January 8th, 2005
For some reason, a lot of people think of the desert as being a sand-filled wasteland that only the buzzards and other scavengers would want to be in. They have obviously never been to Quartzsite during the winter season.
Quartzsite is now at the peak of the winter snowbird migration to the south, and there is so much to see and do now that it boggles your mind sometimes.
With the past few years seeing a shortening of the winter sales seasons, mostly due to the economy, it seems that the main influx of winter merchants and winter visitors is packed into just two months of frenzied activity.
There is something going on everywhere in town and the traffic is slowed to a crawl, some due to construction on the main roads but mostly from the hundreds of RVs and trailers, trucks and cars coming from all over the country to see what is going on in this little piece of desert.
There are many major shows that have opened or are soon to open in town now.
The Main Event, Rice Ranch, Prospectors Panorama, Desert Gardens, and Four Corners Swap meets are all in full swing, with hundreds of vendors vying for the tourist dollars with some of the most unique items available at the colorful tents and stores.
You can find anything you want here during the season, but it takes a lot of stamina to walk all the shows and it can’t be done in just one day.
Tyson Wells Sell-A-Rama just opened its big show, and it will run until Jan. 30.
They will also feature an Arts and Crafts show from Feb. 4 to 13. The world famous POWWOW at the Q.I.A. is going to be held from Jan. 26 to 30, and rock and gems are what is featured at this annual show, everything you may want to know about gems and minerals is available there. The Rock and Gem club is also having daily field trips for anyone who wants to learn about rocks and minerals that can be found in this area that can be used for making jewelry, bookends, clocks, and much more.
South of Tyson Wells show on Hwy 95, look for the Big Tent and check out the Sports, Vacation and R.V. Show that opened Jan 22 and will run until the 30.
You will find everything imaginable to put in your RV to make “roughing it” on the road much more convenient. The Big Tent is also holding a Hobby Gem and Craft Show from Feb. 2 to 6, and a Rock and Roll Classic Car Show from Feb 5 to 6. Desert Gardens is also hosting its first Antique Classic Car and Airplane swap meet, called Desert Days and Desert Nights, on Feb. 5 and 6.
If you get tired of shopping, there is so much more to do — check out the tours of the Tyson Stage Stop Museum on B-10, go on-line or look for your favorite book at the Quartzsite Library, take in some of the many jam sessions held by musicians at the local RV parks, or go dancing or play bingo at the Senior Citizens Center, Q.I.A. and some of the RV Parks in town.
If crafts are your thing, try your hand at painting and glazing all kinds of items at Ceramics of Quartzsite on Main Street, take classes in all kinds of crafting at Donna Daes Craft store behind Mark’s Restaurant, or check out the classes held at Joyce’s Crafts or Split Rail Craft store, both on Hwy 95N. There are also several classes in crafts and computers at the Town Library available.
If you love the desert and want to see some great displays of cacti and other desert plants, please take a walk through Celia’s Rainbow Gardens in the Town Park.
Be sure to take your camera; this is a very unique botanical gardens that has been developed by volunteer residents and snowbirds, a one of a kind place for everyone to enjoy.
There are hundreds of trails to discover on your ATV in the desert surrounding town, and even a tough golf course to test your golf prowess in the desert.
You can view the desert and town from the air in an ultra light or parasail, or take rides in small planes.
There are activities held all over town, with something of interest for anyone who wishes to participate. And don’t forget to go to some of the entertainment held at the Q.I.A.- potlucks, exercise classes, painting classes, dancing and shows almost every evening.
The Barbara Fairchild show is still going on at the end of Ironwood St. in the big white tent, and her show is a very popular to those who like country and gospel music.
It has often been said that if you can’t find what you want in Quartzsite during the show season, then it doesn’t exist, and most people who have been coming here for years agree. There is always something going on, and you can get as involved as you want, or just sit back and enjoy the beauty of the desert. It’s up to you.