Vintage Fest a groovy treat for thrifters


Courtesy of Tony Truty– Fox Valley Vintage Fest 3 held 87 booths with 77 vendors, providing a lot of different vintage items for sale such as clothes, toys, memorabilia, and more.

Mattie Beck, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Fox Valley Vintage Fest 3, an event where vendors fill the convention center with vintage clothing, toys and more was a hit throughout the community.

The festival was held on Nov. 20 at the Oshkosh Convention Center. Previous Vintage Fests held in November 2021 and August 2022.

Kinni Peters, owner of Fox Den Goods and founder of the event, said she has been planning Fox Valley Vintage Fest 3 for two years. 

“Fox Valley Vintage Fest 3 was planned for since our first big event in November of 2021. I try to plan the events well in advance, all six of the 2023 events are scheduled already,” Peters said. 

The events include:

  • Fox Valley Vintage Fest 4 – April 4
  • Summer Session at Fifth Ward – June 11
  • Summer Session at Fifth Ward – July 9
  • Summer Session at Fifth Ward – Aug. 13
  • Summer Session at Fifth Ward – Sept. 17
  • Fox Valley Vintage Fest 5 – Nov. 11

A lot goes into planning Fox Valley Vintage Fest events, including venue planning, vendor selection and the setup the  day of the event. 

“Interested vendors fill out an application and I review them in the order they are received,” she said. “But I can only select vendors out of those who apply; we are always looking to add more home décor, vinyl, VHS, video games, toys, comics and things like that to the mix.” 

87 vendors with 77 booths attended the event, Peters said. 

Leading up to the event, Peters was busy working on marketing and other fun things for the event itself.

“I was posting two or three times a day on social media to feature vendors and pump out the necessary info, in the studio working on the photo op every day, designing signage, badges and making sure we had everything we needed…” she said. 

A lot of the setup happens on the day of the event due because of how close to the event vendors like Peters are allowed into the venue. 

“We usually can’t get into the venue to do anything until the day of, so setup is always a bit of a crazy group effort between myself, my husband and kids, other family members, friends and even some of the vendors,” she said. 

The setup day is mainly composed of getting everything ready for the vendors and attendees. 

“We tape off booths and label them with vendor names. Then we set up any photo ops, merch, signage and anything else while vendors load in and set up their booths,” Peters said. 

Which leads to Peter’s least favorite part of the event: the taking-down of the event. 

“My least favorite part, is without question, teardown. Usually, I’m running on 2-3 hours of sleep and have been at the venue since 5 a.m. and packing everything up after a 12 hour day is excruciating,” she said. 

For the first time, the event offered an “early bird’’ ticket, a ticket that allowed attendees to the event to have first picks on the vendors selections. 

“Something about getting first dibs on all the goodies sounded really fun to me, plus a slower start to the day sounded really appealing as a vendor myself,” Peters said. “I was honestly nervous they’d be a flop, but I’m really happy we did it that way; it worked out well. Next time more early bird tickets will be available.” 

Another addition to this year’s event was merchandise available at the door, which Peters and her team made. 

“After the first Fox Valley Vintage Fest. I decided I wanted to do merch for the big events,” Peters said. “When I’d completed the design for Fox Valley Vintage Fest 2, I went to work sourcing vintage blank sweaters & tees, bought some totes and started screen printing them myself.”

The process for making the merch took a lot of effort due to the design itself, Peters said. 

“This time around, the design was so colorful I had to order direct to film transfers, but I pressed each piece of merch myself. Stickers were ordered from Image 360 to keep things small and local,” she said. 

Peters said she was pleased with how the event went for both vendors and attendees. 

“The turnout was unreal. Everyone was vibing and having a great time,  shoppers and vendors alike,” she said. “At the risk of sounding cliché, the day was a movie.” 

Even though the day went well, there was room for improvement, Peters said. 

“Based on shopper and vendor feedback, we are scaling back to a maximum of 60 booths for the big events, making the booths larger and the walkways wider” she said. 

The biggest takeaway from the day was how valued everyone who helps with the event is, Peters said.

“[The] biggest takeaway from this fall’s event is just how appreciative I am for everyone involved: the vendors, the shoppers and the community as a whole,” she said. “We are building something really special here and I’m just so grateful for the success we’ve seen and am excited about our continued growth.”