Elgin will be home to the bizarre on Saturday

By Elena Ferrarin

If you’re looking for bargains and unusual items, Saturday’s “Bizarre Bazaar” in Elgin might be the place to be.

Several stores along Chicago Street will participate in the event, including Retro-a-GoGo, Spacetaste Gallery, Topnotch Tattoos, Elgin Antiques & Uniques, said Lisa Madrid, owner of Retro-a-GoGo.

The stores will display some merchandise outdoors and will have special sales, she said.

Madrid, who spearheaded the event, said she wanted to capitalize on the influx of people coming to Ribfest at Festival Park, along with the Elgin Public House’s Beer Fest.

Madrid’s vintage store moved in December into the space formerly occupied by Carswell’s Flooring at 225 E. Chicago St. The basement hosts Stella’s Basement, a vintage clothing business open Fridays through Sundays.

Retro-a-GoGo specializes in midcentury items from the 1940s to the 1970s, from furniture to lamps, barware and ashtrays.

“Midcentury is very popular, especially with what we call the ‘young hipsters.’ Even a lot of the baby boomers are getting into it because it’s very nostalgic for them,” Madrid said.

Ray Maxwell, owner of Elgin Antiques & Uniques and two other antique stores on Chicago Street, said he plans to display some of his antique wedding cake toppers and vintage clear glass juicers.

“Lisa approached me (about Bizarre Bazaar), and I said to her, ‘Count me in. We’ll do it together,’” he said.

“We’ve not done anything like this before. We both felt we needed to do something to generate interest in our business.”

The antiques market has been depressed since the economic recession, Maxwell said. “We make it from month to month, but sometimes we struggle,” he said.

If the Bizarre Bazaar does well, another one might take place at the end of summer, Madrid said.

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