Any input on Petit Jean swap meet. Went years ago and it was ok. How is it now? Looking for something a little closer to me and more days than Chickasha. Dan
The spaces used to be very difficult to get-- you might be able to get into the arts and crafts area. Their website is www.MOTAA.com , and phone is (501)727-5427. I love it. I've been going most years since 1976 when I was stationed in Blytheville, AR. It's now about 1700 miles round trip for me, but, I look forward to it. It's my most relaxing week of the year. My wife and I set up in the campground the weekend before, and, drive the T around everywhere for the week. Some of the vendors camp out with their wares, and some just use their space to hang out in the middle of things. Donnie Brown can give you input from a "serious vendor's" point of view, and Mike Walker and Paul Mikestra can give input also. I hope to see you there.
What are the dates??
11-14 June 2014
Ive been doing Petitt Jean for over 30 years. It is still a nice meet. Not very much T and A stuff as it used to be, but for me is still worth the trip. It is a very relaxed meet. It is advertised as a Tuesday to Saturday swap meet. A lot of us vendors start setting up on the Sunday before it starts. I used to be the first one there but a lot are setting up early now. Not much going on till Wednesday other than visiting and watching for early deals. Thursday Friday and 1/2 of Saturday are the best selling days. Most everyone starts loading Saturday and are somewhat ready to leave at 3:30 when they start letting vehicles move again. They will allow no vehicles to move on Thursday Friday and Saturday till after 3:30 due to the crowds. Like I said there is not a lot of early stuff there anymore, but I still have lots of buyers of my T stuff that I take. Not a whole lot of seller compitition. There still are some loads of T stuff to show up from ???? that still make it worth the search. For me it is a nice camping trip, social gathering, (with old car parts) vacation. I do not take as much as I used to due to health and age, but more than likley Ill still be going till the day I die. I have told the kids to be prepared to push my wheelchair and oxygen tank onto the spaces, pile some parts around me, keep the ice chest full. And Ill be happy. They know I am not kidding and I feel like they will do it for Dad. They have been to the meet every year of there life, except the 2 meets my son had to miss while he was in Iraq, and we do not hold it against him. Just so glad he made it home .! Like most of the meets there has been some decline. Probably due to gas prices, economy,ect. I would check with the museum and see about spaces. They are useally sold out on the 2nd of January. but there are cancellations, and like Mike said maybe there are a few spaces in the Arts and Craft section. We would love for you to come. Most of the Arkansas Tin Lizzies will be there (somewhere) On another note. I can also recommend the swap meet in Springfield Mo. in August. I do not set up there anymore, I just go to buy, but it is a good meet for vendors. They still have very good crowds, a good mix of early parts as well as later stuff. Lots of buying and selling going on. Of all the meets I go to it seems to be the only one growing in size and quality each year. Its a well established meet, but its so hot in August. The last 2 years has been nice but you never know. Hope to see you at Petitt Jean and if you want any specific questions answered, just ask here or PM me .... Almost forgot. Not a lot of places to stay. You can camp at the Petitt Jean State Park, a couple miles down the road, Stay in Morriliton Arkansas at several different motels, Its about 20 miles or so away. You could go to Dardanell Ark, but its a little farther. or stay on your spaces. I would check for available rooms or spaces as they sometimes fill up.
I got my space reserved back in March. At that time, spaces were still available in the main auto swap area and since a vendor has until the end of May to cancel and get a refund, spaces may still be available in the auto area.
When I used to peddle my signs at swap meets, Petit Jean was one of my favorites. It wasn't my best one for sales, but I always did OK there and enjoyed the pleasant setting. I liked eating at the New China in Russellville where they have quite a nice spread, and I despised the faux Mexican place on Main Street which I called Casa Velveeta, one of those places that thrive on gringos who don't know any better. I was happy to find a place in Dardanelle where the real Mexicans eat.
I agree with Donnie on the Ozark Empire meet in Springfield. It's a good one. I always set up with a gray tarp for shade, so the heat didn't bother me.
If you get spaces let me know where you are. I am in K-5 and K-6 near the center of the meet. It used to be someone had to die before a space became available. (Im not kidding) Its a little easier now.
Steve. We ate at New China in Russelville last weekend. Still very good food. ..... We do not like the Mexican place either.....
Chickasha, Petit Jean, and Springfield are the 3 swap meets I try to attend every year. Chickasha has the most T parts, Springfield next, then PJ. But as the others have said, PJ is the most laid-back and relaxing.
Paul and some others and I used to camp out on our swap meet spaces, and lots of folks still do. But as we have gotten older, we enjoy the comforts of a rented cabin there on the mountain. There aren't a lot of those, and you'll need to call on Jan. 1st to reserve one for the FOLLOWING year, not the current one. There are also rooms in Mather Lodge, but I think it's the same deal on reserving one. If you have an RV, there are lots of spaces for those. Mike Black and his wife always bring theirs. And there are campgrounds, in case your swap meet space is too full of parts to pitch a tent.
There is a very small grocery store on the mountain, but Morrillton and Dardanelle/Russellville are not too far for a quick trip for supplies.
One nice thing about the PJ meet is that it's all in the shade of big trees. Another nice thing about it is that vehicle traffic is prohibited in the swap meet area from 10 am to 3:30 or 4 pm. Motorized carts are limited to folks who have a handicapped permit.
Look us up if you're there. We'll be in H- or J-20-something. Just look for the Model T's.
If you call the State Park for an RV spot, they were all gone before last year's meet was over, however, there's an overflow area you can go that has elec and water and is near a dump station. Great week! http://www.petitjeanstatepark.com/accommodations/camping.aspx
Mike Walker and I will be on spaces H24 and H25. As Mike said "Just look for the Model T's." There is usually at least 4 T's, a shade cover, several coolers and lots of seats on the spaces for T folks to stop by and visit.
As luck would have it the Petit Jean space stickers arrived in the mail today! Hope to see some of you there.
Got my stickers a couple days ago. started loading up for the 3 loads I haul to the Mountain... see ya'll there ...
It dawned on me that I've never been there as just a shopper, not as a vendor. I remember seeing cars parked along the road, but is there an actual parking area for the customers? I don't remember that. Is there a shocking parking fee, as at Hershey?
Steve -- Parking is along the road unless you have a vendor's sticker for your windshield which allows you to park inside the swap meet. That's how we get our T's inside. You'll need room on your own swap meet space to park your vehicle(s). There are also some lots which charge $5 or $10; that's why most folks park alongside the meet on the road.
Or if you have your car entered for the judging on Saturday, you can drive it inside.
There is also a parking lot north of the museum. If you get there early and park along the road it is free. The 5 to 10 dollar parking is from private land owners across from the meet. A small price for us to pay for them putting up with us. Sometimes you can park in the museum parking lot. Unless it rains hard or they need it for car corral overflow. As to rain at Petitt Jean. I used to have a bet with a friend who also set up there. It was if it rained during the 3 official days of the meet he would buy me a steak dinner, If it did not rain I would buy him one. The rules were if 5 dealers covered their tables in sight of our spaces it was a "rain". After 7 years of him losing I finally bought him a steak dinner out of sympathy and called the bet off. It has been 8 years since the bet ended and it has rained every year enough to have won the bet. I can never remember the day of the steak dinners that the museum grills and sells. but I think it is Wednesday or Thursday at about 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.... Always good food and worth the money. It is a steak (that you chose right off the big grill) a baked potato, a roll, a cookie, and a canned drink (from ice cold ice chest) I believe it is 2 for 25.00 or 1 for 13.00. Some one else chime in if Im wrong on the dates or price. You would think after 30 plus years of being a vendor I could remember. see ya there
I haven't been there as a vendor since 1979. I stay in the state park campground and bring a T to drive around for the week. If your car is registered for the Saturday show, you are encouraged/allowed to park on the parade ground/show field, daily for people to look at your car. That field is right next to the swap meet area. They allow camping in an area next to the museum for a nominal fee (no hookups). Probably not a big vendor moneymaker like Hershey, but, a very relaxing time. A lot smaller than Hershey, so, you can actually get to see everything and everybody. The vendors aren't crawling all over each other waiting for the starting gun to sound, then packing up before the customers arrive! It's shady and totally relaxing and I love it!