Summer Blossoms Fun in Southeastern Minnesota: Girls day out in LANESBORO and JUNKMARKET in SPRING VALLEY


Grab your girlfriends and make your way to Girls Day Out, a fun shopping event held on Saturday, May 2 in scenic Lanesboro. Lanesboro’s unique downtown businesses cater to the event, offering sales, book signings, featured artist demonstrations, craft classes, sidewalk fashion shows and samples from local restaurants. 


“It’s a great way to spend some time with your girlfriends, and it’s so much better to shop local and spend the day outdoors than to go spend a day at the mall,” says Sarah, Girls Day Out coordinator. “All of our shops are local, independent businesses, and it’s easy to park your car and walk anywhere you like.”

The variety of artsy and handmade wares available in Lanesboro is delightful. Essence of Lanesboro offers lotions and lip balms made in-house, while Windy Mesa Jewelry offers authentic Indian jewelry, carvings and artwork. The Stone Mill Art & Craft Gallery displays work from up to 20 vendors, featuring locally and American-made art, jewelry and pottery. Cheryl’s Apparel offers handmade quilts, table runners, handbags, aprons and more. Lanesboro is also excited for the grand opening of Iron Horse Outfitters and Inn, a motorcycle gear and accessories shop that will rent out four rooms above the shop.

By Women, for Women

Most of the presentations and performances will be by women, for women. Among the musical and artistic events will be fly-fishing and archery demonstrations and contests. “So many people go to the lakes up north, they don’t think about the different types of fishing you can do around here,” says LuAnn Wilcox, of Idle Time Recreation Services.

The summer blossoms with activity in Lanesboro, and with so many historic hotels, guest cottages and campgrounds, it’s easy to extend your stay. Enjoy the outdoors with bike, canoe or kayak rentals, or get out and walk the scenic Root River State Trail. “Lanesboro has so many festivals and activities for a town its size,” explains Wilcox. “There are so many things happening, it’s hard to find time to stay home!” 

For details of Girls Day Out and an ongoing calendar of events in Lanesboro, visit the Lanesboro Chamber of Commerce website at 


Uncorked JUNKMARKET will debut at Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery in Spring Valley Friday, May 29 through Sunday, May 31. Coordinated by Sue Whitney, founder and editor-in-chief of JUNKMARKET Style, this shopping extravaganza will feature a blend of local artisans and first-time vendors to Minnesota showcasing their repurposed vintage junk. “It is much more of a festival,” explains Whitney. “We will have live music every day, wine available and good food. It’s the place to go to get everything.” 

Four Daughters will feature vendors inside and out, and the JUNKMARKET dealers will be required to set up their booths with creative and stylish decor. The purpose of the event is to inspire and motivate. Not only will shoppers be able to buy one-of-a-kind repurposed furniture or artwork; they will leave filled with fresh ideas to inspire the lifestyle change that Whitney promotes. 

All about Having Fun

“It is all about having fun,” laughs Whitney. “I don’t like to have the shows be too big. In a medium-size show, the customer has the ability to shop at a leisurely pace. The customer and the dealer create a relationship, and in this market, it can be a lasting relationship.” 

The artwork displayed will range from farm-oriented, vintage-style pieces to salvaged industrial parts repurposed as furniture or artwork, as well as all sorts of vintage jewelry. There will be steam-punk dealers, very modern dealers and primitive dealers. “We have to take it from country to ultra-modern because we want to address everyone,” explains Whitney. “There will be furniture, accessories, textiles, linens, hand-crafted things you can carry, wear or put in your home. We really run the gamut on vintage style.” 

Uncorked JUNKMARKET will also offer classes, live music daily, early-bird specials, art demonstrations, great dining and wine tasting. For more information or to reserve your tickets in advance, visit 

Amanda Wingren is a freelance writer.