Pro-Swap-Meet in San Bernardino welcomes thousands on final night

Richard Solis always purchased a churro after giving a few quarters to access the Pro-Swap-Meet in San Bernardino.

The local artist and filmmaker, who is 26 years old, purchased his most recent artwork on Sunday, October 24th.

The site will be closing this month due to the fact that “the times and circumstances are no longer optimal for this activity,” as stated by management during the final weekend, approximately one month after numerous individuals visited the well-liked nighttime exchange event near Mount Vernon Avenue.

Sunday signaled the end of the swap meet’s almost two-decade-long tenure in the town.

  • Lighted trinkets shine against a setting sun as the Pro-Swap-Meet...

    Lighted trinkets shine against a setting sun as the Pro-Swap-Meet ends its 19-year run in San Bernardino on Sunday Oct. 24, 2021. (Photo by Milka Soko, Contributing Photographer)

  • A woman and a child window shop as they walk...

    A woman and a child window shop as they walk by a stall at the swap meet in San Bernardino on Sunday Oct. 24, 2021. The Pro-Swap-Meet is ending its 19-year run . (Photo by Milka Soko, Contributing Photographer)

  • The sun sets on the Pro-Swap-Meet in San Bernardino on...

    The sun sets on the Pro-Swap-Meet in San Bernardino on Sunday Oct. 24, 2021, as it ends its 19-year run. (Photo by Milka Soko, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Pro-Swap-Meet is ending its 19-year run in San Bernardino...

    The Pro-Swap-Meet is ending its 19-year run in San Bernardino on Sunday Oct. 24, 2021. (Photo by Milka Soko, Contributing Photographer)

  • Visitors enjoy the swap meet against a cloudy sky in...

    Visitors enjoy the swap meet against a cloudy sky in San Bernardino on Sunday Oct. 24, 2021. The Pro-Swap-Meet is ending its 19-year run. (Photo by Milka Soko, Contributing Photographer)

  • Solis said on Monday, October 25th, “I was shocked when I heard that it would be close, as I know a lot of people who go there and have met vendors throughout the years.”

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    “Contemplating their future and their absence is challenging.”

    A digital petition to maintain the flea market open had almost 6,500 signatures leading into the last weekend.

    Many individuals who signed expressed their shared recollections of visiting.

    “This is my early years,” commenter Alissa Morales wrote.

    “It has been there since I was a young girl,” Sabrina Guillen included, partially.

    Solis, who took photos of the Sunday festivities and captured the scene of the swap meet where he frequently visited with his parents, picked up shirts, shoes, sweaters, and tools for low prices over the years.

    Churros, also, obviously.

    Solis mentioned that the distinguishing factor of Pro-Swap-Meet was its nocturnal ambiance, which differentiated it from other swap meets in the area. According to Solis, the one in San Bernardino had a “more laid-back, rejuvenating” atmosphere, unlike the scorching sun that overwhelms attendees during daytime swap meets.

    While Solis did not buy anything, he said he spent the evening talking to vendors and enjoying the last moment.

    Officials in the San Bernardino Community College District said they are in conversations with the property owner about the possibility of purchasing land to build new facilities for training the workforce and affordable student housing.

    During a Zoom meeting this month, where the future of the swap meet site was discussed, Scott W. Thayer, interim president of San Bernardino Valley College, expressed that “The fact is that a significant number of our students lack secure housing.” “It is impossible for them to acquire knowledge if they do not possess a space to rest, study, or prepare a meal.”

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    I have hope that this new property has a positive outcome in the future. It is helpful for everyone and I hope it doesn’t go to waste in the future.

    Author

    Brian Whitehead, a reporter for The Sun in San Bernardino, has reported on a multitude of issues and political conflicts faced by the post-bankruptcy city. These include marijuana, homelessness, education, and development. Since joining The Sun in late 2017, he has covered stories in various cities such as Fullerton, La Palma, Buena Park, Riverside, and Grand Terrace. Prior to that, he covered sports and prep coverage in San Bernardino, Fontana, Colton, Grand Terrace, and the Orange County cities of La Palma and Buena Park. Brian Whitehead is an alumnus of Cal State Fullerton, where he earned his degree in journalism.

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