight" is the Pavilion's age. Not having anything to do with our local school district I was "not talking about what you think it is." "Public website" was the park's and "date" was the year 1905--108 years ago.

"Criss-cross" described the lattice skirting to the Pavilion's deck. You had to reach slightly beneath an opening in it, hence, "with some effort it's within your reach." "The land down under" was the area below the deck. "Endemic" is defined as something peculiar to an area. Mineral Springs Park is primarily about green space and natural areas. The Pavilion stands out as a beautiful contrast and compliment to it.

Clue #9
I rewrote this one in the wee hours of the morning to try to wrap things up. It was time to divert attention to the festival itself. The whole first verse makes it pretty obvious. It was written to basically yell, "It's at the Pavilion!" However, the first line let the hunter know that the Medallion was hidden "down-low," and to retrieve it, you had to "pull this thing out." The second verse was subjected to numerous rewrites. A "small piece of wood" to which "fishing line is connected." "Reach in" relates to the Medallion's position through an "opening" beneath the lattice were it was found.

More than likely, it will be a long time before the Pavilion is a hiding place again. I exhausted most of my references having held back a few for a possible tenth clue. In discussing the hunt afterwards with the finders, they were spot-on with many of the interpretations. I call that "validation" and that represents my own reward.

I am extremely happy for John and Sarah Hessling for their discovery. They worked hard and they earned it. You can't ask for a better outcome. As always, I thank those nameless few who helped me in this effort. They alone know who they are but will never know how much I appreciate their help and their treasured friendship. I also thank Pepsi for their long-standing and faithful support. It would difficult to do this without them. But more than anything, I thank everyone who hunted--all you amateur sleuths and enthusiasts. If not for your passionate participation this event would simply cease to be. The Pepsi Marigold Medallion Hunt is not my event--it is yours.

Thank you.

Gary Gillis

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Hunt is Over

Congratulations to John & Sara Hessling from Marquette Heights who figured out the clues and found the Pepsi Marigold Medallion this afternoon at about 12:30pm.  More details to follow.

Clue #9

Time for the down-low, lets pull this thing out.
"Pride in place" is the expression of the day.
I float by you a true icon;
Pillars of the community you'd have to say.

To find your prize, seek a small piece of wood,
To which fishing line is connected.
Reach in carefully for it lies alone,
An opening to a hunt now perfected.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Clue #8

Lets go back to your third clue.
You should interpret it as one-o-eight.
I'm not talking about what you think it is.
A public website may help find a date.

So go out and criss-cross all over.
With some effort it's within your reach.
The desired outcome lies in the land down under;
An endemic outlook of which I beseech.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Clue #7

Looking forward to this special fall event,
It's cool but I focus on the trees.
You mainly approach from one direction.
Examine closely and you'll notice more than three.

Noah had his method;
An orderly system he had to use.
But my approach is more inanimate;
It's a way I perpetuate this ruse.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Clue #6

He was great in a pugilistic movie classic;
And remember that Tarzan had his pal.
There's a noun in there somewhere.
The most studious will research it well.

Expand your field of vision.
Observe everything in all directions.
Consider how useful are commodities,
That create the basis for your detection.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Clue #5

You've had an exercise in mathematics;
Perhaps some geometry eventually applied.
They are signs for your deliberation.
Continue slowly and note points denied.

The holiday is nearly upon us.
How long with this hunt go on?
Seems like it will last forever.
It could happen if I pull off this con.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Clue #4

Here comes the use of more numbers.
Ten and seventeen point five.
Another step toward my combinations,
And watch for the times I derive.

Remember to look closely for subtle changes;
Colors of the environment and a rider in France.
Lines that seem to run in consistant allignment;
For no other purpose except to enhance.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Clue #3

Five score and the lucky plus one,
A veritable compilation of numbers.
Throw in the use of colors,
Knowing evenings do not encumber.

Walk diligently counting twelve then thirty-four,
It's all in how you look.
Dash around but not too swiftly,
Or your assistance could be easily mistook.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Clue #2

This year you'll need to do your homework,
Technology useful in your study.
Winning titles and seeking summation,
While being respectful of your hunting buddies

As a detective you look for oddities.
But the hunter looks for themes.
Better to examine the evidence carefully,
Thinking as directly as this writer deems.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Clue #1

Hard to believe it's here again,
That time to pull you in.
While there are many ways to decipher,
There's only one path that yields the win.

Some only share abundant facts and figures,
Until you can't tell the forest from the trees.
So much available to work with,
Finding ways to add to hunting memories.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It Starts on Monday at Noon

The official disclaimer for the 2013 Pepsi Marigold Medallion Hunt:

The Pepsi Marigold Medallion will not be hidden on any golf course, public or private, inside Pekin Community High School stadium, Dragonland, any school facility, flowerbed, around the Sun Dial, or in close proximity to the Pekin Archery Range and the U.A.W. Highrise. The medallion will not be placed in a recessed lighting fixture at the Pekin Public Library or Dirksen Congressional Center. The medallion also will not be placed near the fence at the Federal Bureau of Prisons. No location will be selected that requires physical risk. Please be careful to look out for poison ivy and poison oak. Also, please be respectful of the property that you are on and considerate of your fellow hunters.

Good luck!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Medallion Found!

Part of the great 2012 Pepsi Marigold Medallion Hunt mystery has been solved!  An 11 year-old camper from the Pekin Park District's summer camp program found the original 2012 medallion near the Soldwedel Program Center.

You might recall the 2012 Medallion was discovered missing from it's original hiding spot after Clue 6 was revealed.  But no one called by the deadline, so a replacement medallion was hidden in the same spot and the hunt continued.

Many theories were given on the disappearance.  The most likely explanation was that an animal drug it away, and that appears to be the case.  Watch for more information on the story of the 2012 medallion in the next few days.

The first clue for the 2013 Pepsi Marigold Medallion Hunt will be released on Monday, August 26th.

Friday, May 31, 2013

2013 Pepsi Medallion Revealed

Thanks to Miranda Decker, the 2013 PCHS graduate and art student, who designed the 2013 Pepsi Medallion.  It's a beautiful medallion made of a clear piece of acrylic.  In the picture below it is sitting on a piece of yellow tissue paper. 

Watch for the first clue on Monday, August 26th.