For the second year, the 45th annual Southwest Swap Meet will bring thousands of antique car enthusiasts to the Wise County Sheriff’s Posse Grounds in Decatur.
The event opens Friday and runs until 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16.
Early setup is Thursday afternoon, and the meet continues sun-up to sundown Friday, Saturday and most of Sunday. Some vendors have lights, enabling them to continue after dark. Vendors must be “off the grounds” by 5 p.m. Sunday.
The Southwest Swap Meet is the longest-running, continuously-operating event of its kind, having been in existence for more than four decades. It had been held at Rangers Stadium, then the Ballpark in Arlington, since 1977 but was forced to relocate due to a lack of venue availability after the building of Cowboys Stadium.
In its first Wise County showing, the meet boasted 1,200 vendor spaces.
“We expect that number to grow not only this year, but in years to come with the location and date remaining consistent,” said Gordan Hofstra of the Texas Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America. The club, along with the Dallas Model A Ford Club and the Horseless Carriage Club of America, North Texas region, sponsor the event.
Vendor spaces may be purchased during the meet. Eighty percent of the contents must be automotive-related.
Local charitable groups such as the Lions Club and churches will operate food booths of all types.
“And the meet also helps in the regular economy,” Hofstra said. “It brings people to our local restaurants, hotels, gas stations. This supports the local community in more ways than one.”
Admission is free.