By Diana Olmstead
Myself and two QT staff members awoke bright and early that morning to make our way to Monroe. We didn’t ride, we drove, knowing that we would most likely have too much stuff to pack home on our bikes.
The weather wasn’t too great when we first headed out from our neck of the woods in Mason County, but as we got closer to Monroe, the sun was out and it was actually quite nice.
As we pulled into the parking lot we noticed quite a few bikes and lots of cars and trucks. A steady stream of people were carrying armfuls of must-have items out to their vehicles as we were walking in to check things out.
The indoor event center at the fairgrounds was the perfect venue for this type of event. It was wide open, well-lit, enormous and packed with vendors. As a matter of fact, this year there were so many vendors that they added a 2nd adjacent building and filled it to capacity! Both buildings were easy to navigate due to the well-organized vendor booth layout.
We spent several hours browsing through all of the vendor booths. There truly was something for anyone of any age! There were many booths that had new or nearly new, take-off parts from a variety of motorcycles. There were several motorcycle clubs and riding groups selling support merchandise or handing out info about who they are and what they do. I noticed a great selection of hard to find items as well as an impressive number of complete bikes from Twin Cams to Shovels to Flatheads.
The flow of customers grew steadily throughout the morning and into the afternoon. Of course, lots of friendly faces began popping out immediately. That’s what I love about the motorcycle community, almost anywhere you go, you run the high chance of bumping into friends, be them close or just a friendly face you’ve met somewhere on the road. For instance, I ran into Mary with Mary’s Leathers who was busy sewing patches onto vests; Cheryl and her Psycho Wear team were helping customers try on chaps and leather jackets; and Brian with Northwest Motorcycles & Service was selling all kinds of parts at lightning speed!
Of course, I also ran into many of my friends in ABATE – Jimmy G was busy passing out fliers and promoting the awesomely fun ABATE of WA Spring Opener that takes place June 21st-24th in Easton, WA; Greg Hansen, who heads up ABATE State Membership was busy signing up new members, and several other ABATE friends were busy taking care of business at hand.
After spending most of the day at the Swap Meet it was time to head for home. My car was packed so full with great finds that I thought I might have to leave my QT staff behind!
The following week I had a chance to catch up with Tina Lawson, the ABATE Swap Meet Coordinator extraordinaire and Scott Robinson, State Eastside Deputy Coordinator and all around great guy, and I asked them how they felt this year’s Spring Swap Meet went. This is what they had to say…
“ABATE OF Washington has been holding the Swap Meet in Monroe Washington for 30 plus years. Every March, all the Brothers and Sisters make the trek north to this event. Be it vendors, spectators, shoppers or folks out for a day ride, they continue to show up. This year was special. We had more vendors, we filled two buildings and we had more shoppers than ever before. This was attributed to several factors – the Swap Meet Committee worked hard to put this all together and really stepped up the day of the event to meet all the challenges that came their way.
ABATE of Washington has an advertising agreement with Quick Throttle Magazine for advertising, and it is clearly paying off already. Quick Throttle took the info we passed on to them and made the show a success; their advertising skills brought in the biggest crowd we have ever had in 30 years!
ABATE of Washington Chapters came from all parts of the state to work on this event from manning ticket booths to handling security. We had Chapters taking care of business and we thank them for it.
On behalf of ABATE of Washington we want to thank all of the vendors, volunteers, shoppers and Quick Throttle Magazine for making this the best Swap Meet in the history of this event. We look forward to seeing you next year!”
I know how much work goes into planning this event and they nailed it. A well-deserved “Thank you and job well done!” goes out to Tina Lawson, Scott Robinson and everyone else who had a hand in organizing this year’s Spring Swap Meet! If you didn’t make it this year be sure to go next year. Everyone is welcome regardless of your age, sex or what you ride. Why not sell some unwanted items and make a few bucks while having a great time with friends? Or simply check it out, shop and find some screaming deals for yourself and your bike!