SHAKOPEE — Schools and offices across the state had closed, but the blizzard conditions and high winds Thursday didn’t keep antique lovers away from one of the biggest shows in the Midwest, the biannual Junk Bonanza.
Friends Jeanne Verbanae and Chris Kuffel arrived with their trailer from Green Bay, Wisconsin, at the gates of Canterbury Park at 6:30 a.m.
Pulling carts behind them, Verbanae and Kuffel moved from vendor to vendor, filling their carts and setting aside items they’d return for after making a trip to empty their carts into their trailer.
“We both just built houses, so we came to furnish them,” said Kuffel.
“We are eclectic, so anything goes,” added Verbanae, who also shops for items to repurpose and sell.
Several dealers said turnout for the market’s opening day was much lower than usual because of the weather but they were confident things would pick up over the weekend. The event runs through 5 p.m. Saturday with daily tickets starting at $10 for people age 12 and up.
“There’s a lot of good energy,” said Deb Haupt, owner of Haupt Antieck Market.
Haupt has been dealing antiques at the Junk Bonanza since the event’s inception in 2006 in Long Lake, which brought together 18 dealers.
Now the event draws over 150 with wide-ranging collections of architectural salvage, repurposed artisan goods, antique jewelry and silver, transportation memorabilia and more.
“They’ve done some fantastic work with this show,” Haupt said.
Shakopee resident Ricky Boham is a first-time seller at the bonanza. She said paying for early set-up times helped dealers arrange their booth before the snow hit.
Kristen Garza, owner of 22 & Company antiques in Prescott, Wisconsin, said rain and flooding during previous junk bonanzas have created more issues than snow.
She said the winter weather might even make it easier for people to come to the event.
“You’ve already put your shovels away,” she joked. “At least means there’s no yard work to do.”
Tia Scott, owner of Fox Run Farm, said the market is one of the largest events with a focus on junk.
Scott travels around the country picking old items such as a set of glass antique medicine bottles she found in Kentucky, and she said the bonanza is a great way to connect with customers and meet other sellers.
Scott and her team recently flipped a military truck into a mobile antique store, and they plan to take their one-of-a-kind items all over the state.
She said she hopes to instill a sense of meaning in younger generations for finding things that have a history and a story.
Junk Bonanza returns to the Cities this September, according to its website.