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Junk Jam invites visitors for vendors, live music

Junk Jam invites visitors for vendors, live music

October 17th, 2018 by Michelle Brooks in Local News
Rhonda Bestgen has fixed up an old barn west of town, where a Junk Jam and Kay Brothers performance is slated Oct. 20, 2018.

Rhonda Bestgen has fixed up an old barn...

Photo by Michelle Brooks /News Tribune.

All things wood and wonderful — that's what captures Rhonda Bestgen's interest.

That includes an old barn west of town, which she and her family have cleaned up and now will hold a first-time Junk Jam on Oct. 20, as well as live music concerts, including the Kay Brothers.

With broken windows, holes in the floor boards, and filled to the brim with "stuff," Bestgen didn't back down from the challenge of breathing new life into the barn. When her family bought the land four years ago, her husband, Danny, proposed razing it.

Instead, she saw potential, "a place to have fun in," Bestgen said.

With her son, J.D., they cleared out nearly a dozen dumptruck loads of straw and junk, ran off birds and a nesting buzzard, removed rotting wood and pulled down excess walls. A wood-floor basement has potential for the future.

"I like old things; anything has some history to it," Bestgen said. "Any wooden structure, it catches my interest."

So far, a few weddings, reunions, dances and hay rides have been held at the rustic site, which does not include climate control or restrooms.

"It's just a good, old-fashioned barn," she said.

Last October and in the spring, she held open houses, "just to let people see it."

Then, someone suggested it would be a perfect spot for a mobile antique show. Her niece, Laura Distler, has been planning the event since the summer.

"We wouldn't mind making it an annual thing, with a good response," Bestgen said.

Similar "junk jams" are held monthly in Jefferson City and annually in Boonville and farther away.

Bestgen said the idea is for antique dealers to bring their goods to new communities, as opposed to individuals traveling to their stores.

Nearly 30 vendors, mostly local, have signed up. They come from as far away as Poplar Bluff, Meta and Hermann. She said they are pleased with that number, as they had only hoped for 20 for the first-time event.

Three food trucks will be on site too - barbecue, tacos and sandwiches. And, there will be kettlecorn.

An entry fee of $5 provides access to the antique, clothing and direct-sale booths, food vendors and live music for the day.

"There's going to be a lot of activity," she said.

A stage has been built for the concerts Oct. 20. And stringlights will enhance the night-time experience.

Vendors will be open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket and beverage of choice.

Music begins at 11:30 a.m. with Paige Dow. Ross Steiner will perform at 1 p.m. and Derek Wayne Brown will follow at 2:30 p.m.

The Burney Sisters will open at 4 p.m. for The Kay Brothers, who take the stage at 5 p.m.

Video recording will be made of the seven-piece hillbilly ensemble by Bussen Productions.

"We just want people to enjoy it; it's unique," Bestgen said.

Update: Due to a change in schedule, Derek Wayne Brown will perform at 2:30 p.m., replacing the musician listed in an earlier version of this article.