Junk Jaunt brings economic impact to small towns

Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 2:14 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - During the weekend of Sept. 25, 26 and 27 people visited central Nebraska in search of antique and re-purposed treasures.

We visited with Mike Stutzman in Cairo, who owns the business called “Junktion 2 & 11”, which is on the corner of Highways 2 and 11 in downtown Cairo. “I’ve had many people tell me location, location, location, and this is it. We get a lot of traffic through here,” Stutzman said. “I’ve been selling (antiques and junk items) for 35 years. I’m in the process of getting my children more involved.”

People who visit the Junk Jaunt can find just about everything. “We say on the backs of our t-shirts, we are purveyors of the finest rust and junk in central Nebraska, and you can find everything from old signs to fine antiques,” Stutzman said. There are many towns on the Junk Jaunt route. In fact, the route runs about 300 miles through towns like North Loup, Brewster, Dunning and Broken Bow. “Visitors from other states are down this year, but we’ve had people from Kentucky, Missouri and even Maine here,” Stutzman said.

The Junk Jaunt is important to the economy of local towns in the state. “The sales tax money goes toward community grants,” Stutzman said. “I don’t think the importance of the event can be overstated to the communities on this loop. And obviously Cairo, it’s really beneficial, as it’s one of the hot spots.”

If you missed Junk Jaunt, Stutzman’s store is usually open April through June on the weekends. But if you see something you like at the store, feel free to call him, and he says he’d be glad to open up the shop to help.

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