“The name Junk Bonanza is a bit of a misnomer; it’s really quality stuff. That doesn’t always translate with the idea of junk,” begins Ki Nassauer, Founder of Junk Bonanza. As last fall’s edition of the Bonanza brought more than 12,000 people through the doors over the span of three days, she encourages us to join this huge group of people who aim to debunk the antiquated idea of junk. Junk Bonanza seems to represent a larger idea of décor trends nationwide. But why are unique finds, upcycled goods and items made from reclaimed wood becoming more and more popular? Perhaps it’s our appreciation for precious memories—a desire to fill our homes with items that have a history all their own. Nassauer agrees, “I think nostalgia plays a big part. People might see a piece that reminds them of when they were growing up or something they remember from their grandmother’s house.” She adds, “I think decorating today has become so much more personal. It’s very rare for people to buy a full suite of furniture or things that match. They’re much more into the idea of being able to find, mix, and match things that speak to them.”
Founded by Nassauer in 2006, Junk Bonanza is now a lively 10-year-old, continuing to evolve and flourish as a dynamic and interesting showcase of vintage treasures and upcycled amusements. Today, as Junk Bonanza has expanded to two events a year in Shakopee, MN and two new Bonanza events in San Diego, CA and Portland, OR, the event continues to boast a delightfully select shopping experience. Nassauer shares, “We call it a ‘best of’ shopping experience. Our vendors are juried, so we make sure we don’t have too much of any one kind of item. There are certain categories we close out when they’re full. That kind of balancing is done not only to ensure the vendors have good sales, but also to provide a very rich and varied shopping experience for our attendees.”
As the Junk Bonanza returns to Canterbury Park April 21-23, over 150 juried vendors showcase beautiful vintage finds, antiques, and architectural salvage in a huge, yet welcoming space. Nassauer invites you to enjoy a famous Canterbury Bloody Mary and a variety of dining options while strolling through aisle after aisle of repurposed vintage finds alongside a select group of artisanal handmade goods including Superior Switchel, an artisanal honey maker, a cheese maker, and more.
Beyond the junk itself, there are many new interactive events at the Bonanza this year. The first is a yarn bombing of Canterbury Park’s life-size horse statue by the famous Minnesota Yarnbomber, Knitteapolis. Nassauer offers, “We’re doing a bit of community outreach with that too, asking fiber arts and knitting groups and the public at large to knit or crochet a pink or orange flower of any pattern and send it directly to her and then she’s making a big wreath of flowers to put around the horse’s neck.”
Nassauer adds that anyone who would like to submit a flower to the yarn bombed horse can email firstname.lastname@example.org directly for an address of where to send their flower creation. Additionally, the Bonanza encourages people to take photos in front of the horse and post to Instagram using the hashtag #YarnbombTheBonanza. Each day, Knitteapolis will pick the best photo and as a prize, Junk Bonanza will send the winner a Bonanza t-shirt and a hand-knit item made by Knitteapolis.
On the workshop side of the interactive opportunities at Junk Bonanza, the first to mention are the free, hands-on workshops on specialty finishes using clay-based Chalk Paint®, taught by Amanda Ficek, who retails the paint at her four Minnesota Mama’s Happy stores. Next up are the free, ongoing demos of a personal paint sprayer developed especially for clay-based, self-priming paints by Wagner SprayTech. More workshops come from Minneapolis home and garden expert Larry Pfarr; he aims to share fun ideas to help prep your home and garden for Spring and entertaining season using vintage elements. There will also be multiple “Lucky Friday” giveaways all day Friday, and an on-site Ki Nassauer Shop that that curates junker-inspired clothing in exclusive Ki Nassauer designs.
At the end of the day, the Bonanza is about so much more than junk. It’s about the sea of old friends coming together for their yearly tradition, mothers and daughters enjoying vintage items, and newcomers taking in the magic for the first time. Nassauer shares, “We have really quality vendors. All this stuff in one spot that is really hard to find otherwise. Plus, it’s a great party! People are always in a great mood at the Bonanza—it’s pretty hard to not have a smile on your face when you see people who are so delighted with what they find.”