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March 21, 2013

Swap meet brings car nuts to Grady

CHICKASHA — Vendors from across the nation, buyers across the globe and cars from eras past all came together for the 23rd Annual PreWar Swap Meet at the Grady County Fairgrounds March 21 and March 22.

It's a pretty fast meet, according to Mike Ersland, one of the meet's founders. The vendors begin setting up on Wednesday afternoon, Thursday is a full day of buying, trading and showing and things start to thin out by Friday at noon.

Maine, Oregon and northern California are just some of the places where vendors come from. Erlsand said there is a regular at the meet who comes from Australia year after year.

About 367 vendors attended this year. There are about a thousand vendor spaces, with some vendors purchasing more than one space for their spread of parts, collector's items and pre-war cars, according to Susie Ersland. The meet has been up on vendors this year, she said.

The vendors span from the west side of the Grady County Fairgrounds main building, in all of the indoor buildings and out towards the outdoor arena. The indoor space is especially helpful during the unpredictable Oklahoma weather, Mike Ersland said.

Peggy McMahan, Grady County Fairgrounds Marketing Director, gave the Chickasha Leadership group a tour of the facilities during the meet. The group discussed the proposed expansion of the fairgrounds. A rendering of the new facility was on display during the meet.

Mike and Susie Ersland as well as vendors at the meet credited, McMahan and her staff as well as commissioner Windle Hardy for their involvement during the last 13 years adding improvements to the fairgrounds.

Read more about the proposed expansion of the Grady County Fairgrounds, which McMahan said will cost the community about $0.25 for every $100 spent, in a future issue of the Express-Star.

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