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Scavenger's Journey set for this weekend

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Four people with a passion for antiques and hidden treasures have started South Dakota's first long-distance rummage sale.

The Scavenger's Journey is modeled after two similar and successful events in Nebraska and Kansas. Vendors will be set up Saturday and Sunday along Old Highway 16 at Kimball, Pukwana, Chamberlain and Oacoma. The 30-mile "shopping experience" will include flea markets, garage sales, farmers markets, specialty shops, crafts and more.

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"Nebraska has been doing theirs for the last 10 to 11 years," said Greg Olson, coowner of the Old West Trading Post in Oacoma and one of the organizers of the event.

Olson, his wife Melanie, Stephanie Healy of Chamberlain and Marjean Warren of Kimball are pleased with the response from vendors so far.

Despite the June 10 deadline to register for the event, vendors have been calling to purchase booth space for the event, Healy said. Healy has attended the Nebraska and Kansas event for years and rents booth space at a Chamberlain antique store.

The Nebraska Junk Jaunt began as a 30-mile scavenger hunt also, but has turned into a 300-plus mile and 35-town excursion that draws about 22,000 people.

"That really set me up right away," Olson said of the possibility of the Scavenger's Journey growing to such large numbers. "I think the 22,000 people hit me and made me say, 'I have to try it.' "

Healy said about 65 vendors had signed up as of late this week. She added that more will likely drive up Friday and Saturday and pay for a booth space.

Marjean Warren, Healy and Olson all said they are excited about the response and support for the event. Healy, however, was not surprised.

"I knew it would catch on and I think it's an opportunity for everyone," she said. "Everyone has a barn to clean out or a house to clean out."

To see all the vendors registered for the event, visit www.scavengersjourney.com.

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