By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Quartzsite, Arizona – a winter stomping ground for tens of thousands of RVers. The warm, dry weather is one draw. Another, the Big Tent Show, more properly known as the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV show. Kenny King has promoted the show and seen to the “Big Top” tent for seeming ages, opening faithfully every January. But what about this coming January? With COVID-19 messing up a lot of plans, many RVers are wondering if there’ll be a show.
Here’s the news: As far as Kenny and company are concerned, the show must go on! Last January’s show was the biggest ever in terms of attendance. He estimates 150,000 passed through the doors and toured the seemingly endless lineup of products, demonstrations and info-booths. All that, while shoving corn dogs, popcorn, snow cones, and whatever else down their gullets while gabbing.
Kenny King takes an interesting view of how coronavirus – and various reactions to it – have formed what the future may hold. “With things looking like they’re going to get better one day only to then start opening up the economy – probably prematurely and obviously in a piecemeal fashion in most southern states – and then people just lost their minds and went back to their business-as-usual mode for the most part. And here we are back to square one and even worse in some areas.”
But King and his daughter, Kimmy King (the show’s co-host and heiress apparent) are ready to rock and roll. They point to the fact that Quartzsite would appear to have fewer cases of the nasty virus. Kenny points to LaPaz County (where QZ is located) and its seemingly paltry 463 cases of the virus, compared to Maricopa County (125 miles east) and its whopping 110,000+ cases. [Editor’s note: We didn’t crunch the “per capita” numbers for comparison, but remember, LaPaz County has 21,000 residents. Maricopa County is home to 4.485 MILLION, so let the reader use discernment.]
As far as Kenny and Kimmy are concerned, the show is ON. They’ve been in close contact with Quartzsite town management, and said there’ll be a few changes to enhance safety. First off, Kenny says there’ll be “mandatory face coverings.” Some folks will see that as a positive thing, as not everyone drifting into the show remembers to take care of their appearance. Other changes mean wider aisles, one way traffic only through the tent, protective barriers between exhibitors and traffic, and plenty of hand-sanitizer dispensers. All these changes have made Quartzsite officialdom happy, and they’ve given “a provisional green light.”
We say “provisional” because a lot can happen in six months. Kenny says they have “provisional plans” in place, but didn’t elaborate on them. In the end, the actual decision as to whether the Big Tent will go up and the crowds will stream through is up to the town manager. Now there’s a heavy load of responsibility – and if the decision ended up “No!” then we’d NOT want to be in his shoes!
All said, no doubt many will be making plans to attend “The 38th Annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show, an event now set for Jan. 16-24, 2021, billed as ‘the largest gathering of RVs and RVers on earth.’”
We’ve been enjoying our Quartzsite trip for at least a decade now. We are going this year as well. Can’t wait! Everyone knows the protocol, if your sick or have pre-existing, stay home. Everyone else, let’s get the fun started!
Totally agree, we’ll be there having fun!
When I asked last week the BLM folks indicate that it is unlikely that the toilets,
dump station, and trash pickup will be available in January in LTVA South.
The smart thing would be to just cancel the 2021 show. Why ask for trouble
the medical care in the Quartzite area is nearly nonexistent.
Yes I agree. After the show us over . the residents be left behind sick. Not fair that we care to WEAR MASKS and outsiders don’t . sad to say
I think it would be a good thing to cancel or postpone this years RV Show. Plus with a few less people around there the desert might catch a break for a little while.
Have joined a group of LTV owners for the last 2 years. Just loved it and had a great time. Had planned out a tip for 2021 but NO WAY are we going. If I can’t go sit in a outdoor baseball stadium, I’ll be damned if I’ll walk around inside that tent.
I do believe that we’ll be in Q this winter, or to be more accurate out in the Magic Circle of LaPosa South, but I think we’ll take a pass on the tent show this time.
We have no idea how things will be in January. It is time we respect the virus instead of fearing it and start living life.
Exactly, thank you!
I get frustrated with everyone paying attention to the infection rate only. The truth is only 2% of those who test.positive require any medical treatment other than over the counter medicine.
Thank you for the update! We’ve headed out there every January for years for the big show and the swap meets and look forward to going again.
My post should have read 2.2% and 2.4% infection rate .. not per capita which I just found out means ‘per person’ … although …
Maricopa County: 100,000 out of 4,485,000 or 2.2%.
LaPaz County: 463 out of 21,000 or 2.2%
Per capita Covid according to this article:
2.2 for Qsite
2.4 for Maricopa County
Looks like a dead heat! (pun unintentional)
The past 2 winters we spent in Yuma. Last January we rode to Quartsite for the RV show. Actually we were a little disappointed…only one dealer and most vendors are not RV related…it’s nothing like the RV show in our hometown of Pittsburgh. But we did discover a great place to get some awesome pizza, Silly Al’s. Unfortunately, due to covid-19 we have canceled our reservation in Yuma for the 2020-21 season.
I agree the Best thing about going to Quartzsite now is the different types of food vendors. I hope everyone well who attends in January my husband and I have too many health issues and decided to wait this one out.
This is soooooooo irresponsible. We can only hope people are smart enough to avoid something like this. Kenny and Kimmey’s rational is so far off it is unexplainable. The people that will attend will NOT be from the quartzite area “where cases are low”. Kenny and Kimmey will though be personally responsible for every new case passed around at the event. Chuck
We must move on virus or not. We can’t just stay isolated forever. Isolation will likely kill you way before the Chinese Flu will. Get a grip, grab your cohones and get to Quartsite for some fun.
I’ve had 2 heart attacks last one in December 2019 & COPD and we’ll be there in January then Winter Blast at Lake Havasu City for February. If your numbers up guess what?
The show must go on so that the money keeps coming in!! If someone gets sick its no big deal. As the person who runs this country says, “It Is What It Is”……………………………….
You can not hide from a virus,,Please 🤦🏻 has anyone ever hid from a cold??? Come on!!
Either mask work or they don’t.
Going to Quartzite, camping, and seeing my friends out in the open is one thing. You won’t see me in that crowded tent, though.
Not sure having the show in Quartzsite is such a good idea. Still too many Covid cases. A lot has to change between now and January for the show to go on “as usual”.
Sturgis bike rally is going on right now…. 250,000 expected ….. it will be something to watch and see what happens…… keep in mind…. Covid is here to stay and we just need to live with it …. kind of like the flu…. it’s just part of life now.
You will likely not know how many come down with it as they are from all over & their count will go to their area. If your in Calif. & they are in N.Y you won’t hear about it.
Believe me, people are watching Sturgis. Within 10 to 12 days people will return to where they live and cases will multiply. Remember spring break in FL? An analytics company followed peoples cell phones home and were able to predict new cases in University towns all over the country. The persons who don’t show symptoms are the most dangerous, they happily go about their lives potentially infecting others, some of whom die. Being cautious is not being fearful.
People have to choose between money or selfishness. Money apparently, always wins. 460,000 at the 10 day Sturgis event this past August. Down from the average of 500k. In a highly controlled world, maybe you can pull it off with minimal new cases of the virus. Ten months into the Pandemic, and the population in general has become increasingly complacent in following the protocols. The problem is, after the event everyone goes back to their home state, so why would the event planners care, same as Sturgis.
Contact tracing is now pin pointing 1000’s who were at that event who caught the virus.
OK Jim, where is this “contact tracing” data you speak of. The only data blaming Covid-19 cases on the Sturgis rally that I could find, was by some professors at San Diego State university that somehow extrapolated cases from cell phone data. Seems like kind of a stretch of the imagination to me.
I’m not willing to take that risk. Have fun everyone! I’m one of those few with underlying conditions, and a Senior citizen with some good common sense. We all hope this Pandemic goes away sooner than later!
The Pandemic will go away when new cases are manageable but Covid 19 will never go away. It is here to stay. Those who are carriers will always be carriers. The only solution, like with the flu each season, is for enough people to get the vaccine to minimize transmission. All vaccines though are reactive. Scientist react to new strains of virus every year and try to adjust the vaccine to last year’s strain hoping it will reduce the impact of this year’s new strain. Viruses are always one up on us humans. But this virus is totally new. It is not the “Flu”. So until there is a widely distributed and successful vaccine for Covid 19 though I am erring on the side of caution because the alternative is a whole lot worse than staying home and staying healthy.