We thought we’d let you in on a little Southeastern Minnesota secret in case you don’t already know: Goldrush. Not of the actually mining gold variety. More like the antique mining variety. Goldrush is one of the largest antique shows in the Midwest that occurs every year on the third weekend in August. It’s been going strong since 1972, and it draws in hoards of treasure seekers looking for that perfect old find. You missed it this year, but there’s always next year. We made it there over the weekend and while we did not bring home any treasures, we had a lot of fun looking.
The original Goldrush is in Oronoco, MN with over 500 antique dealers. However, there is now a Goldrush at the Rochester fairgrounds with over 1,000 antique dealers on the same weekend. So you can really get in your fill if you head down to the area for the weekend. We went to the Oronoco Goldrush, and while you can pay for parking, we of course chose to park at the top of this big hill for free. It seemed like a good idea until we had to walk up it back to the car in the scorching heat.
The whole town pretty much gets into the Goldrush spirit with the entrepreneurial neighbors selling parking spots in their yards and setting out their own tables full of wares.
It’s basically just set up on the streets around town so it is kind of a maze, but somehow they make room for all of the vendors as well as a variety of food stands. We were surprisingly able to resist the smells of the mini donuts (my nemesis) and bbq (Dain’s favorite) only because we stopped for lunch on the way down at the Rainbow Cafe. But we did have to stop at two stands throughout the afternoon for water since it was so hot out. And by stands, I really just mean coolers set up in people’s yards that they sold cold bottled water from for the reasonable price of $1.
What can you find at Goldrush? Old stuff of course.
And a lot of things that make you laugh. Mariachi band anyone?
Little pieces of scrap wood?
All the small stuff that we are pretty sure fits inside this camper van rig?
In actuality, there are lots of awesome things too. This old woodworking table had Dain drooling, but at $485 it wasn’t going to happen. Haggling is of course the name of the game, but that kind of makes us cringe to have to try to lower the sticker price.
We also saw a ton of cool old signs like the big Grain Belt one in the back here. It too was hundreds of dollars.
Dain’s favorite find was this Red Owl sign since that is his favorite logo ever. Yes, being a designer he actually has things like favorite logos ever. He ran over to me and dragged me over there to see it. I took one look at the price tag and gave the sad puppy faced Dain the big no way in hell are we taking that home look. $800 was about $700 over our allotted spending for the day.
We were really hoping to find an old library card catalog to repurpose, and we did find a few. Like this one.
And this one that we thought we could turn into a funky coffee table.
But the ones we saw were all too expensive. Many were between $500 and $800, which wasn’t going to work for us. We sadly walked away empty handed, but my mom scored this crucifix. She even talked him down $5. Woo to the hoo. It’s not our style per se, but she loves herself a crucifix so at least someone in our party brought home a treasure.
We won’t let it bring us down though. We’ll probably be back next year on the hunt again. If you like antiques, this is your kind of place. The prices are admittedly high and do cause some mild sticker shock, but you can talk them down if you’re good at that kind of thing. While walking around, we heard quite a few bargaining sessions going down, and people can score some good values. So if you’ve always been wanting a plastic mariachi set or solid wood antique furniture, keep Goldrush on your radar for next year.