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This Week In Quartzsite

We went to the opening day of the Big Tent on Saturday despite many admonishments from friends and horror stories about the traffic being so bad that we would not even be able to get off the freeway. Traffic on the freeway was not bad at all at 9am in the morning and we had no problem getting in via the last Quartzsite exit to Main Street to the 95 south. We went to the LTVA area at La Posa West to meet up with my sister and her husband who had arrived only the night before. We found it had filled up considerably but there were still some spots to be had. If you can’t find parking elsewhere, you can park there during the day at no charge according to the ranger we asked. Sis got a spot near the wash which is next to the Big Tent area. We parked at her place and walked over to the tent. The crowd wasn’t too bad at the start but around 11am the crush was on, body to body. By late afternoon it had eased up so we could walk inside again.

There are plenty of vendors inside and out. I saw some new vendors there as well as the old. Lots of DirecTV dealers are there as well as Escapees, Adventureland amusement park looking for workampers, Verizon, lots of solar and LED dealers, clothing, RV gadgets and parts, insurance, BBQs, pots and pans, kitchen gadgets, Good Sam, tourist bureaus, etc. I noticed there was no Good Sam treasure chest this year and there are more general RV gadget stores. I scored new insurance, a shirt with a map of the USA and little jewels to iron on for each state I have visited, and plug covers for the electrical connections from my trailer to my SUV. My sister, a friend, and I went in on a buy two get one free deal on some Eggies. I got Sis and her husband a deal on a new RV patio mat through a sweet friend of mine there. Some vendors will deal though it isn’t always easy with the very high sales tax there hurting them. Prices are a bit higher this year. There are also lots and lots of food booths there with wonderful smells teasing the nostrils of passers by. Ice cream is still the biggest seller this year from what I could see and the cones are huge double dips.

Strangely absent was mat stakes which had been everywhere the year before but are harder to find there this time despite the many mat vendors still there. I didn’t see some of last year’s vendors there either though there are still plenty there.

My friends who are working for a vendor again this year tell me that the crowds are there everyday and they are definitely spending money. Sales are looking very good indeed. The new scooter rental vendor is also renting everything they have out very early and all day.

The weather is not as good as last year. It is cold, somewhat sunny, and windy as can be. Saturday, all the merchandise on shelves outside was clean and new looking until the winds covered them with desert dirt. We had dirt in our teeth and hair making it rather miserable by the end of the day. We couldn’t wait to hit the showers back at camp. The wind also shook some of the small tents so bad that merchandise came off hooks, tarps flew open, pipes creaked, and they considered taking down the Michelin Man balloon. Still, people are coming and having a fine time anyway.

We went back for more on Sunday, crazy as we are. Just walking around and listening to the presentations is fun. Sitting around later with friends and telling Quartzsite tales is another good pastime. Yesterday and today, of course, we are still recovering.

2 comments to This Week In Quartzsite

  • I’ve waited hours to get into Q when the Big Tent opened. So much to see. I may have to go back down in Feb.

    • Yeah, I guess it depends on the time of day. We went early and had no problem with the traffic. A little slow on West Kuehn Rd. but not that bad. Beware the first exit and trying to turn in either direction. Truly a pain right now with the truck stop right there and only stop signs to control it.

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