I may have a chance to go to Hershey for the first time this year, but can only attend Tuesday and Wednesday. I understand the event doesn't officially start until Wednesday. I'm getting conflicting reports, does the event tend to start early or will I be wasting my time and not likely to see vendors Tuesday and Wednesday?
Vendors are on site starting AM on Tues, trades and sales immediate on set ups, Wed is one of the best days, rain permitting
Most are packing up on Friday AM
It's hit and miss Tuesday morning, but I'll be there by 8 am.
The advantage of going on Tuesday is that you can take a bicycle, and go from vender to vender quickly, and field to field also. Most private or individual venders will sell on Tuesday, most commercial won't. No bikes are allowed after set up day. If you are looking seriously for heavy items, you will want some sort of small wheeled shopping cart, or child's coaster wagon. Remember bungee cords to hold stuff in or on. Estimates vary on total length of vender booths, but most are in the thirty mile range! Remember to bring plenty of drinking water! Good walking shoes are a must! If you see what you want, it's best to buy it then, or it will be gone when you get back! If you take a trailer, expect to pay double for parking, since you are taking up two spots! Watch how they park you, it's possible to get blocked in! Also, make a note of where you park, landmarks, rows, etc! Unless you walk regularly now, it helps to start walking to get in shape now! Parking is in an open field across the highway, with cross walks for traffic control. They do have handicap parking closer. Have fun!
More on the subject, bring sunscreen, and a hat, and weather appropriate clothes. On Tuesday, you will notice single porta potties spread in individual sites. These are for the vendors, rented by them, and some/most seem to get very unhappy if you use them without permission! Our first time, my wife unknowingly used one, and got royally reamed by an irate vender! Public use ones are around the edges, in multiple numbers. Even if you are not planning large item purchases, small items add up, weight wise, and at least a strong cloth shopping bag with comfortable handles is advised. We have a friend who is a vender, and he allows us to use his space as a storage area to stash our goodies, while we hunt for more! It is a good hike from the parking lot to the far fields!
As Bill said just above, you will want a hat. Just in case, we'll have hats for sale at the MTFCA site, C4Q34 to 37. They might say Ford or Model T or Forum on them...
My experience has been that many vendors are open on Tuesday already. You might even see Don Lang making the rounds early Tuesday morning looking for good parts or bargains. Tuesday is nice because there aren't very many people in the isles slowing you down.
Thanks for all the insight. I'm buttoning up this thread for future readers and hobbyists.
All great tips and spot on. I brought hats, a cart, water, sunscreen, and good shoes. Admittedly I didn't bring bungee cords and later regretted not having them on hand.
I arrived around 10a on Tuesday. There were not many staff or signs directing traffic yet, so it took me a while to figure out where to park. Two Hershey staffers actually directed me to leave telling me not come until Wednesday. I finally found parking and walked away with great deals. For newbies arriving next year, park in the grass lot at Hersheypark Drive and N. Hockersville Road.
Since thursday was a rain-out, we can hope for a reasonable friday. Theres still areas to checkout.