Coffee Cruise Contest, Old Red Trail Rummage Sale encourages Western Edge exploration
A look into this weekend’s Coffee Cruise Contest that ties into the Old Red Trail Rummage Sale, happening throughout southwest North Dakota.
DICKINSON — This weekend, the Dickinson Convention and Visitors Bureau is inviting the public out for a day trip from Mandan to Medora with an annual rummage sale and coffee contest along the Old Red Old Ten Scenic Byway.
The Second Annual Coffee Cruise Contest will be held in conjunction with the Old Red Trail Rummage Sale on the Old Scenic Byway, otherwise known as Old Highway 10, on Saturday, June 4. The rummage sale will have various locations situated between Mandan to Dickinson, whereas the contest extends all the way to Medora. Both events will run from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the local timezone that travelers visit.
Joel Walters, multimedia manager and visitor services employee at the Dickinson Convention and Visitors Bureau, began the Coffee Cruise in 2021 as a way to create a regional experience on the Western Edge.
“So with the Coffee Cruise and the contest, in particular, really it’s to drive people to these local businesses and hopefully give the local businesses a bit of a boost, drive people there and help them to explore these communities and to see what these towns have to offer,” Walters said. “So many of these are small towns that… you may miss or may not choose to stop at and there's a lot of really cool stuff there either from the perspective of the tourist and traveler or just the consumer who may want to stop at a local business and shop.”
The Old Red Trail Rummage Sale has been happening for countless years, Walters said, adding, it’s something that gets people excited each year.
“It's just a great summer activity. There’s a lot of people that love to rummage sale… We've been fortunate enough to partner with that event and kind of turn it into a multifaceted day trip for people,” he said. “From the tourism side of things, that's a really great option to be able to have that kind of thing to promote. But again, really hoping that we are also giving a boost to local business.”
About 30 different coffee shops have been added to the Coffee Cruise Contest, with a couple of new cafes added to this year’s event. Walters remarked that each stop will feature something different.
“So some of them are real small little coffee huts. Some of them are more along the restaurant style. We are including even Starbucks and a couple of these locations and things like that that are a little bit more of a larger chain, but that are still legitimate coffee stops for people along the way,” he added.
In order for people to participate in the virtual contest, people will have to join “ The Coffee Cruise ” Facebook group. From there, participants will be able to post and share their pictures of their coffee stops along the way. Each picture is an entry to win the contest. The top two participants will be awarded prizes, which are donations from local coffee shops from t-shirts, magnets to gift certificates.
“The beauty of it is you can start anywhere you want to. So if you want to take the entire drive, which is a bit longer and obviously that would be a lot of coffee,” Waltes said, with a chuckle. “You don't have to stop at every single shop. You stop at whichever ones you choose to, you post wherever you happen to be and that is considered an entry. If you only hit two of them, well then post at two places; you never know who else is participating. So you can start at either end — either in Medora or Mandan or anywhere in between — hit as many of them as you want and just post wherever you're at and that makes you eligible to be one of the winners.”
Additional details and rules for the Coffee Cruise Contest can be found at visitdickinson.com/coffeecruise with a tab featuring attractions in each community along the Old Red Old Ten Scenic Byway.
“So when you're in these different communities, either stopping at the rummage sales or doing the coffee, you can also find various attractions within each of these communities as well if you want to go out and play tourist a little bit while you're traveling,” Walters said. “So lots of different options and again, something that we're really excited about for the second year in a row here.”
For those looking for a small, spontaneous Saturday day trip close to home, Walters added that both of these events are opportunities for people to check out what western North Dakota has to offer.
“I think it’s going to be a great weekend just to get out and about and to take the family or take the friends and get out of town a little bit and explore some places you haven’t. I think one of the things I see as a benefit to this is, for example, in the year when we’re struggling with a bit higher gas prices, this is a fairly minimal amount of driving involved in this as it compares to other vacations you could take,” he said.