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Vintage Garage’s Popularity Thrives As They Stay True To Their Original Mission

Don’t expect petting zoos, carnival rides or craft demonstrations at Vintage Garage. What you can find though is plain and simple, great vintage vendors and the dedicated people seeking out their treasures.

Currently in their sixth season, Vintage Garage takes over the multi-level car lot at 5051 N Broadway with 100 vintage vendors. The event takes place every third Sunday, May through November, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. A $5 admission fee will get you through the gates and into the retro wonderland.

When Vintage Garage Chicago’s founder Melissa Sands first started the event six years ago, she did not know what to expect. But quickly the show started receiving area buzz and the show is now a Chicago destination.

“I remember our first show, we opened the doors and it was quiet.  I was so nervous I hid in our van for a bit and thought, oh well I tried,” said Sands.  “I think I dozed off, I’d been up and nervous for days.  Jim (my husband) opened the van door and said I think you need to see this.  I came out and people were shopping and waiting in a small line to get in!”

The event attracts a cool, young, tech-savvy crowd. According to Sands, 80% of the customers are between the ages of 24 and 44, 75% have a college degree or higher, and
90% of them use their mobile devices 80% of the time. They have a very engaged online following with 35k Facebook followers and 13.8k on Instagram.

The vendors who sell at the event have become a tight knit group of friends. They are all in constant communication with each other through a private dealer group on Facebook to work out ways to keep the show robust and interesting.

“The group of main dealers you’ll find most months are incredible. Not only do they have amazing vintage goods, they are a part of this,” said Sands.  “It’s really a team effort.  It’s about us as a group being successful and selling vintage.”

Each month has a different vintage theme, this Sunday (July 16) will be rockabilly and vintage clothing. August 20 will be a new event, vintage wedding. September 17 is retro Chicago and October 15 is the season finale and record ramp. In November they will hold a Holiday market.

“It’s incredible to stand across the street and watch how many people are now walking up and down Broadway from the show,” Sands added.  “I have to stop and go, I can’t believe we did this!  I’m proud we are in our 6th season and are already committed to season 7.”

For more info visit Vintage Garage Chicago.


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