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Destination : Quartzsite
Number of visitor comments for Quartzsite: 5
Was Visited by the Traveling Webmaster on 4 March 2004.
Pictures Were Taken And Are Included Below.
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Web Address : Yes : Click Here to Visit
Category : Event / Flea Market
Location : City : Quartzsite State : Arizona
When : Any Year: Winter
Reason to Visit : Quartzsite, in the middle of nowhere, is a huge and nearly non-stop flea market and gem show. With a permanant population of about 1,600 the towns population swells to as many as 2,500,000 (2003 - 2004 seasnon) during the snowbird winter months. With thousands of RVers moving into Quartzsite a modern day version of a tent city springs into life. Numerous swap meets, rock and gem shows, RV shows provide non stop events for the vagabond road warriors.
Some of the events include:
Seasonal Swap Meet........Oct. - Mar.
Hi-Jolly Daze Kick-Off Parade....Jan. 10
Hi-Jolly was a camel driver for the war department who came to Arizona in 1856 and died in 1902 and was buried in Quartzsite.
Legends of the West....Jan.
Desert Gardens Gem & Mineral....... Jan.- Feb.
Annual Quartzsite Pow Wow..... End of Jan.
The Main Event......Jan. - Feb.
Mexicali Dancers, Fireworks, Hit and Miss Engine Show, Horseshoe Tournaments, Hot Air Balloons, Ultra Light, Bi-Plane and Glider Aircraft.
Rice Ranch Annual Yawl Come Show.....Jan. - Feb.
Tyson Wells Rock & Gem Show.... Jan.
Tyson Wells Sell-A-Rama.....Jan.
Tyson Wells Arts & Crafts Fair.....Feb.
Annual Sports, Vacation & R.V. Show......Jan.
Annual Rock and Roll Classic Car Show.....End of Jan.
Annual Hobby Craft & Gem show.....End of Jan.
Prospector's Panorama, Christmas Gold Rush Days...... Nov. - Dec.
Quartzsite, Arizona, near the California border at the junction of Highway 95 and Interstate 10 is 20 miles east of the Colorado river and California border.
Submitted By : The Traveling Webmaster added Quartzsite as I had intended to visit all along.
Visted Yet During This Adventure? :
Ray Plumlee's Rating : 4 Stars out of 5.
When Visited : 4 March 2004
Ray Plumlee's Comments :
I arrived in Quartzsite, Arizona where I intended to spend a week before heading on into the San Diego area. Quartszite is famous for it's big RV gatherings in December, January and February each year. They have a lot of big Gem and RV shows.
I arrived at the tail end of the big swap meet and gem show season. There were still a lot of swap meets and Flea markets in the area. But I could see from the remnants what it might have been like at it's height. I am told that at the height of the 2003 - 2004 Swap Meet Season the Town of Quartzite's population swole from a couple thousand to 2.5 million people. A new record for the annual event.
Below are some pictures I took of the Quartzite area. I took these to try and give you a sample of what the world's largest swap meet looks like. Unfortunately, I was not there during the height of the swap meet season (Dec - Feb). Arriving at the tail of the season I can only show you some of what was here. I am impressed with what was still here. I guess that means I would be really impressed had I arrived a month earlier.
I would highly recommend to any RVers to visit. There are plenty of services here and the more Rvers the more services there will be.
2006 Visit Update
I again stayed one week at the 88 Shades RV Park in Quartzite. My visit was from 10 December 2006 to 17 December. I had a very good time, especially before the big crowd arrives here next month for the big RV Show season, like my spring visit in 2004 there were more than enough vendors in town. Hundreds of them in fact.
I did a little shopping. I got some new magnetic signs made for my truck and this time I had some logo decals made for some shirts. One has to advertise, don't you know. I also found some past the, sell by date, vitamins and herbs that I use at very reasonable prices. I found that the most common type of vendor here sells tools. At least that's what it seemed to me. Actually, you can find just about anything you want if you like browsing through all the booths.
The big news this visit was Paul Winer (aka Naked Paul) had moved his Oasis Book Store to a new location. He now has most of his books inside a building instead of inside an open walled structure.
Like my stay in Phoenix last year, I plan to sneak back over here from Phoenix for a day trip during January. That way I get a little look at how massive this place is without having to try and live here during that time. If you are like me and are not particularly fond of crowds, then I recommend you do what I do and come just before or after the peak season. I believe you will be satisfied with what is here.
See below for some updated pictures from my 2006 visit.
Obligatory picture of my truck. In this picture it is in front of the Hi Jolly Monument in Quartzsite, Arizona. Hi Jolly was a camel driver from Syria who arrived in the US in 1856 where he served the US Army as a camel driver for 30 years. The Hi Jolly Monument is on the site of his last camp.
Though normally a very small town (March - November) Quartzsite does have a full service Post Office.
Quartzite is in the 21st century with it's own Wireless Internet Service Provider. RVLogon.com provides Internet Access Service at a very affordable price. With plans intended for people visiting for only a few days to long term residents. Pictured in the tent is Tom Anderson, the Operations Manager.
Here is an example of what a typical sales booth looks like. Pictured is Denny Driver, Owner of First Step Nutrition (866-311-3001). His primary product is Sango Coral Calcium with Electron Water.
Here is another typical sales booth. Here you can see where an RV has backed in and setup shop. There were a lot of these.
Yet another example of the way RV's are being used to bring business to Quartzsite, Arizona. Actually, I saw several food trailers, RV's or booths around the area. Many were much like the ones you see show up at the county carnival (snow cones, cotton candy, hot dogs, hamburgers and the like).
Here is a permenant book store in Quartzsite, Arizona. The Readers Oasis was accross the street from the RV Park, 88 Shades, where I stayed. Here I was able to buy about a dozen Dr. Who books for $1.00 each. What a buy! I also picked up some Ellery Queen, Perry Mason (Erle Stanley Gardner) books and one titled The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer. All of these were for $1.00 or $1.50. Great buys!
This is a picture of Paul Winer, with customers, who is the owner of the Readers Oasis. He is known by the locals as Naked Paul, because what you see is what he wears every day.
Below are some pictures I took during my Fall 2006 stay at Quartzsite, Arizona.
The owners of Jag Signs in Quartzsite where I had my Traveling Webmaster Truck signs made.
Paul Winer's (aka naked Paul) New Book Oasis Store. New in 2006.
The Traveling Webmaster and Paul Winer (aka naked Paul) in Quartzsite.
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Page Last Modified: January 15, 2009
Todays Date: January 21, 2019
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