News Releases

5/26/2022 - Smoky Hill River Festival Medallion Quest Winner Announced


Salina Arts & Humanities announces that the winner of the 2022 Festival Medallion Quest (FMQ) is Samantha Uhler.

Uhler waited in her car this morning, waiting for the clue to be released. “Underfoot pattern” is the clue that led her to the location with patterned bricks. At 7:32 am Uhler discovered the Medallion under a yucca plant located in a brick-paved area at the southeast corner of the Ohio Street overpass.

Uhler is no stranger to the Festival Medallion Quest and had been nearby with her family when the Medallion was found as a bolt and nut (2012), a bean pod (2013), and an arrow on a sign (2014). This year she followed the clues from home and with the Smoky Hill River Festival Medallion Hunters Facebook group until day seven with the clue, “A state meets an ocean.” which lead her to the intersection of Ohio & Pacific. Her boyfriend, Isaac Beckman was a partner in the search, as well as her mother, Missy Slagle, who was with her on FaceTime when the Medallion was found.

Uhler is the 16th winner of the Festival Medallion Quest that was started in 2009 by the Smoky Hill River Festival. “The clues are not always what they mean,” she said, reporting that she touched every pole, bolt, and wood chip during her search. “I looked in Lakewood Park near the Frisbee golf baskets and mural, and at Indian Rock Park too… retracing my steps over and over.” She plans to use the cash prize to purchase books for her senior year at Bethany College, where she studies business administration.

The 2022 Quest took nearly nine days, clues were shared online at and posted outside the Eighth Street Salina Arts & Humanities office doors. To view the full set of Festival Medallion Quest clues, go to and click on the Clues page.

The 2022 Medallion is flat, approx. 2 inches in diameter, made of metal, and shaped like paint splatter, with raw metal on one side and a colorful rainbow pattern on the other. On Wednesday, May 25 Brad Anderson found that the original Medallion had been lost in the environment, likely because of the rain. It is promptly replaced with the Medallion that Uhler found, but this time it was left without disguise of organic matter. The 2022 Quest winner receives a prize package of $1,000 in cash and $2,000 in Gift Certificates to be used for shopping at the River Festival 2022 Fine Art and Craft Show. Other prizes include four Festival admission wristbands, a complimentary on-grounds VIP parking pass, an invitation for four to the Thursday-evening PREMIERE Art Patron party, and four River Festival 2022 T-shirts.

“The Festival Medallion Quest began as a way to bring families together and out into the landscape to celebrate the arts in a different way and to encourage patronage of the exhibiting artists.” said visual arts coordinator, Joan Benefiel. Over the years families have searched side by side, solved riddles, and endeavored to find the Medallion. It marks the official countdown to the River Festival.

The Smoky Hill River Festival, now in its 46th year, is the flagship event of Salina Arts & Humanities, a department of the City of Salina. The River Festival draws many local residents and out-of-town guests each year to Salina, to enjoy outdoor art installations, the Fine Art and Craft Show, three stages of live entertainment, the Artyopolis kid’s area, Festival food and more. The River Festival generates approximately $3.5 million in revenue each year, within the local community.

Advance-price, four-day Festival Wristbands are available until late Tuesday, June 7 at about 40 Salina locations and in 18 other regional cities. Children 11 and under get in FREE. For more information on the Festival Medallion Quest or the Smoky Hill River Festival, call 785-309-5770 or visit