Hi Jolly Daze Parade 2024

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Mark your calendars for the Annual Hi Jolly Daze Parade 2024, happening on Saturday, January 13th, at 10:30 am. Hosted by the Quartzsite Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, this much-anticipated event kicks off with a lively parade that makes its way to the Quartzsite Town Park. Here, you can enjoy an array of activities and grab a bite to eat, making for a perfect day of community fun and festivities.

About Hi Jolly

In 1856, Secretary of War Jefferson Davis (later President of the Confederacy) had a novel idea: transporting freight and people across the desert Southwest on camels. He eventually imported over 70 of the beasts. Along with the first batch came a Syrian caretaker, Hadji Ali. His American masters called him Hi Jolly.

A plaque on Hi Jolly’s tomb says of the camel experiment: “A fair trial might have resulted in complete success.” But the Civil War intervened, Jefferson Davis changed jobs, and without his support the project was abandoned. The camels were set free to fend for themselves in the desert near Quartzsite.

Hi Jolly remained, living into his seventies. The locals were so fond of him that, after he died, they spent several weeks building Hi Jolly a special pyramid tomb, made of multicolored petrified wood and quartz. It was dedicated on Jan. 4, 1903. Thirty-three years later the Arizona Highway Department came along and cemented a bronze plaque to the tomb, telling Hi Jolly’s story, and topped the pyramid with a metal camel silhouette.

In those long-ago days the Quartzsite cemetery was remote, just bare ground and a few scrubby sagebrush at the edge of an obscure desert outpost. Now you have to drive through the very busy Quartzsite flea market to get to Hi Jolly. Still, his tomb is the biggest thing back in its tiny patch of desert solitude.

The camels, by the way, outlived Jefferson Davis, Hi Jolly, and even the cementing of the plaque. Their last reported sighting was in 1942.

Hi Jolly’s Tomb

Address:
W. Main St., Quartzsite, AZ
Directions:
I-10 exit 17. North side, about a half-mile east on Business 10/W. Main St. Turn north at the Hi Jolly Tomb sign and drive through the flea market to get to the town cemetery and the monument.

Hi Jolly Daze Parade 2024 Video Recap

Check out the 2024 Hi Jolly Parade and the Camels. Fun morning with locals enjoying the annual Camel Parade celebrating the Hi Jolly Camel Driver. Check out the local Quartzsite Museum for all the history surrounding Quartzsite and all the mining and residents from past generations

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