Behind Junk Bonanza: A Vintage Treasure Hunt at Canterbury Park


Who doesn’t love a good treasure hunt?

In its 11th year, the Junk Bonanza Vintage Market returns to Canterbury Park on September 21-23, serving as a showcase of the highest quality vintage purveyors and artisans. From one-of-a-kind vintage finds to beautiful antiques to artisan-repurposed goods, this three-day market is certainly a haven for artfully staged castoffs and reimagined treasures.

We recently caught up with the brilliant Junk Bonanza team, who filled us in on the latest happenings with this distinctive event. Years of successful markets and continued growth all began with founder Ki Nassauer and her vision of a market comprising repurposed, upcycled goods. The resounding success of Nassauer's epic garage cleansing prompted her to found JUNKMARKET, a monthly sale in Long Lake, MN, which led her to wonder, “Wouldn’t it be fun to direct the energy it takes to produce 12 monthly sales toward one blowout extravaganza?” And so, the Bonanza—a “best-of” shopping experience, was born. As a child, the Minnesota farm girl loved searching for discarded treasures; as an adult, she began upcycling and turning them into useful items. “The vintage business is a happy business. It’s just a lot of happy people,” Nassauer said, referring to vendors and buyers alike. “Who isn't happy when surrounded by all this fabulous junk?!”

Following Ki’s inspired mission, over the past 11 years, the Bonanza has become a must-do event for friends who love vintage shopping. Kim Yeager, Marketing and Communication Director, shares, “What else is the secret recipe to the Bonanza’s fun? Visual stimulation—the vendors are great stagers. Each booth is its own beautiful boutique! Creativity—our vendors/makers have a great way of turning others’ castoffs into inventive pieces. Sheer volume—three buildings chock full of amazing product mean there is great variety of product and styles. The scene—people are happy to be here! One can shop with a Bloody Mary or Mimosa in hand, and take a break for a bite when it's time for a respite. By the way, the Bloody is known as the famous Canterbury Meal in a Cup (Read more about this famous beverage HERE)! Its skewer of shrimp, sharp cheddar, feta-stuffed olive, salami, peppadew stuffed with marinated garlic, pepperoncini plus a slender stalk of celery fill the bill for lunch for shoppers who don’t want to stop shopping!” 

Beyond the spacious, yet inviting locale, the vibrant atmosphere, the famous Bloody Mary, and the infectious, buzzing energy, the vendors are responsible for truly bringing Junk Bonanza to life. “We choose our vendors for their originality,” said Junk Bonanza Exhibitor Manager Jane Hall, who juries vendors for the Minneapolis Fall and Spring shows. “We want vendors who use as many vintage and reclaim parts and pieces as possible in their work. We also try to balance the type of goods we offer,” she said. Managing this mix provides a better shopping experience for attendees, and a better selling experience for vendors.

Jane hunts local, regional, and national vintage events, searching for quality artisans. Makers are a small and select part of the overall Bonanza, which features more than 150 vendors who cleave to a Junk Bonanza standard: All items must be 40 years or older—or, for the makers, constructed of materials of that vintage.







So, why should a first-timer check out Junk Bonanza? “For the sheer fun as well as the fabulous breadth of quality vintage product!," responded Bonanza Operations Director Krista Belle Bancroft. “The Bonanza's hand-picked vendors are among the nation’s best vintage purveyors. We attract dealers and shoppers from both coasts who appreciate the quality and value of the goods our vendors and makers provide.” And, she added, “It’s all really cool stuff! It makes your heart go ‘Yay’!”

The Junk Bonanza team invites you to join the Bonanza Thursday, SEPT. 21 from 10AM-5PM; and Friday and Saturday, SEPT. 22-23, 9AM-5PM. Want a jump on the best finds? The Early Bird ticket allows entrance at 8AM Thursday for two hours of prime shopping before the doors open to general admission. That ticket is good for admission at the regular opening time Friday and Saturday, too. Vendors restock daily so there is fresh product on the floor each morning!


The Quick Details:

General admission: $10 per day. Purchase at the door; cash and checks only. ATMs available on site.

Early Bird ticket: $25 online, $30 at the door. It is good for entry at 8AM Thursday for two hours of shopping before doors open for general admission. It also can be used for regular admission Friday and Saturday; vendors restock daily. Order online at

Time: Thursday, SEPT. 21, 10AM-5PM; Early Birds enter at 8AM. Friday and Saturday, SEPT. 22-23, 9AM-5PM

Location: Canterbury Park, 1100 Canterbury Road S, Shakopee, MN 55379

Special Activities this show:

* Flea Market Style magazine signings. Pick up a copy of the new Fall/Winter issue and talk vintage with top editors Ki Nassauer and Celeste Shaw! Learn what inspires their work on FMS, the go-to publication for vintage decorating and lifestyle. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, SEPT. 21-23.

* Tiniest Tiny Houses. View the ultimate in repurposed housing — a Boho cottage, a city row house and a low-slung midcentury pad, each rendered in dollhouse size and built from old soda crates and other vintage pieces. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, SEPT. 21-23

* Get Lucky on Lucky Friday. Register to win giveaways including one of many $25 tokens you can redeem for merchandise during the Bonanza in the booth of your choosing! Friday, SEPT. 22.


Out and AboutKara Larson