Junkstock, Omaha’s original vintage fair, has found a new home.
The 3-day junk, food, & music festival has grown to be one of the largest in the country, and continues to expand year after year.
I try to get out to Junkstock at least once a year (demand has been so high, they now have a spring, summer and fall version of the event)! And this last visit has to be one of my favorites yet.
I wouldn’t say I loved it more strictly because of Junkstock’s new location south of Waterloo (a couple miles down the road from their old location near 192nd & Dodge), though it is an improvement from the old dairy farm.
The new setting is much more spacious and open: there’s more parking, a whole lot less crowded, easier to get in between booths, and doesn’t have those same curvy, hilly paths that the dairy farm had. But even better, the bigger space and ever increasing attendance now attracts hundred of quality vendors from all around the country, making it almost impossible not to buy something!
Over the years, the “junk” you could find at Junkstock has gone from literally just that (old doors, worn furniture, farm tools) to all out custom-made decor and styled pieces.
As someone who myself is not all that crafty, I love when I can take something right home and display! And for those with more of a creative side that love antiquing and restoration, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of that stuff too.
Junkstock is family friendly too, with a kids zone, pony rides, live music, and food truck court! But to be honest, I’d leave the kids at home.
Going to Junkstock is a mission that takes time (3-4 hours for us), and not for the faint at heart. And the farm is still a farm after all: dusty, sometimes muddy, and definitely difficult terrain to trudge a stroller though, let alone while navigating thick crowds.
A few tips for Junkstock newbies:
- Pack your patience. There’s usually a line to park, a line to get in, and the vendors booths can be slow moving to get in and out of. Plan to take your time. If you’re looking to rush in and out, you probably shouldn’t go.
- Take an alternative route in. The new Sycamore Farms is just off the 228th Street exit off Dodge Road, and you’ll find there’s quite a back up of cars trying to get off the exit. Skip the cars by continuing on Hwy 275 north to the Blondo Street exit. From there it’s a quick right and right before you’re entering Sycamore Farms from the north.
- The earlier the better. For real die-hard junkers, early bird admission will get you entrance into the festival at 8 AM on Friday (general admission opens at 10). While you don’t necessarily have to be the first in the door to get good stuff, you’ll certainly have a better chance of snagging some awesome pieces. Most vendors can only provide so much product, and by Saturday afternoon, we were starting to see quite a few booths sold out of their best pieces. Luckily there’s a little thing called Etsy that just about every vendor is on, so you can usually take a card and order later.
- Make use of the drop zone. This year it was located near the entrance in the Peace Pasture. Don’t make the same mistake I did, lugging around a wide metal basket for 3 hours. Let your purchases take a rest in the drop zone while you collect more junk.
- Don’t sweat the big stuff. If you’re buying furniture or some other large piece, ask your vendor for a Junkhunk ticket. A team of strong young men will come load your junk when you’re ready and deliver it to your car at the designated pick up spot.
- Buy tickets in advance. You’ll save yourself the trouble of waiting in one more line.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Weather in Nebraska can be unpredictable and it’s pretty common for paths around Junkstock to be muddy and dirty! Wear some comfy boots that clean up easily.
We’ll see you in the spring, Junkstock!