By P.J. Tracy
Ka-Do-Ha Indian Village in Murfreesboro will host the fourth installment of Treasure Fest on April 2-3.
The event, which is billed as “the most epic metal detecting treasure hunt ever … fun for the whole family” will feature increased prizes — $17,000 in cash prizes and $30,000 worth of merchandise — both days from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cash prizes will include one $5,000 grand prize, 10 $1,000 prizes and 20 $100 prizes. Other valuable finds will include thousands of dollars in gold and silver jewelry, coins, civil war bullets, arrowheads and other relics/artifacts.
Additional acreage has been leased will be available for the event, expanding the search field for Sunday even further.
New to this event is a “meet and greet” event on Friday, April 1, at Ka-Do-Ha Indian Village that will run from 5-8 p.m. Local Murfreesboro-area residents are invited to attend the event, which will feature many of the Treasure Fest participants, a viewing of the potential prizes, a food vendor, and a free concert by the local favorite Joe Ledbetter band, which is comprised Tyler McRae, John David Watson and Joe and Micah Hartley.
The food vendor will be serving meals including crawfish, catfish, shrimp and chicken strips.
The meet and greet was a suggestion from a Florida resident who attended the event last October, telling co-organizer Sam Johnson that would allow time to “meet other people,” that just wasn’t afforded during the next day’s search. “He had been to events with this and said how much it added to the hunt.”
“The hunters that have gotten into town will come down and will visit,” said Johnson. “Local people are invited to meet the out-of-towners and listen to the music. People will come to an event like this [on Saturday and Sunday] and not really meet other people, the participants would check into a motel on Friday and then in the morning they are hunting. That’s not the time for socializing. This adds a quality element to the festivities I feel like.”
Attendees from nine different states have purchased tickets, including out-of-region locales as Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and “lots from” Florida.
Johnson jokingly said the hunters were “all characters,” noting that you didn’t drive from Wisconsin to Arkansas “to find treasure without being a character.”
A tourism booth with information for the local area will be manned at the event by the Murfreesboro Advertising and Tourism Commission’s Jonathon Lance.
Tickets are $300 each, which are good for both days, and limited to 250 total. Children 12 and under enter the event free and will feature their own area with treasures to find.
A “refer-a-friend” program exists where attendees can earn $50 off their ticket price for each participating member that attends the event, even earning their ticket free with six referrals. Johnson said a lot of attendees have taken advantage of the program.
To purchase tickets, send a check or money order to Caddo Trading Company, Inc., P.O. Box 669, Murfreesboro, AR 71958. They may also be purchased by paypal, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling with a credit/debit card (870) 285-3736.
Johnson said the event was close to selling out the allotment of tickets for the first time, noting that the success of the event was progressing so well he has already set the dates for Treasure Fest 5 in October of this year, noting that the total number of tickets might have to be expanded to 300 in the future.
“We have presold more tickets to this [March] event than we had total last year. It’s kinda my goal to sell so many tickets that when people call up to buy tickets we’ll have to tell them we are sorry, but they will have to sign up for the next hunt in October.”
Ticket holders will receive a meal ticket for lunch on Saturday, April 2, a comped tour of Ka-Do-Ha Indian Village, as well as entry into a raffle for a metal detector as well as other items.
Any non-ticket holder in attendance must pay for their meals on Saturday.
Ka-Do-Ha Indian Village is located at 281 Kadoha Road in Murfreesboro. As the event approaches, more information is available at the Facebook group Arkansas History Unearthed.