Seven Ways to Shop Junk Bonanza Like a Pro

Popular antique and vintage market celebrates 17th year at Canterbury Park in Shakopee

Those in the know will be headed to Canterbury Park in Shakopee this weekend for the 17th annual spring edition of Junk Bonanza, one of the Midwest’s premiere antique and vintage markets. The event runs Thursday to Saturday and costs $12 for general admission. An early-bird ticket costs $25 for admittance starting at 8 a.m. Thursday.

This annual bazaar is filled with finds for every taste and budget, from the novice to the experienced picker. With more than 200 vendors there is much to see and even eat.

John Whaley, chief vintage officer and Junk Bonanza owner, explains, “Find housewares, sporting goods, furniture, clothing and more, all one-of-a-kind items. Plus, there will be an array of hand-crafted products from our artisan makers for every conceivable taste and budget, in addition to Canterbury’s on-site food and beverages.”

Here are my seven tips for shopping at the event.

  1. Take measurements both of where things might go in your home but also of your cargo space and how you are getting things home. Clean the “junk” out of your trunk before you go, or better yet take a friend with a truck.
  2. Get there early and be prepared for the crowds. Wear comfortable shoes and travel lightly.
  3. Buy the BIGS (furniture and art) first and the SMALLS (accessories and such) second.
  4. Take photos, remember booth numbers and BUY IT when you know you LOVE it so much you can’t go without it.
  5. Fall in love with the shape of the find more than color and finish. Remember, you can recover and refinish many things you see but always calculate that in what the total will cost beyond the weekend purchase.
  6. Bring cash. It’s that simple.
  7. Never leave without hearing the story of the piece you are buying. Many vendors love to share what they know about a piece before it finds its new home. Ask when and where it originated, details on the fabrication or maker, and anything they know about previous owners. You may be surprised to hear the stories.
Jerrod Sumner is Minnesota Monthly’s aesthetic editor. His work covers all things local in the maker community. He is sought after for his understanding and promotion of the modern, American-made maker movement, and is a contributor on FOX 9 Good Day, sharing stories and goods. Follow him on Instagram @mrjerrodscott.