the gold rush.

My sister picked me up bright and early this past Saturday and after a quick stop at the local cash machine we headed south on highway 52 towards the Oronoco Gold Rush.

Gold Rush is an antiques market that has been taking place since 1972 in the little town of Oronoco, just north of Rochester, MN.  Their website is pretty basic and doesn’t really provide much in the way of stats.  I’d love to know how many vendors they had, and what the estimated attendance was but I couldn’t find that info.

Let’s just say that on Saturday there were LOTS of people there.

And there were also LOTS of vendors.  I don’t think we made it to all of them.  It’s easy to get turned around and lose your way.  Did we go down that street?  Did we head up that hill?  We lost track after a while.

Update:  since originally posting I found an article with some numbers, 275 – 300 vendors and 20,000 shoppers per day.  Yep, like I said, lots!

There was a real mix of stuff at this event.  There were traditional antique dealers with things like glassware, military collectibles, and expensive furniture.  There were Scentsy vendors and Tastefully Simple vendors.  There were lots of vendors selling those welded metal lawn ornament type things.  There were vendors with food items, like fudge or those wine slushy mixes (yep, purchased some of each).

I’m always amazed by the vendors who have a whole lot of one kind of thing, like this one with a table full of vintage woodworking tools.

Or this guy who had all kinds of vintage, rutsy iron fence/railing thingies (do these things have a name?)

My sister bought a couple of them to use in her garden.  I have some already, and I use mine in my planters and window boxes.

This vendor had a whole bunch of gorgeous chandeliers.

There are a couple of booths that really stand out as show stoppers.  One is the booth by Checkpoint 19 Antiques.

Their stuff is just so incredibly cool.  It has a vintage science experiment sort of vibe.

You guys, I was so busy admiring the style of this next vignette that it didn’t even occur to me that I should check the price on that fab aqua metal box.  Dang!  I’m kicking myself now.

I just loved all of their adorable topiaries and I was so tempted to buy one of those.  But sadly, I have a bad track record with topiaries.  I consider myself to have a fairly green thumb too, but somehow proper topiary care eludes me and every one I’ve ever had has died within a year.

Another vendor that really stood out above the rest was Angry Minnow Vintage.  They create the most amazing upcycled flannel shirts.

I really loved the ones that had flared cuffs made out of vintage linens.  What an awesome idea, right?

Corrabelle Rose had a stunning booth full of pretties.

This was a great spot for getting your color fix.

Everything in this booth was just lavish!  There were luxurious piles of vintage florals.

This was the only booth where I saw any ironstone.

It was out of my price range though.  As were most of the things in this booth.

You know, I’m really just a garage sale girl at heart.  I tend to look at a lot of these things and think to myself I bet I can find that at a garage sale for a couple of dollars.

The gals from Vintage Junkies and Sparrow Antiques were much more my speed.

They really had a knack for display.  Both my sister and I made some purchases at their booth.  I came home with a great grain sack pillow, and Debbie got some dish towels and some vintage cookie cutters.

By about 1:30 in the afternoon we were getting pretty hot, our feel were killing us, Debbie was out of cash and our cart had gotten really heavy (we brought a ‘granny cart’ for our haul), so we decided to call it good.

On the way home we made time to stop off in Zumbrota to see the covered bridge.

The day could not have been any more beautiful with that blue sky filled with white fluffy clouds.

And here is the modest pile of goodies that we came home with.

Nothing too earth shattering.  My sister is going to plant a fairy garden in the radio flyer wagon next year.  I’ll add the vintage tablecloth to my non-collection (because remember, I don’t collect stuff).  Even though we didn’t buy a ton of stuff and a lot of things were way out of our price range, we’re still looking forward to going back next year!  Any you never know, maybe next year we’ll get to visit a Miss Mustard Seed booth at Oronoco, after all it’s practically in her backyard now, right?  Fingers crossed!

17 thoughts on “the gold rush.

  1. I know what you mean going to these events. I always think “I bet I can find this at a garage sale or auction cheaper” than they price things at events. You can find a good deal at times. We go to a flea in KY and there is a lady that sells the topiaries and lab looking things there as well. Love her booth and I have killed my share of topiaries from her! I am in Indiana, and I am hoping MS Mustard Seed does this event next year, it is eight hours away, but I will do the drive to meet her and hopefully buy one of her chairs. It would be an honor to meet you too!!! You two are my favorite bloggers! I do not paint often, but I love to watch you two do your thing!
    Happy Eclipse day


    1. That might very well be Checkpoint 19 Antiques at your flea too. I chatted with one of the owners for a few minutes and she said they travel all over the country for shows. And I’m so flattered that you are putting me in the same category as Miss Mustard Seed. You’ve made my day Shelly! Readers like you are why I keep doing this blogging thing 🙂


  2. I find that making a great discovery at a garage sale gives me more pleasure than paying a higher price at a fair. It’s the thrill of the hunt. I Love everything you shared with us!


  3. I love your posts. I say anyone can accumulate good vintage stuff with lots of money, but scavenger hunts for it at garage sale/thrift prices takes “talent”! If someone gave me $1000 to spend at a flea market, I’d still hunt for the bargains.


    1. Thanks Mary! I’m with you on that. I also feel like there is something so much more satisfying about making a cool ‘sign’ out of the old side rail from a bed (coming soon, stay tuned) rather than buying a cool old sign for $895 (which seemed to be the going rate at Oronoco)!


  4. Hi, I wonder if you know that Miss Mustard seed has been nominated for an AMARA Interior Blog Award! She is in the category for Best Company award. Anyone can vote and I hope she wins!


    1. I did not know that. In fact, I’d never even heard of the AMARA Interior Blog awards. But I googled it and it looks like a great way to find some great new blogs to follow. Best of luck to MMS, I hope she wins too!


  5. Sweet Cheezits! I just read MMS post for today and had to come back to yours to comment! She was at Gold Rush Days too!! Two of my favorite talented ladies may have rubbed elbows. So cool!


  6. I just read MMS blog and then yours. Kinda cool you both live in the same neck of the woods! I have read her blog for years and discovered yours about a year ago. I have to say I love both of your blogs for much the same reason. I love how you don’t have a million ads to deal with for one thing and also how pleasing they both are visually. Plus it’s wonderful that you post lots!


    1. Thank you so much Bonna. I am incredibly flattered to even be compared to MMS. I’ve also been a fan of her work for years also. And thanks for sharing what you like about my blog in general, it’s always good to get feedback about what things I’m doing right!


  7. Have a couple of items I thought you may be interested in, we are moving and must sell! 😦 Please contact me if interested in more information. Thanks


    1. It sure would be fun to see a Miss Mustard Seed booth at Oronoco next year. But then again, maybe Junk Bonanza is more her crowd. Can you just imagine it though? The crowds shoving and pushing their way into her booth?! That is my main complaint about Junk Bonanza, the quarters are just so tight! Sometimes it’s hard to even see the stuff that’s for sale because there are just so many bodies in the way.


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