Junkstock continues tradition of community and crafting


Megan Fabry

The well-known event brings antique shoppers from all across the country to shop for a variety of cheap items. Photo by Megan Fabry/the Gateway

People from all over loosened their purse strings and raised their expectations for the annual summer Junkstock event June 21-23.

A popular event for Omahans, Junkstock began when founder Sarah Alexander conceived the idea and opened the first Junkstock in June of 2012. It quickly turned into the go-to place for those on the hunt for antiques and vintage decorations.

Junkstock works with local vendors and businesses, allowing them to have 20 food trucks and over 200 small businesses come sell their products.

UNO alum Danelle Schlegelmilch helps plan Junkstock each year and enjoys watching families and friends attend and support local business.

“I have been a lover of all things vintage my whole life, so I love getting to walk around and see all the creative things people have done,” Schlegelmilch said. “Vendor-wise, people take old things and give them new life. It’s really turned into a family event, and that’s what we pride ourselves on.”

Although Junkstock first started in an old dairy farm off Dodge Street, Alexander purchased a century-old horse farm to live in and host Junkstock several times a year. They have created almost 20 vintage flea markets, each one more spectacular than the last. Most recently, junk-lovers could watch colorful hot air balloons pass by and take photos next to a vintage ferris wheel. The staff even hired a DJ for a glow dance party.

Bands perform each day, giving shoppers different varieties of music such as blues, jazz and country to tap their feet to as they browse the endless shelves of treasures.

Word has spread about this popular market, with people traveling from as far as Europe to attend the three-day event. People travel from all over the country with friends to find quirky decorations to bring home, sipping a drink as they look. Fire Barn, a locally owned bar and grill in Waterloo provides beer, wine, cocktails and customizable bloody Marys for those of age while children can buy homemade lemonade.

Children 12 and under are free, and all others are granted admission for $10. This allows Alexander and Schlegelmilch to buy the proper permits and take care of the farm thousands have come to know and love.

“It’s a cool destination for people to be able to come out and play in nature,” Schlegelmilch said. “I think that’s really needed right now. It’s such a tense nation with all the things that are going on. It’s nice to get out and kick up some dust on the farm, and I think people appreciate the atmosphere.”