West End Night Market
Who started the sale on 1st Saturday?
The SideWalk Sale began as a get-together of ham radio enthusiasts in 1972 meeting on
the 1st Saturday of every month in the parking lot of the Wholesale Electronics company.
The idea was conceived by Walt Jackson, a principal then at Wholesale Electronics, as a
means to generate trade in the used ham radio market. When Wholesale Electronics moved
to Ross Avenue and Central Expressway in 1974, the monthly swap meet moved with it and
stayed there until 2005.
With the advent of PCs in the early 80s, the focus of the SideWalk Sale has grown and
changed to mostly computers and software. Not to forget, though, all kinds of other
treasured electronic apparatti can be found there also. And, ham radio operators still
frequent the sale and deal in radios and related equipment.
Although he may shift credit to others, the real shepherd of the 1st Saturday Sale has been
former Dallas City Councilman and Texas State Senator John Leedom. John is the last active
member of the team that founded Wholesale Electronics and, over the years, has been a
strong advocate when dealing with city officials. The event might not be the success it is
today with out the guiding hand and support of Senator Leedom.
Who runs the sale now?
The event is now operated by the Sidewalk Sale group, however, although they manage
the lot and provide essential services, the sale is still a public domain institution.
Why is the sale referred to as being held "under the bridge"?
In the 70s and 80s, most vendors set up under the Woodall Rogers Freeway elevated
roadway between Routh Street and Central Expressway. And, under the bridge it remains.
Ideal for and event outside with protection from rain.
Why do people shop at night?
In the old days vendors did not have to pay for parking and the prime locations were
first-come-first-serve. Thus, vendors began setting up earlier and earlier on Saturday
morning and then on Friday night to secure the prime locations. Since the best bargains
can sometimes be found when the vendor unloads, shoppers began arriving earlier and the
trend continues until today.
What happens when the 1st Saturday falls on a holiday?
The sale goes on - always. Rain or shine, hot or cold, 24 days a year there will be vendors
and shoppers on 1st and 3rd Saturday. 4th of July, New Year's day... no le' hace. And,
yes... we were there for the Millenium event on Saturday, January 1, 2000!
Where's the restrooms.
Port-o-lets are located on the Plaza and Annex lot. There are Handicap Port-o-lets reserved
for women and handicapped persons. Prime indoor restrooms can be found at Hooters and
the restaurants and hotels nearby.
Frequently Asked Questions
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