Brimson Market offers more than crafts, produce
Each Saturday morning from July to early September, a small market springs up around Hugo's Bar in Brimson, bringing people to the tiny community on the border of Lake and St. Louis counties.
The Brimson Market is part farmers market and part craft fair, with a touch of a flea market thrown in. There are even two vendor booths offering massage therapy.
Diane Dickey started the market about 20 years ago when she started selling her organic produce out of the back of her car at the Brimson Volunteer Fire Department (BVFD), just down County Road 44 from Hugo's.
"A lot of people got on board and it just got bigger and bigger," Dickey said.
Dickey, a nurse at the University of Minnesota Duluth, has the summers off, and was growing more produce in her garden than she could use, so she started selling it at the firehouse. As more people got involved, the market moved to a more visible spot at Hugo's.
On Saturday, Aug. 18, Dickey was selling her "Border Battle Slaw Kit," with green and purple cabbage, more likely to provoke another argument between Packer and Viking fans than to settle the matter.
Brimson residents Jan and Al Ringer started selling produce at the market and decided to up their offerings with warm caramel rolls, fresh out of Jan's oven. The caramel rolls go quickly. Customers who don't arrive at the market when it opens at 9 a.m. are likely to miss out because even vendors are lining up for the sweet and savory treats.
Arne Luoma makes his way down to Brimson from Aurora most weekends to sell his wreaths, flowers, Minneota maps and other art using the cross sections of small trees and branches.
Luoma spends the fall collecting and cutting the wood he will use for his products. He dries the wood over the winter. Each spring, he begins making the maps and wreaths to sell at the market and other area stores.
Luoma said he started painting the cross sections when he was younger, but didn't start making the maps, flowers and wreaths to sell until he retired a few years ago.
On Saturday, Aug. 18, the event of the weekend was the 36th annual Brimson Sisu Run/Walk. The race, 4.4 miles along roads and trails around Brimson, raises money for the BVFD. Nearly 150 people came out to run the race. Members of the department sold hot dogs and bratwurst to those at the market or waiting on friends or family to finish the race.
When Dickey looks around at the crowd, the market and everything that started in the back of her car in the 1990s, she smiles and laughs before tempting another customer with her Border Battle Slaw.
"It's awesome," she said. "It's just local people bringing their stuff out — it's a happening."
Brimson Sisu Run/Walk results
Male runners Time Female runners Time
Grant Johnson 25:42 Anna Lahti 29:42
Skyler Bennyhoff 25:58 Becca Zwak 34:21
Seth Karhonen 26:22 Vicky Bennyhoff 34:33
Male walkers Time Female walkers Time
Mark Thomley 1:01:48 KayLynn Swak 1:06:59
Urho Johnson 1:05:36 Sophie Kilas 1:07:37