TURLOCK, Calif. — Touted as one of the biggest auto swap meets on the West Coast, the annual Turlock Swap Meet is cruising back into town.
It's one of the highlights of the year for many people, bringing in roughly 17,000 to 20,000 guests.
With nearly 2,000 vendors every year, the swap meet is one of the biggest that Stratt Riggs, an event manager, has heard of. He only knows of two other swap meets in Pennsylvania and in the city of Pomona that are bigger than Turlock's.
"Other than them, there aren’t too many that are much bigger," Riggs said.
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What is the Turlock Swap Meet?
The Turlock Swap Meet is a car lovers dream with nearly 2,000 vendors specializing in cars, car parts, and even classic car apparel.
It's been a tradition for the past 54 years, originally starting as a way to trade parts between the Model A and Model T clubs.
The swap meet grew over the years, and Riggs says there's still been no decline in popularity since its humble beginnings at the McHenry Shopping Center in Modesto. Its current home is the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds.
"As best we can figure, it kind of triggered something that... fits in the Valley with the cruising mentality," Riggs said.
The entirety of the fairgrounds is used for the event. At nearly 2,000 vendors, you'll find specialty license plates, tire vendors, engine help, and even some period-style costumes and clothes to match the classic cars.
“When you walk in the main gate, you’re kind of overwhelmed,” Riggs said.
Its selection makes a mainstay for people collecting or restoring classic cars.
“Some of the stuff, I swear, it looks like junk. You can’t believe that somebody wants it, but it turns out that somebody’s been looking for this particular part for ten years…,” Riggs added.
One of the must see features every year is the Car Corral, which has each car driven in to be put on display.
Where and when is it?
The Turlock Swap Meet is held at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, located at 900 Broadway Avenue. The main entrance and parking lot is found along Soderquist Road, across from the Main Gate between Fulkerth Road and Canal Drive.
It runs from Jan. 25 to Jan. 26.
- Jan. 25 - 7 a.m. to 5 p.m
- Jan. 26 - 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Admission is $10.00 at the gate on Saturday and $5.00 on Sunday. Children 12 and under are free when an adult is with them.
For more details on the event, click HERE.
Expect some traffic delays if you're heading down Fulkerth Road. The big crowds tend to head to the swap meet on the first day.
“There’s a line sometimes goes all the way down Fulkerth to the freeway sometimes on the freeway,” Riggs said.
Riggs says the event will close Soderquist Road between Fulkerth and Canal.
For live traffic conditions, view the Waze map below.
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