For a Father and Son Finding the Oktoberfest Medallion Has Special Meaning


The 2018 Oktoberfest Medallion Hunt is over after a father-son team found the prize.

For the Kirschbaum family the Oktoberfest Medallion Hunt has been a family tradition for 31 years.

“It always started with the paper in the morning getting the clues. Before the internet, looking up hints from the La Crosse history books that we had specifically just for searching for the medallion,” said Michael Kirschbaum Jr., who along with his father found the medallion.

And the Kirschbaum’s have come close to finding the medallion before.

“I’ve walked right by it before. I’ve decided not to go in the tunnel underneath Losey where I think it was a few years ago and it was found there the next day,” said Kirschbaum Jr.

But this was their year.

They only needed three clues, ones about a park, a picturesque place and Grandad’s Bluff.

“I just immediately thought Hixon Forest. Cause I was a golfer at Central and I remember people walking on those paths while we were golfing. Golf is obviously picturesque, Grandad’s Bluff is right there. I’m like ‘maybe it’s over there’,” said Kirschbaum Jr.

It was a bitter sweet moment for the family though.

It was the first medallion hunt they embarked on without their wife and mom, Bridget, after she passed away in late 2017.

But they know she would be happy.

“All of her friends, all of the people that knew her and knew her obsession with the medallion hunt have called us, messaged us,” said Michael Kirschbaum Sr., who found the medallion lodged in a tree.
Even though she was not there in person, they say she helped them.

They say Bridget always thought the clues either lead to Myrick Park or Hixon Forest, the exact place they would find the medallion this year.

“It’s amazing that we found it in some place where she always thought it was going to be and you know, very happy, very happy that we can share it,” said Kirschbaum Sr.

And the Kirschbaum’s won’t stop the tradition now, even after finding the ever-so elusive medallion.

“We’re defending now, so you have to defend,” said Kirschbaum Sr.

“Defending champions at this point, so we gotta keep going,” added Kirschbaum Jr.

As a prize for finding the medallion, they received $500, a gift bag and a replica medallion.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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