Midwest Old Threshers? I’d Rather Be Shopping.

Lisa Santiago, an avid Mt. Pleasant yard saler, gets her treasures ready for a busy weekend of shoppers.

It’s time again for that annual Mount Pleasant shenanigans. And nope, we aren’t talking about the Old Threshers Reunion. In the days leading up to Labor Day, Mount Pleasant also turns into a holy mecca for craft lovers, antique addicts, and secondhand shop-a-holics.

Ever been to Mount Pleasant Crafts in the Park? Thousands of visitors will soon be arriving to shop from some of the Midwest’s merriest makers set up on the town square. Crafts in the Park, organized by the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce (taking place this year August 28–September 1), attracts close to 100 handmade crafters, antique dealers, and artists who make downtown Central Park their home for five fun days. And with August temperatures that are totally tolerable for once, this may be your chance to enjoy the shebang without having to sweat it out!

Mount Pleasant hosts Crafts in the Park Aug. 28–Sept. 1.

Crafts in the Park is already underway and will run through Labor Day, coinciding with a little old event called Midwest Old Threshers Reunion. (When we say “little old,” of course we are joking. The entire town rallies together to host this massive convergence of tractor fanatics, country music maniacs, and agricultural history buffs.) But shoppers who come to town for both events can take advantage of the free shuttle that runs tourists to and from Central Park and the Midwest Old Threshers fairgrounds for the entire length of the arts festival.

“There’s some really cute stuff there,” says Mount Pleasant resident Lisa Santiago, who has enjoyed the Crafts in the Park event for many years. But she’s willing to bet that visiting bargain hunters will be just as thrilled with another town-wide phenomenon that happens during the big Reunion.

Yard. Sales. Galore.

“The unofficial citywide yard sale thing is a townie tradition!” Santiago says, and it’s a tradition she gets really excited about. “This whole town is so dedicated to Old Threshers, everybody takes vacation days—I mean, they close down the schools so kids can help out and volunteer! But how many days of Old Threshers can you take? We gotta do something else with our time. So everybody throws a yard sale.”

“Right now,” Santiago says, “it’s only the middle of the week, and there are seven yard sales happening within a two-block radius of my house. You don’t even need a map. Just drive into town, point your car vaguely toward Iowa Wesleyan campus, and you’ll easily hit 10 sales.”

Santiago expects most yard salers will be set up until Saturday afternoon. “Except for pagans like me, who will be out there with my stuff on Sunday, too,” she laughs. This woman loves a good sale.

Meredith Siemsen

Meredith, an Iowa native, was baffled when she earned her high school's writing award in 1993. It wasn't until twenty years later that she discovered she actually enjoyed wordcraft. (Too bad she's still a two-fingered typist.) Thanks for reading, friends!