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We love Gold Rush
We love Gold Rush

Each year in August, the tiny little town of Oronoco, Minnesota is flooded with thousands of shoppers searching for that special something at Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days. Throughout the next few months, we will be interviewing shoppers and sharing it with you here! Our first shopper is a great friend and someone who I enjoy running into at DOGR. We share a love of the event and always stop to visit and discuss what the hot items are that year. Meet Maria.

How long have you been shopping at DOGR and how did you hear about it?
I have been shopping at Gold Rush for about 7 years.  I was really into following some shabby chic bloggers and they always talked about flea market style.  When I found out Gold Rush was so close to Rochester, my friend and I decided to check it out.  We had a blast and I've been every year since! When we decided to move to Oronoco, I have to admit, being so close to Gold Rush was definitely a perk!

Do you go to DOGR ready with a list or do you wing it?
I usually have a few things in mind.  However, I like to think that Gold Rush tells me what I'm looking for most of the time!

Once you get to DOGR, tell me a little bit about your shopping strategy.
I like to do a quick walk through first.  I know where my favorite vendors are and I always make sure to visit them first, before I run out of money! After I've made my first sweep, I will go back through and take my time.  I also always go on Friday.  We start mid-morning, have lunch and usually end the day hot and tired with a beer in the Fire Station beer garden!

Do you shop alone or with friends? Why?
I have done both, but I much prefer going with the group of friends that have been coming with me for years! I have friends from the Twin Cities and Wisconsin that come stay with me for the weekend.  We shop all day and we are all looking for different things.  We help each other see the potential in an item and talk each other into our treasures if need be.  I'm probably the most experienced at talking with the vendors and knowing when it's appropriate to negotiate on price.

Can you describe a couple of your favorite DOGR purchases over the years?
There are so many! My all time best find is an authentic church pew that sits in my foyer.  My first big purchase was a pair of beautiful wood locker room benches - I spray painted the metal legs gold and they are gorgeous.  Another favorite is a huge metal and wood arch that sits on my mantel.  My brother in law and I had been shopping all day and I had been looking for a statement piece for over the mantel.  We had given up and were walking back to the car when he spotted it behind a bunch of yard decor! It was such a thrill to take it home - it was perfect.

There are some delicious food vendors every year at DOGR. What are your must haves?
The food is so much fun!  I always have to have the cheese curds and a homemade ice cream sandwich!

Do you have any tips for first time DOGR shoppers?
It can be a little overwhelming at first! I would definitely suggest having a couple things to 'hunt' for, to give you some direction at first.  Check out Pinterest for ideas.  Also, bring lots of denominations of cash.  Some vendors take cc or checks but cash is always the easiest route!

What is on your list for 2019 DOGR?
Hmmmm...I would LOVE to find some mid century modern bedside tables or a dresser.  I keep a list going on my phone and as I think of stuff, I add to it.  I also have a dedicated Pinterest board for Gold Rush.

A big thank you to Maria for taking the time to answer our questions! We look forward to catching up with her at Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days in August to find out if she tracks down those Mid Century Modern pieces!

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Each year in August, Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days is home to hundreds of vendors from all over the country selling their goods. Throughout the next few months, we will be interviewing some of these vendors and featuring them here on our blog. Jennika and Matt were new to Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days last year and come to us from Duluth, MN. We are excited to have them and their beautiful work back in August! Meet the Pink Hammer Shop.

First question I have to ask... why the name Pink Hammer?
When I was looking into starting our handmade business, I thought about a name for a long time. Nothing seemed right until I saw the pink hammer I had in my toolbox and thought, hey - that's it!

Jennika & Matt

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your art. I'm Jennika, co-owner of The Pink Hammer Shop. I've been making things for as long as I can remember. I always had a craft table in my bedroom with many in-progress projects while I was growing up. I have always liked to work with my hands. Art class was my favorite in high school and I continued art classes throughout college. I knew that I never wanted to stop creating. To me, it was fulfilling and so much fun. I started The Pink Hammer Shop in 2015, when I was on spring break from my elementary school job. It started out as taking a few local orders for painted signs and selling a few things on Etsy. My other half, Matt, joined me in 2016 and took over the wood-working portion of our work while I began to focus more on the painting and design work. We began adding mixed media elements into our work, such as vintage book spines and old maps. We like the thought of up-cycling and giving new life to old books and maps that have been sitting around for years!

You were a first time vendor last year at DOGR. What made you decide to try out our show?
We heard about Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days from antique vendor friends of ours. We thought we’d give it a try and we’re sure glad we did!

There are some great food vendors at DOGR. Did you have any favorites?
My favorite food booth at DOGR was the fish and chips one – SO GOOD! I’ll be heading back there this year, for sure. Also, don’t forget to grab a delicious homemade ice cream sandwich (or 2 or 3) while you’re at Gold Rush – I think they’re famous for them!

Did you get a chance to do any shopping last year at Gold Rush? If so, did you have a favorite purchase? Last year at Gold Rush, my favorite purchase was a vintage globe to add to my growing collection!

What advice would you give a first time vendor at DOGR?
To a vendor that is thinking about trying out Gold Rush Days, I would say – yes, absolutely do it! The shoppers are wonderful, as well as the other vendors. The show is well-organized and benefits the community of Oronoco.

We are so excited to have you back at our show this year. What will shoppers find at your booth in August? Have you been working on anything new?
This year at Gold Rush, we plan to bring loads of our book and map signs in all sizes. We love to make themed book signs such as: Adventure/Travel, Outdoors, Art/Craft, History, Gardening, Cooking, Nature, Medical/Nursing, Poetry, English, Math, Science, etc., with coordinating quotes. These make the coolest gifts! We will also have rainbow colored book signs and framed vintage maps from all over the world (some dating back to the 1800’s!). Come visit our booth at DOGR this year, we promise our work is something you’ve never seen before! In the meantime, you can follow us on Facebook or Instagram @thepinkhammershop – and shop our website www.thepinkhammershop.com.

A big thank you to Jennika for answering our questions! We look forward to seeing you and your work at Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days - and we agree with you - the ice cream sandwiches are a definite must have during our show!


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The Farmhouse style is IN and not going anywhere. This is largely thanks to hot celebrity designers like Joanna and Chip Gaines. Sure, you could run to your local Target and check out their merchandise - and you should because it is awesome - but you can also make the look your own by shopping for unique pieces at a flea market such as our beloved Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days.

So, exactly what should you be looking for in Farmhouse decor at a flea market? Here are the items that make our list and are in abundance at Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days.

  • Chippy furniture
  • Hand-scraped wooden tool boxes or bowls
  • Ironstone crocks
  • Enameled bowls
  • Egg baskets
  • Milk glass
  • Reclaimed barn wood
  • Ladders

Join us the 3rd weekend in August as the tiny river town of Oronoco happily overflows with vendors and shoppers during one of the most anticipated antique and flea market events of the year. You are sure to leave Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days with fabulous pieces that express your personal farmhouse style.

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Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush is ready to share the proceeds!

Gold Rush 2018 was a success! The vendors, food vendors and crowds enjoyed this year’s Gold Rush!

The first 5K event was exciting to see a new venture happening and more importantly, runners and walkers with their yellow bibs walking around and taking in Gold Rush, as well!

The Gold Rush committee has start planning for the 2019 Gold Rush weekend, August 16, 17 & 18! If you have comments or interested in the Gold Rush committee meeting discussion, please visit our monthly meetings, the 2nd Monday of very month at 6PM at City Hall. All are welcome!

Now that this years Gold Rush is in the books, it time for organizations to submit their donation requests to the Gold Rush committee for consideration. Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days is a non-profit organization, so after the committee have paid it’s expenses, the committee will review requested donations.

The committee is asking that donation requests be received by Oct 5th, so they can be reviewed at the monthly Oct 8th Gold Rush committee meeting.

You can submit requests to the Gold Rush committee by mailing to ‘Gold Rush Committee, PO Box 266, Oronoco, MN 55960’, email to goldrush@bevcomm.net or dropping them off at City Hall.

Thank you for your support!

Ryland Eichhorst, Gold Rush Chairperson

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