Rummage in Review

A look back at a weekend full of shopping, dancing, and beer

It happens every summer. You’re walking the dog or driving through a neighborhood, and you approach a sign reading “Sale” staked into the ground and an arrow underneath it, persuading you to follow that direction. You’re right in the middle of garage sale season, after all. It’s a time where people line their driveways with treasures of yesteryear in hopes that someone will come along and guide the objects into their next life. It’s this same foundation that the Rummage MN event was built upon, but this experiential event in its first year transcended the typical lawn shop.

Put on by The Beer Dabbler and The Growler, Rummage took place at the West End Market at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds last weekend, a montage of some of the hottest Minnesota-heritage boutiques, live music, and food and craft beer. The result of this mix was a weekend-long entertainment extravaganza, as opposed to the familiar garage sale itinerary: finding a Garfield sweatshirt that’s been collecting dust in someone’s basement since ’82 or rifling through the 25-cent bin of useless trinkets.

Minnesota Awesome

All weekend visitors could visit the nearly 50 boutiques to snag outdoor wear and flash their love of flannel from places such as Tradition Creek, or deck out the furry members of their family with the latest pet fashion at Stunt Puppy, or create a custom gift box filled with chocolates, scents, candles, and other goodies from Minny and Paul.

The vendor that captured my eye the most, however, was Chuck U. His drawings have become legendary in the Minnesota craft beer world as his works are on the faces of Indeed Brewing Co.’s brew cans. His fusion of animals, astronauts, and robots puts a steampunk twist on many of his pieces. I quickly and happily picked up his “A Cyborphant Never Forgives” print so I could proudly display it at my desk.

Image by Chuck U

And among the stalls bursting with paintings, canoe paddles, and Minnesota sports apparel were two craft beer stands (naturally) with beer from Bent Paddle, Summit, Dark Horse, Alaskan, and more. Kids could burn off that youthful energy on inflatable obstacle courses or participate in a variety of activities geared toward capturing their imagination. And audiophiles got their musical fix thanks to a bill full of bands with acts such as Nicholas David, Solid Gold, and Crankshaft Trio headlining all weekend at the Hugh and Margaret Schilling Amphitheater.

Not only were there a large variety of quality vendors, the space accommodated it perfectly. The convenience of having all the shops and boutiques in one spot made it easy for visitors to get their shopping done in one afternoon rather than spending an entire day traversing the metro and visiting each one individually. And the lively tunes, tasty libations and family activities were a bright-red cherry on top.