Hershey Swap Meet Cancelled!

The amazing swap meet held in the world’s sweetest town will not happen this year thanks to the recent restrictions by state and local governments. Known as the American Automobile Club of America’s Eastern Fall Meet, which is held right around Columbus Day in the Pennsylvania town of Hershey. The meet takes place the first full week in October, giving attendees opportunity to visit over 9,000 vendors, view over 1,000 cars for sale in the car corral, and admire the approximately 1,200 cars at the car show on Saturday. This year’s event was scheduled to occur on October 7-10, 2020.

Due to COVID-19 concerns and Pennsylvania’s current restrictions on groups of more than 25 people gathering, the sponsoring regional chapter of the AACA, appropriately known as the “Hershey Region Chapter,” announced on their Facebook page that the long-standing event has been cancelled.

You never know what you’re going to find at Hershey, but this year, regrettably, we can only say what you WON’T be seeing – many of the items that make the Hershey meet such a great venue.

“It is with great regret that the AACA Hershey Region Executive Board informs you that the 2020 Hershey Fall Meet has been cancelled,” the post said. “This decision was not arrived at lightly. Our Club prides itself on producing a world-class event that thousands of people anticipate every year, so we felt the heaviest of burdens when faced with this decision.”

Everything from early autos of every ilk, vintage race cars, and plenty of automobilia keep enthusiasts coming back to Pennsylvania each year for the annual event.

The post went on to explain the various considerations that weighed into the decision to not have the event for the first time in its 65-year history. “the Board took many obstacles into account, including but not limited to: the health and welfare of our volunteers, vendors, partners, and visitors; the unknown restrictions and/or guidelines that may be in place at the time of our show; and the volunteer-only workforce we rely on to prepare for a show of our magnitude.”

The Show MAY Still Go On!

While the massive acreage of swap meet fodder may not be an option this year, the Board of the AACA allows that the car show that is also held in October may still be doable, depending on the current restrictions at that time. “we continue to explore ideas to benefit the hobby and are working toward the possibility of still hosting our usual car show on Saturday in October,” it said. “While this may not be doable, AACA and the Hershey Region along with other constituencies are working hard to make this possible.”

You can see how the event has grown over the years from this first image taken in 1965, through the final image from 2009. The event has weathered numerous storms, terrorist attacks, and even a near-catastrophic nuclear meltdown, but a nasty virus has finally brought the event to its knees.

There are many aspects of the “Hershey Meet” that comprise the event’s week-long festivities such as the Car Corral, Flea Market, Saturday’s Car Show, Ladies’ Luncheon, High Wheeler Contest, Race Car Condition Run, Judging School, AACA Juniors, Talent Show, and Old Time Movie Night. There have even been timed hill-climb events in the past!

Refund information will be sent very soon in regards to all payments already received and enthusiasts are directed to visit the AACA Hershey Region’s website and social media as often as possible for the latest news.

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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