Rummage-a-Rama! sold to Washington County Fair Park

Flea market to move from Franklin to West Bend

Rummage-a-Rama!
The most recent Rummage-a-Rama! event at Milwaukee County Sports Complex in Franklin.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:14 pm

Milwaukee-based Rummage-a-Rama! has been acquired by Washington County Fair Park & Conference Center in West Bend.

Rummage-a-Rama!
The most recent Rummage-a-Rama! event at Milwaukee County Sports Complex in Franklin.

The long-running indoor flea market event, held several times per year and currently based at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex in Franklin, attracts between 3,000 and 4,000 guests over each weekend.

Previous owners Tim Gill and Greg Edlund of Open Productions LLC sold the show in order to focus on their other events, Gill said. Those include Wisconsin Antique & Vintage Show, the Greater Milwaukee Fishing Expo and re:Craft and Relic, which is being held this weekend at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex.

The Open Productions staff works virtually, without a central business office, Gill said. The Washington County Fair Park will be the new home of the event and offices.

“We found online that it was for sale and after some lengthy discussion, we decided to purchase it as one of the signature events that Washington County Fair Park and Conference Center now offers,” said Sandy Lang, executive director of Washington County Fair Park.

The Fair Park’s other signature events are the Washington County Fair, a craft fair and a bridal fair. It will now host three Rummage-a-Rama! shows per year.

Wisconsin State Fair Park
Rummage-a-Rama! started in 1970 at Wisconsin State Fair Park.

The acquisition, the terms of which were not disclosed, included the Rummage-a-Rama! database, brand, trade name, website, social media accounts, banner flag and other assets. No employees were acquired in the transaction, which closed Tuesday.

Rummage-a-Rama! has built up brand recognition in the Milwaukee market through longevity. It was founded in 1970 by Wally Rasner and was originally held at Wisconsin State Fair Park. It grew in popularity and size until 2001, when the building in which it was held was demolished to make room for the Exposition Center and it went dormant. In 2009, it was revived by Gill, who purchased the trade name from Rasner and has held the event four or five times per year since, first at State Fair Park and beginning last year, in Franklin.

“We’re excited to see how the Washington County Fair Park continues the tradition and builds the show,” Gill said.

Washington County Fair Park plans to hold the next three Rummage-a-Rama! Events on October 15 and 16, 2016; February 18 and 19, 2017; and June 17 and 18, 2017.

“We are excited to add Rummage-A-Rama! to our lineup of signature events,” said Derek Kozlowski, marketing director at Washington County Fair Park. “We deeply respect the longevity of the franchise and look forward to bringing these events to our location, where we fully expect them to thrive and continue to grow into the future. We will work hard to make the transition as seamless as possible for everyone involved.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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