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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

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‘Totally Rad’ or totally expensive?

Pop-up vintage fest
Miles Johnson
The vintage arcade at the Totally Rad Vintage Fest Feb. 4. The arcade was filled with retro video games to play.

Initially, I had no idea what was awaiting me behind the Minneapolis Convention Center doors, but whatever I was expecting, the vintage fest was that x10. Totally Rad Vintage Fest was unlike any vintage fest I’ve ever been to. Before even arriving, as I browsed their website, I learned that you had to buy tickets in order to enter the establishment. General admission tickets were $8 if you purchased them the day before or $12 if purchased the day of. They also had a ticket option of an “Early Bird” which was priced at $25. With the “Early Bird” ticket, you were able to get into the fest at 8:30 a.m. instead of 10:00 a.m. which is when general admission doors open. Even with arriving later to the market, there were still plenty of clothes left on the racks—many of them being super cute. With that, I don’t know if the people who paid for the “Early Bird” tickets got their money’s worth.

The fest itself was held in this large room and filled to the brim with different vendors. When I first arrived, I started at an old VW (Volkswagen) bus that was converted into a photo booth. They had a bucket of props that you had free range of while taking the three pictures that you received at the end of the attraction. The pictures were 100% free and there was a tip jar for those feeling generous. Each group got two separate picture strips which was perfect for me and my friend who tried it out. It was a great start to the fest and kept my spirits high. Those same spirits were instantly crushed at the first vendor.

While I was waiting for the couple in front of me to take their picture, the cutest burgundy t-shirt caught my eye. After I impatiently waited in line and took the pictures, I rushed over to the booth where I spotted the t-shirt. I instantly looked at the price tag and my jaw dropped at the $30 tag that was attached. To many people, that might not be super expensive for a basic t-shirt, but for a part-time working teenager, that’s a lot of money to be spending on one basic t-shirt that I could thrift for a quarter of the price. I spent a couple of minutes debating if I should buy it or not, but since it was my first stop, I wanted to keep my hopes high and keep searching for a hidden jewel.

While walking around, I felt underdressed to some extent. Even though I had on a pair of jeans, black Adidas Sambas and a brown shirt, I felt like every person we passed by was wearing the most unique outfit ever and mine was a bore. I got so much fashion inspiration from all of the other buyers there. The worst feeling though is seeing someone with your ideal style walk out of a booth, arms full in clothing, knowing they cleaned out all of the good things. This happened to me quite a few times throughout the Convention Center as I roamed the aisles. The worst part of the fest was hiding a gorgeous brown hoodie at a stand, just in case I changed my mind about buying it, and later going back to find the hook hoodie-less.

The arcade and cars were an unexpected pleasure. While I was researching the event prior, I must have missed the part where it mentions that there would be old vintage cars and a retro arcade. The cars reminded me of “Back to the Future” and the arcade looks like it popped out of an 80s movie set. We didn’t get a chance to play any of the games, but they looked super fun and they were a nice way to break up all of the clothes searching. We spent a couple of minutes looking at the selection of cars and gushing over the builds and how they “don’t make cars like these anymore.”

As we strolled from one booth to another at the Vintage Fest, I couldn’t help but let my jaw slip as the tag prices kept getting more and more expensive. Although I had anticipated some steep price tags at the booths, some of them seemed completely unreasonable and out of touch with reality at that point. While I was browsing, I overheard someone purchasing a basic gray crew neck for a whopping $200, and I couldn’t help but think it was a terrible waste of money. Since most of the clothing items were vintage, they had visible stains and rips, which only made them look shabby and worn out.

Overall, while the Totally Rad Vintage Fest was a fun experience, it’s important to be mindful of the prices and the condition of the items. It’s easy to get caught up in the nostalgia and excitement of finding a one-of-a-kind piece, but it’s important to consider whether it’s worth the cost. If you’re on a budget, it’s best to stick to thrift stores or online marketplaces where you can find similar items at a more reasonable price. Just remember to always check the quality before making a purchase, as some vintage items may be beyond repair.

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About the Contributors
Ruby Viot, Photo Editor
Hey everybody, I'm Ruby!!! I'm a junior and this is my first year on Echo. In my free time you can catch me hanging out with Abby Bartleson (she's the best) or drinking matcha. I love listening to music (Brent Faiyaz and SZA are my favorites right now) and hanging out with my friends whenever I can.
Miles Johnson, Echo Staffer
Hey y'all! My names Miles, I'm a junior when I'm not in the #pub I'm thrifting, baking, cooking or hanging out with friends. I'm super excited to be a part of Echo for my first year! And I'm excited to get to know our amazing editor and staff this year!

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