Moultrie Auto Swap Meet sees major turnout on opening day

Nov. 19—MOULTRIE, Ga. — Opening day of the annual Moultrie Automotive Swap Meet and Car Corral at Spence Field had a major turnout, according to the coordinators.

"It's the biggest one we've ever had," Kyle Kelly, son of the owner and head coordinator Jerry Kelley, said in an interview Friday morning.

The Moultrie Automotive Swap Meet and Car Corral originated in 1975 in Nashville. Once the event outgrew the 100,000-square-foot tobacco warehouse venue, Kelley moved it to Spence Field in Moultrie.

The three-day event occurs twice a year, once in April and again in November. This year's fall show has more than 4,000 registered vendors from across 30 states, according to a previous interview with Jerry Kelley.

"We welcome the people to come out and experience what's here because there's a lot more than just car parts or cars here. If they come out, they would enjoy ... seeing a lot of what's here because it's unusual stuff [and] a lot of older stuff. If you walk all of our aisles, you've walked right [about] five miles," Kelley told The Observer in a previous interview.

Brody Doster has been a returning vendor for approximately 30 years. His booth showcases antiques, signage and gas pumps.

"I keep returning because this is an old-school swap meet. You can find almost anything or everything here. This is the one show I can say I've always made money at," he said.

The fall show is the larger of the two due to the weather and the timing.

Like many other vendors, Matthew and Jan Abbot, with Neon Warehouse based in Fraser, Michigan, often stop at the November swap meet as they travel to another show in Daytona, Fla.

"It's a good show with lots of people. We've been attending for over ten years," the couple said. Their exhibit showcases various neon signage and is based in the Family Living building.

Some vendors like Kody Lyons have attended the event with his father Charlie Lyons, the owner of Charlie's Classic Cars, since before he could walk. Now at 33 years old, Kody Lyons has missed only one meet due to his son's birth.

"The people," is what Kody said in response to what's his favorite part about the event. "It's almost like a family reunion every time we attend."

A 1967 Chevy convertible was one of the five cars the Lyons brought to the meet. They had already sold a vehicle earlier.

Interested attendees can still make the meet this weekend. The show is open Friday through Sunday, Nov. 18 — Nov. 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The gates open Sunday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Tickets cost $10 per person for the first two days and lower to $5 on the final day. Children under 12 have free admission. Tickets can be purchased at Pets and golf carts are not permitted. Attendees must register for an event scooter on the website.

The 47th annual Moultrie Automotive Swap Meet and Car Corral is scheduled for Friday, March 31, to Saturday, April 1.