I had a nice talk with Susie Ersland today about next years Chickasha swap meet. I had heard all kinds of rumors and complaints after the last meet. I just wanted to hear what they had in mind for next year. That way I can plan my "plan of attack" to get the "goodies" She told me that nothing has changed. We will still set up on Wednesday after we are allowed in the gates at 4:00. She strongly believes we "need" Wednesday to set up. But, she is worried that next year the problem may be "parking/lineup room. It seems the fair grounds organization has started building a new Rodeo arena. For those familiar with the grounds it is being built at the site of the old rodeo arena east of the southern building near where the RV parking is. So the parking/grass lot area, we usually line up in, is now a construction site. She says there are cranes and building stuff everywhere. It is too early for her to say how we will line up yet. When she mails the stickers in Feburary she hopes to have a good idea of the parking situation. That is something that the swap meet promoters have no control over. I asked her if the "worst case scenario" was show up at 4:00 and drive in then. She said yes but hoped that the construction could be out of the way before then ... So it appears that nothing has changed, as all the "rumors" have been saying, but we may have to deal with the parking issue. One last thought ... For those that think they should allow us to line up on the west side near the railroad tracks. The city and police dept. will not allow it, for fear of blocking emergency access in case something was to happen, and the parking area near the railroad tracks belongs to the railroad and they will not let them use it (officially) but they usually do not say anything if people use it, but they will not allow the swap meet to officially use it ...
One more thing comes to mind we talked about. It is "early sales in the parking lot" She did not have problems with early sales among vendors or buyers, but the "early selling" they do have a problem with is the people who show up on Wednesday and get in line with all us "paid" vendors, or set up in the railroads lot. They sell till 4:00 when the vendors are allowed to go in, and then they leave and go home. So those people are taking advantage of the Erslands and getting a "free ride" and then go home. That is the "early sales" they have a problem with. I do not blame the Erslands a bit for not liking it ..
Donnie -- That's all good news. Thanks for taking the initiative and finding out what's "really" going on. I never could understand how they expected it to work if vendors and the public were all to enter on Thursday morning.
Mike: It may be a little early to talk about Chickasha, but I was concerned about getting a room on Wednesday if we needed it. I usually leave Arkansas at midnight Tuesday and get there around daylight, set up after 4:00, and sleep on the spaces. . But with all the rumors I could not figure out what I needed to plan on. So the best thing is just ask the people in control (the Erslands) I agree that its good news nothing has changed (except the parking problem) and it should be 2015 only type of thing ...
Line-up is just 111 days away. It will be here before you know it.
Donnie -- It's not too early to talk about Chickasha. I tried all of the local hotels listed on their website, and none of them has any vacancies.
I might need to take a sleeping bag and join you and Steve.
Mike Im too old for a sleeping bag. My friends and I take an air mattress and an electric blanket. With our food we take and the microwave, its is better than a motel. Im ready, hurry up 111 days ...
Will there still be another swap meet on the same dates?
Still no Saturday for those that work?
Are they doing investing into advertising? It seemed attendance was way down? Re guard less of the reason, we are dieing off, economy, what ever are they advertising the event in all antique publications?
We have been a vendor for years and notice a dramatic decline last year. In a past discussion I offered to sit in on a meeting to offer helpful thoughts, still will.
What other meet is on the same dates? I wasn't aware of it.
It should be advertised as a one day (Thursday) event. To advertise it for 3 days is not doing the hobby any good. The first time I went we arrived Friday and about half the vendors were gone. Went Saturday morning early and even though it was advertised as Saturday being one of the days it clearly isn't. The next time I went was Thursday only.
Steve -- Last year there was a swap meet in Duncan (about 20 miles south) on Friday and Saturday. Some of the Chickasha vendors went there on Friday. Those who commented on that meet here said there wasn't much of interest to them, so maybe there'll be less vendor bailout this time.
As for Chickasha, I try to get there about mid-day on Wednesday, go to the parking lot then, attend the meet on Thursday (which is the big day), stay Thurs. nite to have dinner with buddies, and leave about noon-ish on Friday. It's usually pretty slow by then. Last year it was advertised as a 2-day event, Thurs. and Fri. The same is true on their website for the one coming up, March 19 & 20.
I don't remember if it's been advertised in earlier years as including Saturday, but it's always been an early meet. Even twenty years ago, the few people who showed up on Saturday morning didn't find much. I think Saturday isn't included due to a high weekend rental fee on the grounds.
Last year was when they changed the meet to 2 days instead of 3.