family fun

Are you still on the fence about whether or not you should sign up for the Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days 5k? Here are a few reasons we think you should hop off that fence and get registered today!

Inclusivity - Anyone can walk or run a 5k! It is a great distance for many people because the time commitment is completely manageable. A total beginner can easily train for this race in 6-8 weeks. There are many great training tools available including free apps that will help guide you along this journey. I recommend Couch to 5K.

Health - There are many health benefits to a regular exercise program. Whether your goal is to run or walk a 5k, you are doing your body and your mind a favor. Running and walking are both excellent ways to improve your cardiovascular health, build muscle and lose weight. Your brain will thank you too because running and walking releases endorphins which increases your mental health and decreases the body's response to stress and pain.

Goals - Life is messy and unpredictable. Setting goals can help us stay focused and accountable. Crossing the finish line of a race will motivate you to set more goals and work to achieve them. You will carry that feeling of accomplishment with you into every other aspect of your life moving forward.

Community - Many 5k races benefit non-profit organizations and the Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days 5k is no different. Proceeds from the event will go back into the Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days fund which is used to support local organizations such as National Night Out, the Food Shelf, the Senior Citizen Center, the First Responders, the Fire Department and many more.

Fun - The thought of running being fun may be a stretch for some, but I challenge you to look at it that way. You are outside. You are using your body. You are among friends and family. You might choose to dress up. You can listen to some great music. People will be cheering you on. You get an awesome t-shirt and a coupon for some great food!

We hope this helps you decide to join us for the 2nd annual Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days 5k on Sunday, August 18th. Registrations will be accepted through the morning of the event but prices will go up in July so register soon!

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On Earth Day 2019, we invite you to do the earth and yourselves a favor by planning to shop second hand at Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days, August 16th, 17th, and 18th.

Flea Markets and antique shows are full of second hand items just waiting to be repurposed, reimagined and ultimately recycled. Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days is no exception.

Shopping second hand not only helps the Earth; there are also social and personal benefits to visiting your local flea market or thrift store. We've highlighted our favorite reasons why we think you should consider this option when shopping for clothing, home decor, furniture and more.


When you purchase a piece of clothing or furniture second hand, you are playing an important part in reducing the consumption of energy and resources that are necessary in producing new items. You are also giving new life to something that may have otherwise been tossed. Be proud of your second hand items and your positive impact it has on this earth!


Shopping second hand at a flea market ensures that you will be supporting small and local businesses. This support of local businesses will keep your dollars close to home, multiplying their effect throughout your community. The small but impactful decision to shop second hand can have many positive outcomes on your life, and the lives of your friends and neighbors.


The most obvious benefit of shopping second hand is that it can be significantly less expensive than buying new.  The not so obvious benefit is that you are able to put your own personal touch on your purchase and it will likely be more unique than anything you could buy new. This is a huge plus when looking to create your own personal style within your home or wardrobe. Originality is a priceless reason to shop second hand!

Red Wing Stoneware
Red Wing Stoneware


Besides all the wonderful reasons mentioned above, Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days is just plain old fun! Whether you are looking for that perfect bench to complete your entryway, that one last piece of pottery to finish your collection, or you just want to wander the vendor booths eating a delicious ice cream sandwich, there is something interesting for everyone! We hope you can join us on August 16th, 17th, and 18th!

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Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days is not only an amazing antique show and flea market, but it is also the largest non-profit organization in Oronoco. Each year following the event, we ask for donation requests to be submitted. These requests are reviewed and voted on by the Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush committee in October. In 2018 we were happy to give back to the following organizations in our community.

  • National Night Out
  • Oronoco VFW
  • 4th of July Fireworks
  • Warming House Window
  • Oronoco Food Shelf
  • Oronoco Presbyterian Church
  • Grace Lutheran Church
  • PI Area Home Services
  • Oronoco VFW Auxillary
  • Oronoco History Center
  • Oronoco Fire Department
  • Oronoco First Responders
  • Boy Scout Pack 69
  • Civil Air Patrol
  • Oronoco Senior Center
  • Holly Jolly Lighting
  • Oronoco Cemetery Association

Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days is happy to help fulfill the needs of it's citizens throughout the year. Being a non-profit in the world of flea markets and antique shows presents some unique challenges but we wouldn't have it any other way!

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The race begins

We have Jeff Hovel to thank for the photos from the very first Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush 5K.

Jeff is a resident of Oronoco and asked permission to take photos to share with us.  He did not charge a fee for doing this, but did the photography as an act of charity and service.  For this we are grateful.

Enjoy the images here. If you want to contact Jeff about the photo of you or your family member his contact is

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On Sunday morning August 19th Oronoco began a new tradition.  Oronoco residents put together their first 5K and had it coincide with the Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days.  Many participants registered months in advance, and some registered on Thursday evening at the Oronoco Presbyterian Church.  The last to decide came to Oronoco at 7 o'clock am to register to walk or run the 5K.

Marci came dressed for a special 5K
Marci came dressed for a special 5K

As the people arrived the energy of Oronoco rose with excitement.  Many showed up with their children and others had a buddy or came alone.  All came ready to have a good time.

The sun is barely up as these runners arrive.

As they began to form a crowd more and more of the Gold t-shirts dotted the street.  And the weather could not have been more co-operative. The race was scheduled to begin at 8 am. and there was a pleasant breeze.

We call this a tradition even though this was the first year that Oronoco sponsored a 5K.  And for such a small town the turnout was good.  The path they would travel began on the North side of the bridge where the old dam used to be.

After crossing the bridge and making their way up Minnesota Ave the group moved into a residential neighborhood, and followed a paved path through the woods along the Zumbro River.

At the start of the race was the clock to record each persons time.

The path is lined with yellow flowers 5 foot tall.  By the time the group gets to this part of the run there are wide gaps between the runners and walkers.  There are runners who came to beat their own time, from a run done somewhere before Oronoco.  For others who are bringing up the rear, they have no intention of hurrying this moment.  They are relaxed and enjoying all of the beauty Oronoco presents.

So if you didn't make it to Oronoco's first 5K  now would be the time to consider joining us the next time.  And if you have never been to Oronoco it is time to Start.....

Make a trip to Oronco one of the items on your list of "must do's" so next time you will be here for the line up.  Besides this 5K, and the Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days, we have a Frisbee golf course, a river to contemplate, and the Oronoco City Park for camping. Many parks have playgrounds for the kids, and in the winter the Lions Club puts up the walls for the basketball court to become an ice skating rink.

Yes Oronoco, just North of Rochester is growing into a "big, little town" where we treasure our visitors, along with our fellow residents.

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