An estimated 3,000 shoppers perused the square in search of that special something that they really needed or wanted. While walking the vehicle-filled five-block area around the Square, it was obvious by license plates, many people crossed state lines to shop in Johnson County that day.
The one-hundred-plus vendors selling anything from yard sale items, hand-made crafts, homemade baked goods, fine antiques to genuine junk, left happy. Several vendors told the Times they “sold more today than they had anywhere else in a full day.”
Setup for the day’s sale began at 5:00 a.m. with many vendors ready to open earlier. Buyers were walking around well before the 7:00 a.m. start time.
The Junque Jamboree, hosted by Vienna Town Square Mall, other downtown antique dealers and businesses, was the idea of the ‘Mall’ owner Ginger Endrizzi.
Endrizzi had a vision of drawing attention to the county’s historic courthouse square, to help revitalize the focal point of the county and region, as well as increase her business.
Built in 1871, the Johnson County courthouse serves as the first judicial court and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 9, 2010. It is the oldest continuously operated courthouse in the state of Illinois.
“I feel downtown Vienna, with all the historic buildings and culture, has a lot to offer the region,” Endrizzi said. “I would like to see this square as busy as it was forty or fifty years ago, when every parking space around it was filled with shoppers, spending their money.”
The first Junque Jamboree was held in the fall of 2013 with over 50 vendors. It was so well received Endrizzi was encouraged to make it a semi-annual event.
While still recuperating from Saturday’s Jamboree, Endrizzi has not yet set a firm date for the fall event. “It will depend on the amount of help I get ahead of time before I set the next date,” she stressed.
The event takes months of pre-planning. Endrizzi encourages anyone with any interest in Vienna to step forward to assist her and her staff.
“The biggest portion of making it happen has been done by my staff,” Endrizzi noted. “I would like to see others get more hands-on involved next time.”
The City of Golconda has many large annual events that are very successful with the help of a lot of people.
“I would like to thank Judge James Williamson for allowing us to use the courthouse lawn for vendor space this year,” Endrizzi added. “Without his cooperation, the event could not have doubled in size so quickly.”