Every January something happens that is hard to believe, unless you have seen it!
According to the Arizona Highway Department, as many as 750,000 to 1,000,000 people, mostly in recreational vehicles, converge on the sleepy little desert town of Quartzsite, located just 20 miles east of the California border on Interstate 10, for the rock, gem, and mineral shows, plus numerous flea markets and the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show.
“If you’re looking for anything related to RVs, you’ll find it at the RV show in Quartzsite,” says Kenny King, show promoter.
There will be several hundred new and used RVs on display in 2014 and over a dozen service bays will be offering immediate installation, repairs, and service on many of the items that will be exhibited at the show.
This phenomenon started over 30 years ago and is now billed as “The Largest Gathering Of RVers in the World”.
The inaugural Quartzsite RV Show opened January 28, 1984 at the corner of Highway 95 (now Central) and Business 10 (now Main Street) in Quartzsite, Arizona. With just 60 exhibitors and a small tent, the “new show in town” was still very popular since the majority of the people in Quartzsite were RVers.
In 1987 the show, now re-named the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show, moved up the street to the Quartzsite Trailer Park which was situated directly across from the major attraction in town, the Quartzsite Pow Wow (the first Pow Wow was held in 1967).
This new home for the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show lasted 10 years until the show grew to a point that the current 3.5-acre show site could barely hold the number of exhibitors that were now vying for exhibit space at this popular annual event.
In 1997 the “BIG TENT”, as the show had become known, moved across the freeway to its present home, a new 20-acre facility, ½-mile south of I-10 on Highway 95 (now 700 South Central).
With the new Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show grounds, the popular event was able to provide over 15 acres of public FREE parking.
Dates for the 31st Annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show are January 18-26, 2014, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
FREE parking! FREE admission! It’s a FREE, family friendly event…
Estimated attendance 150,000 plus!
69,000 square feet, fully carpeted indoor exhibit area.
Canceled: Quartzsite Hobby Craft & Gem Show & Rock & Roll Classic Car Show
In 1997, a second show—Quartzsite Hobby, Craft & Gem Show—was added. The new show, while on a much smaller scale than the giant RV show, grew to include a Rock & Roll Classic.
It was recently announced that the 17th Annual Quartzsite Hobby, Craft & Gem Show and the 16th Annual Quartzsite Rock & Roll Classic Car Shows, that ran concurrently, have been canceled.
Promoter Kenny King stated that after the economic slump in 2008, attendance and participation had been in decline and the decision was made to eliminate the shows as of 2014.
King also said that they are looking for new ideas for an additional new show that may spark more interest in people staying over after the big RV Show closes and would even consider co-promoting or leasing their show facility to another promoter.
OK, but what’s so great about Quartzsite?
Many times I’ve tried to describe Quartzsite to people who haven’t been there, but it’s impossible for them to imagine.
As you descend the last pass into the valley, at first glance, it appears you’ve come across an unmapped city in the desert—there are thousands of small buildings spread out everywhere.
But then you realize that these are not buildings—they’re recreational vehicles of every type, size, and vintage. And wherever you look, you see them. It’s the Woodstock of the Snowbird set!
Just where is this gem of a town? Quartzsite is beyond Hope. Heading west toward Quartzsite, you’ll go beyond Hope, Arizona.
Please Note: This is the first of a two-part series on Quartzsite 2014 Show Dates
Part 2: 2014 Quartzsite Show Dates Announced
Quartzsite = $400,000 diesel pusher motorhomes towing $40,000 SUVs looking for free camping.
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If you enjoy these articles and want to read more on RV travels and lifestyle, visit my website: Vogel Talks RVing.