Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Return of the Sunnyside Swap Meet

Sunnyside smallThe Sunnyside Swap Meet, which was a Fresno, California tradition in its heyday before closing in the mid-90s, is on track to reopen with new ownership in early February. “I grew up here in Fresno, buying and selling out of Sunnyside when I was a kid,” says Bryan Parisi, who owns the swap meet with his father Frank. “At the time, it was the biggest and most popular swap meet in the Fresno area, with nearly 1000 vendors in its prime. We tried to bring it back to the original drive-in movie theater space, but we were unsuccessful, so we made a deal with the land owner of the property adjacent, which was originally used for parking.” With 11 acres of selling space available, the swap meet will initially have 250 vendor spaces.

The spaces will be very large, with the smallest measuring 20 feet by 25 feet. Parisi notes that this enables vendors who just want to rent for the day to drive their car right into the spot and have a garage sale, allowing Sunnyside to operate as a neighborhood swap meet. In addition, only about 100 of the 250 spaces will be available for reservations, so there will be a big difference from day to day and treasure hunters will have the opportunity to always see a wide variety of merchandise.

Getting Ready to Open

The swap meet is scheduled to open either the first or second weekend of February, as the Parisis still have a few more pieces of red tape to deal with the city before they are officially ready. Because there was no infrastructure on the property itself, they have had to put a sewer line in and get electricity set up, as well as be approved by the health department for food preparation. All of the work has revitalized the old property. “It’s a really nice area,” Parisi notes. “The parking and vending areas have improved asphalt, and there are trees for shading, so it’s very clean and convenient.”

Open Saturdays and Sundays from sunrise until 3 pm, all spots for vendors cost $20 per day. Sunnyside is looking to possibly open on Fridays for a farmers market and antiques show, with all non-food items required to be over 50 years old. In addition, if they are able to expand back to the theater at a later date, which Parisi says is very possible, the swap meet could go from 250 spaces to more than 800 overnight, with over 1000 parking spots.

For more information, call 559-485-7927 or email

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