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Children search for ‘buried treasure’ at Alexandria Bay event

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ALEXANDRIA BAY — Shovels? Who needs shovels?

A group of 4- to 8-year-olds — plus some older people who were furtively searching, too — used hands and feet to dig through a 4-foot-high pile of sand at a treasure hunt Sunday at the Scenic View Park beach in the village. The results: A lot of dirty children with pockets full of novelty coins and treasure chests.

“We’ll send them down to the beach after,” said Daniel Shaver, an Oswego County resident who often vacations in the region. His two children, Jacob, 6, and Matthew, 4, were near the top of the sand pile, excavating dirt in search of the buried treasure.

The coins could be exchanged at the local Chamber of Commerce for novelty items. Some of the children, though, seemed to enjoy the journey, not the result.

“Our kids play with the treasure boxes a lot more” than the toys they get with their coins, said Vince C. Barton, whose son, Quinn, 7, and daughter, Maggie, 5, had turned up a small plastic treasure chest.

The event was part of Bill Johnston’s Pirate Days, a week of pirate-related activities in the village. Mr. Barton, who lives in the Albany area and vacations in the Thousand Islands, said the treasure hunt was his children’s favorite event.

Katelyn A. Sanwald, 8, who was visiting from Pennsylvania with her mother, already had turned up a handful of coins.

She said she wanted to find money buried in the pile to buy a puppy.

Her mother, Jennifer M. Sanwald, said the Pirate Days events have been fun for her daughter, who was caked to her forearms with dirt.

“In my new car. It’s going to be great,” she said with a laugh. “What we do for our children.”

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