Big crowds expected for annual swap meet

Today the tapping of tent pegs will stop and the buzzing of bartering and haggling will begin as the 2013 Ballarat Swap Meet kicks off at 7am.

The two-day event is expected to draw more than 15,000 people through the gates at the Ballarat Airport.

Last night, The Courier spoke to several regulars at the Ballarat Swap Meet, including Melton’s “Spike”.

She said that almost anything could be bought and sold amid the winding alleys of stalls, tents, gazebos and tarpaulins.

She also said she wouldn’t miss the annual event for the world.

“It’s one big massive get together.”

Thanks to the connected characters on site, the rare items that are not at the swap meet are also up for grabs.

During our visit yesterday, The Courier was told by “Krusty” from Waubra that “a bloke” he knew was wanting to sell a rare motorcycle.

So committed was Krusty, acting as proxy, that he called “the bloke” and put us on the phone straight away – just an example of the community spirit around the Swap Meet site.

Everyone wants to make a buck, but everyone wants to help others make money too.

Organising committee member Mark Bennett said for someone to walk down every single aisle, it would work out to be more than 19 kilometres.

Mr Bennett said while the Swap Meet was originally car parts, just about anything could be found at the 2013 event.

“It’s the biggest swap meet we’ve had – it’s also the biggest swap meet in the southern hemisphere,” he said.

Mr Bennett said the swap meet program was the best way to negotiate the 19km of winding tracks and more than 2500 sites.

Day entry is $10, or a weekend ticket is $15. All children under 14 can enter for free.

Public access is available via Airport Road, Mitchell Park, or from the Ring Road.jordan.oliver@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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