family fun

The 2019 Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush 5k was a success! Plans are already underway for the 2020 5k. Mark your calendars for Sunday, August 16th to join us for a lovely run through our small town filled with vintage and antique vendors.

race winners
race winners

Our winners this year were a husband and wife duo! Congratulations to the winner of the men's race NATHAN SWENSON from Pine Island with a time of 16 min 12.93 seconds.Congratulations to the winner of the women's race BARBARA SWENSON with a time of 20 minutes 17.10 seconds.

Use your bib number to find your results here .

Check out images from the event here on our website. Visit our Facebook Page to find even more pictures and tag yourself and friends!

Thank you to those who came out to participate. Proceeds from the 5k are put toward the general Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days fund which benefits many organizations throughout the community of Oronoco.

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The first annual Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Car show took place on August 17th, 2019. We had an amazing turnout for our first ever show! Visitors enjoyed watching vehicles of all makes, models and years parade through Downtown Oronoco. The show took place amidst our vintage and antique vendors so shoppers and vendors alike could take a break to appreciate the special vehicles, talk with their owners and vote on their favorite.

Congratulations to the People's Choice Award Winners, Kevin and Paige Collins with their 1969 Mach 1 Mustang!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 15th from 2-5pm to join us for our 2nd annual Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days Car Show.

Visit our Facebook Page to see more Downtown Oronoco Car Show pictures and tag yourself and friends! Keep an eye on our Car Show website page to stay up to date on information about our 2020 show.

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It has only been 3 weeks since the last shopper loaded up their treasures and the last vendor pulled out of Oronoco and we are already preparing for next year's show! Before we get too busy planning next year's event, we'd like to take this time to thank the vendors, shoppers, volunteers and citizens of Oronoco for contributing to another amazing Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days. Without all of you, this show would not be possible!

As time goes on, Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days continues to evolve to with the ever changing market. Antiques and vintage goods will always be the highlight of our show but we strive to add events that will create a well rounded experience for the whole family. This year we added a Car Show to the lineup of weekend events. Cars paraded down Minnesota Avenue on Saturday afternoon and were led to a lot where visitors could browse through all the vehicles and vote on their favorite vintage car.

The 2nd annual Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days 5k was a great success! Runners enjoyed the new route that led them along the streets of Downtown Oronoco and vendors enjoyed cheering on the runners as they raced past their booths. Plans are already underway for the 3rd annual Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush 5k on Sunday, August 23rd.

The best part of Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days will always be browsing through through the hundreds of vendors who bring their unique goods from far and wide to share with our shoppers. This year was no exception! Shoppers came away thrilled by having found the treasure they were hunting for and vendors left with a lighter load and a few new friends. Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days is a special show, one that will continue to please shoppers and vendors alike for many years to come.

Mark your calendars for next year's show, the 3rd FULL weekend in August. Friday, August 21, Saturday, August 22nd and Sunday, August 23rd.

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This latest vendor in our spotlight series needs no introduction. If you have been to Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days in the last 30 years, chances are, you have had a delicious ice cream sandwich or two, or three, from Mama Meg's Parlour. Here's your chance to learn a little more about the people behind the famous ice cream sandwiches. Meet Megan and David of Mama Meg's Parlour.

First, I have to ask, who is Mama Meg? Mama Meg is my wife, Meghan. The business is named after her because she is a hard working mom to our five children. It just seemed appropriate!

You have been handcrafting these delicious ice cream sandwiches since 1958 and we have a woman named Kathy to thank for it. Tell us a little bit about Kathy and how it all got started. Kathy's mom started making them for her kids as a special treat around 1958. Everybody loved them so much that Kathy started selling them at Gold Rush in 1981. We enjoy carrying on her legacy of high quality and rolling each one by hand! 

Your sign says "Famous Ice Cream Sandwiches" and that is certainly true! Every vendor and shopper I have talked to says their favorite treat during Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days is your homemade ice cream sandwiches! Tell us a little bit about how you became so famous. They are amazing! Just eat one and they speak for themselves. We've had little kids and adults all the way up to their 90's claim that they are the best ice cream sandwiches they have ever had! 

You are a long-time Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush favorite. When did you start coming to our show and what keeps you coming back year after year? Kathy started coming in 1981 and we took over 30 years later. We love the show, the people, and the culture! 


What sandwich flavor is more popular? Vanilla or mint chocolate chip? 
The vanilla are about 70% and mint about 30%. This year we have a limited addition of strawberry sandwiches and they are gaining popularity. 

Be honest. How much ice cream do you eat every day? During the summer season, about one serving of ice cream every other day. However, David only eats 1 ice cream sandwich a year so that he doesn't get sick of them and he doesn't lose the joy of eating them!

I love the sandwiches but nothing quenches my thirst during Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days like one of your delicious root beer floats! Please tell me they will always be part of the menu!
We are very particular about our root beer floats. They start with a super premium ice cream and the best root beer: Sprechers root beer from Wisconsin. We added them because they are so refreshing on a hot day and we plan to always have them!

Word on the street is that you are opening a storefront in Pine Island. Tell us a little bit more about that.
We've been collecting local diner and soda fountain memorabilia from the 1920's-50's and have been looking for an appropriate location. What better location than an 1890's drug store. We are 6th generation Pine Islanders and felt it was time for an ice cream storefront!! We are still under construction but will for sure be open by next spring. We will serve our famous ice cream sandwiches, super premium ice cream, root beer floats, and a surprise or two added to our menu. We will be aptly named "Tribute Soda Fountain" as we pay homage to local diners and soda fountains. 115 S. Main St in Pine Island.

We all look forward to your delicious treats during Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days August 16-17th! Until then, where can we grab one of those famous ice cream sandwiches? You can catch us each week at Rochester's Thursdays Downtown (formerly Thursdays on First & Third) and always available by catering. 

I don't know about the rest of you but I plan on visiting Mama Meg's a few times during Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days! Join us August 16th, 17th and 18th to shop for treasures and enjoy some great treats!

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You never know where life will take you. I bet our featured vendor never thought that would she'd find herself living in the little town of Oronoco, MN where she traveled every year from Iowa to shop and sell antiques! Meet Kathy, our latest shopper/vendor featured in the series.

Kathy, you have a very unique Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days experience in that you have been a vendor and a shopper and now you have a home in Oronoco! Your daughter remembers coming up to the show from Iowa as a child to spend the weekend helping at your booth. Tell us a little bit about your history with the show. 
Early on  Steve and I innocently started thrifting and buying our household items used. It's what we could afford. We also found it was a lot more interesting to shop that way than to buy new. Along with our daughter Jessica, the three of us took adventures whenever we had free weekends. When we would take day trips or vacations we were always veering off the route for an auction, antique store, flea market, you name it. 

During the 1990's we set up at several antique shows in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri. It was a time when many people were buying, selling and collecting antiques. Oronoco had a reputation as a profitable and fun market for vendors and buyers of all types. Over the years we had such a diverse, but like minded clientele. Decorators, designers, artists, artisans, and collectors of all types. Steve and I developed our individual tastes. Jessica had a great eye for the visual appeal of anything we picked up. Over the years she stashed some great textiles, arts and crafts pottery, fiestaware, and other eclectic finds she now decorates her home with. 

One of the hardest things about being a vendor would be deciding what to keep and what to sell. What are some of your favorite "keeps" over the years?
The things I cannot part with are; early Americana Folk Arts and crafts and individual quality work with age. Quilts and textiles of all sorts that bring color and creativity to our space.  

What advice to you have for shoppers at Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days? My tip for buyers: It is not offensive to ask a dealer what their best price is on an item. For me, the more my customers bought from me and the more they repeated business each year, the better the bargains were....

I mentioned you had a unique experience with Gold Rush, part of that is you now have a home in Oronoco.  We are so happy to have you! Tell us a little bit about what brought you to our little town. Jessica married, and was educated as a nurse. Her and Adam (also a nurse) came to Rochester to work in the Mayo health system. They have three young daughters (our grandchildren) and built a home in Oronoco. Steve and I are now approaching 60, winding down our "real work" and our life goal is now to be in our grandaughter's lives as much as possible. When a special old house by the river in Oronoco came back on the market, I twisted Steve's arm sight unseen to buy it...I had admired that home every time I came to Oronoco. Now it was less than a mile to visit our grandkids!

We are so happy to have Kathy as a long-time shopper of Downtown Ornooco Gold Rush Days and a new citizen of Oronoco!

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