Junkin’ on the River: Annual shopping extravaganza will attract thousands, organizers say

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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NATCHEZ — Serious shoppers will hit the road in the Miss-Lou come Friday morning for the beginning of the two-day Junkin’ on the River.

Organizers say the event, which is held twice a year — in the spring and fall — and has become an annual one, will attract between 1,000 and 3,000 shoppers.

“I compare this in my mind to 10 to 15 riverboats loaded with mostly women docked at the Silver Street landing, all on a mission to spend all the cash they have and charge their credit cards to the limit in the two-day Junkin’ and antiquing, shop-til-you-drop event,” said Jan Yates, who operates a booth in Franklin Street Relics, 512 Franklin St.

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Seventeen flea markets, antique shops, and specialty stores, all located within a 15-mile radius, will be participating with special sales, outside vendors, and food trucks to help celebrate shoppers.

The event was the brainchild of Danielle Nelson, who owns Bless This Mess, 1611 Carter St., Vidalia, Louisiana.

“We started a couple of years ago,” Nelson said. “When people hear about one business doing a good event, it’s OK. But when people hear about 17? That’s a big event. It’s like a Poker Run for junkers, like a scavenger hunt for the best junk.”

But it’s not all junk, she said. Many locations feature vendors who operate boutiques and other booths with new items, and many are selling antiques of all kinds.

“A lot of the businesses will be overstocked for this one. We have been getting ready for this for months. We all will have specials and sales, sidewalk sales. We will have a barbecue truck and guest vendors at Bless This Mess. We will have 17 vendors in the parking lot in addition to the 50 vendors inside. Vendors who never run sales will be running sales for this,” Nelson said.

Junkin’ on the River is the Miss-Lou’s version of Canton, Mississippi’s Trade Days, which is held annually at the Canton Flea Market, she said.

“We have a huge following of people who like to junk, antique or thrift. It’s the thrill of the find,” Nelson said. “I honestly feel like it is just as important for other businesses in the community. The more people this brings in, and the bigger it becomes every year, it helps other people, too. It helps hotels and restaurants and other retailers. It has a snowball effect.”

Maps to the locations of participating vendors are available at any of the vendors listed below. Participating merchants include:

• Bless This Mess, 1611 Carter St., Vidalia

• Annie Mae’s, 642 A U.S. 61 North, Natchez

• Trinkets & Treasures, 1642 Carter St., Suite 6, Vidalia

• Attic Treasures, 637 A U.S 61 North, Natchez

• Booth 11 Mini Flea Market, 642 U.S. 61 North, Natchez

• Consign and Design, 110 N. Commerce St., Natchez

• Eccentricities, 707 Main St., Natchez

• EJ Flea Market, 707 Main St., Natchez

• Franklin Street Relics, 512 Franklin St., Natchez

• Honey & Pearl, 614 Franklin St., Natchez

• Lower Lodge, 712 Franklin St., Natchez

• Ole Man River, 708 Franklin St., Natchez

• Rusty Bucket, 505 U.S. 84 West, Vidalia

• The Shops at Kress, 122 N. Commerce, Natchez

• Parkers Closet, 3002 Carter St., Vidalia

• Leslie Anne’s Vintage Emporium, 1644 B Carter St., Vidalia

• My Book House, U.S. 61 North, Natchez