Planning on going to the Hershey swap meet for the first time , bringing the family and such , trying to talk my dad into going with us too ( he's 64 and has been gathering parts for 20+ +years and I think he'd really enjoy it !! ) which is the best day to get there ? Hope to meet some of you guys there ! I'll be the guy with his wife chasing around our three kids , ha ha !!
Who all can I look for there ??
Saturday morning is the actual car show, which can be spectacular. The old car flea market is world class and "car corral" is also usually amazing; both open the Wednesday prior. You'll find acres (literally) of parts and cars for sale. Be prepared to walk a LOT. It takes most people two days a least to see everything. Many people do it over three days.
Some of the rest of the "gang" will chime in with their tips too.
It is a great event and a "must" for every old car lover.
Absolutely the best ending to an "old car year." Enjoy. I'll be the one walking around looking tired and carrying junk.....
Is this going to be a day trip? If you're going for a few days better not count on finding a hotel when you get there. I'm not sure how it is now (We've been staying at the same place for over 30 years) We reserve the room for the next year before we leave. There have been lots of new hotels built, so it might not be as hard to find a place.
I went for the first time a couple of years ago. I slept in the Camry Motel, as I usually do when traveling, as the price is perfect. Last year a local T guy and his wife kindly invited me to stay with them. The first time I paid the outrageous parking fee because I didn't know any better. Last year I found street parking and was happy to walk into the meet, less than half a mile, for free. If you're buying stuff, a backpack is a good idea. Carrying stuff around by hand all day gets old in a hurry. I was glad to spend $10 for a little cart to carry parts. Yes, be ready for a lot of walking. I've never covered it all. The first time I walked all day Wednesday and until about noon Thursday when the rainout began. Last year I covered most of it before the rain started Friday afternoon. If you see something you want, don't plan to come back for it later. Even if you find the place again, the item will probably be gone. For twenty years or more I heard about Hershey but could never go because of work. Now that I'm retired it's an annual entertainment.
If you can be there EARLY Tuesday morning. Find a nice out of the way corner and watch a parking lot go from a flat surface to a CITY of lets say 20,000 in a just a few hours.
It's hard to pick one day to go. Saturday is the car show, as mentioned, but that's not a good day to do the flea market, as many vendors are either gone or at the show.
Wednesday you may find treasures, as vendors set up, but there'll be empty spaces too.
If I could only go one day to flea market, I'd pick Thursday. You might miss some stuff sold early, but just about all vendors open for business....
I have been going to Hershey and showing a car there since 1968. I love walking around the flea market, looking at parts and seeing people that I have met on Model T tours,and other car friends.
I have seen all kinds of weather, Rain,Cold,snow
hot and almost a hurricane one year.That year was the only year that I did not take the car out of the trailer,because it was raining so hard.
In the old days there was a lot of mud when it rained. Now its all paved.
Lot's of people pull a large kid's 'wagon' to put parts in (Think Radio Flyer). I use a hand truck with several plastic storage boxes with lids. I keep them nested until I need pull another out to fill, then I just stack them using bungees to hold them on. Works well for me as I am not usually looking for large parts.
We stay with friends, but one year, we had to get a hotel at the last minute due to his house flooding. We had no trouble finding a hotel about 10 miles away. Harrisburg is a big place and not THAT far away. Surely, there are hotels available there. If you're looking for one in Hershey, then yeah, I can see that as a problem, but if you are willing to drive a few miles to and from each day, then I don't think the hotel issue is as bad as the reputation seems to be.
I've been going since 1970 and haven't missed a year since. I have been selling parts there almost as long. If you're really into antique cars, this is the place to be. Not as much cool stuff available as there use to be, but still well worth the trip. As far as buying, if you have limited time to be there, you'll probably see the most vendors open on Thursday. The serious buyers are there Tuesday. As we are unloading on Tuesday, people are there to buy. Many of the early customers are other dealers, buying stuff to resell. So if you really want to move stuff and not wait for top dollar, Tuesday and Wednesday are very good. Those are top dealer buying days. On Friday, dealers are starting to pack it in. By late Friday it starts to look like a ghost town, and by Saturday it pretty much is. Inclement weather will hasten it along. Hershey rules will not let you stay overnight on Saturday. Another reason why vendors leave early.
In the early years the meet went from Tuesday to Saturday with most vendors open at 7. At the Hershey meet now vendors don't open until 9-10. I made the mistake of telling my wife this, now she wants to be open at 7. She wants the tradition back. She loves this and loves selling. Works good for me as I would rather walk.
My biggest suggestion is dress for any weather, I've seen it bone chilling cold and rain and hot all in the same day. I once bought a heavy sweater because I was freezing early morning and within two hours I was stripped down to shorts and a T shirt. I will be missing it this year, To many other commitments. I always took my RV, Great times for sure.
Rob,What about one of your pack horses?? With a grin-Bud.
Travis - Dan's post above summarizes the show very well. The only thing I would add is that Saturday is the actual day when the show cars are judged. The cars start to roll in early that morning for several hours. Hershey rules dictate that the cars must be running so thousands of people line the road to watch them drive onto the field. If you've never seen it before, I highly recommend it. There will be many cars that you've seen before, but probably several that you haven't.
It's a real shame that the vendors do not stick around until the end of the week anymore.
Dan B- You are correct about the car show on Saturday. Being a vendor for as many years as I have, I can tell you why most vendors don't stick around on Saturday. Serious buyers are there Tuesday through Friday. On Saturday I found that there are mostly lookers and a large number of people are at the show, not in the flea market buying. It is rare to sell anything on Saturday. We have always enjoyed just being there, so we stayed Saturday night and left on Sunday. That was until a few years ago. Sunday morning came and we got a knock on our motor home door around 6am. It was a Hershey official saying we needed to be packed and gone by 7am. Therefore after our Saturday morning breakfast, we begin to pack up and leave. Obviously if we stayed Saturday, we would have to find a place to stay for the night, which would be a little foolish. Some people we know that live a greater distance away, say their not selling much on Friday afternoon, so they start to leave then.
I have been going for 12 years and if you see something grab it then or it is gone! There is more T stuff there than Chickasha but you have to walk for it, cause it could be any where there. Years ago a guy had two big crates from a garage sale he wanted 5 bucks for any part, well I bought ten of each NOS trans gears! BONUS!
Wow Dan, I had never heard about people getting the boot on Sunday morning. Thats ashame but I guess it's their turf, their rules. Years ago the Hershey region talked about getting their own spot to hold the show annually. That probably would have been a good idea given that Hershey has shoehorned the show into the remaining open space which seems to be less and less each year.
Sure the pavement is nice, but I miss the days of being towed out by front end loaders through axle deep mud in the Green Field. Seems like the pickins' were a lot better then too.
Still look forward to it every year. We're not far away now.
Thanks guys , really looking forward to it , we got our hotel booked last night , although it's a bit further away than we'd like , but hey , it's no further than what I already drive to work lol , anyhow , where can I find info on admission fees etc ?? I'm planning on also taking my family to tour the chocalate factory , I'm sure theyll like that almost as much . Thanks again.
I am also currently planning to make my first trip to Hershey this year, I found this site helpful:
Travis, do a Google search of the places you want to visit. Attractions often have websites that list hours, fees, and other info.
Hello Travis - You're in luck. Admission to the Hershey Car Show and the Chocolate World Tour are free.
I am not sure who in my family will be going, but I plan on hitching a ride in our truck/traveling motel.
We will be near Langs Parts and the International club booth. I will be wearing my walking shoes.
We will be in spaces RCB 44, 45. We are not listed in the Hershey program of vendors. We are across from the back of the old stadium. Can't miss our Motor-home. Anyone is welcome to stop by
Going to really check the weather out. Not worth a 150 mile drive one way for a miserable soaking. Did it once. It was enough.