Three Cheers for The Junk Ranch.
Last weekend, we did some antiquing in NW Arkansas. We headed south on Interstate 49, from Joplin Mo down into Razorback country. Interstate 49 crosses the state line at Bella Vista and continues south through Fayetteville. It’s hard to tell one town from the next and we visited them all. Bella Vista, Bentonville (home of Walmart), Rogers, Lowell, Tontitown, Springdale and Fayetteville (home of the University of Arkansas). All together, we visited 26 antique malls and shops over a three day weekend.
We would like to report that we found tons of treasures in NW Arkansas, but, alas, that was not the case. Treasures were hard to find. There are two uber-expensive French antique stores in Fayetteville, but the rest were lousy and loosely classified as antiques. The majority were garage sale junk malls featuring classics from the 1980s. There were a few exceptions, such as the Somewhere in Time in Rogers, Tontitown Flea Market and the Bella Vista Flea Market.
All was not lost! The best portion of the trip was not any mall or market. A tip from a fellow shopper led us to the Junk Ranch. This made our trip. The Junk Ranch is held twice a year, on a Friday and Saturday, on a farm south of Prairie Grove (southwest of Fayetteville). It’s an outdoor antiques/vintage fair. Fairly new on the antiques fair calendar, this promises to get better and better.
The Junk Ranch dealers presented worthy items to browse and shop. You can find antiques, vintage, industrial, crafts and enjoy live music and concessions. There is an old farm house, a good sized barn, and many tents around the property. We wondered if this is how the Round Top Texas antique festivals got their start. If so, Junk Ranch may give them a run for their money soon.
We arrived at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and were hauling items to the van by 9:10. Cars and trucks filed into the farm, bumper to bumper. There is no fee to park, but the entry fee is $4 on Saturday. It was well run and the dealers were friendly and willing to negotiate. We took a look at all the booths and filled our van with fresh stock for the store. Because of the crowd on Saturday, we figured we should have gone on Friday, thinking we could have found even more.
Our weekend away wasn’t just about antiquing. We managed to squeeze in a visit to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Nestled in the Ozark hills, the museum is a breath of fresh air for any American. From the landscapes of the American movement west to Mary Cassatt’s impressionistic paintings to Andy Warhol, the focus is on America, in all its breathtaking glory and resplendent talent.
We enjoyed our weekend get-away and we’re ready for the Christmas rush in November and December. Come see us soon!