Hamvention® is ready to deal with the anticipated heavy traffic flow when the event opens on May 19 at its new location, the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. Mike Kalter, W8CI, said the all-volunteer Hamvention organizers have turned to professionals to address this aspect of the event. Kalter, who is treasurer of the sponsoring Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA), was interviewed last week by DX Engineering’s Tim Duffy, K3LR.
“We recognized that we needed to reach out to a professional engineering firm that does this all over the country to help us to work with the local government officials, so that we can have a good solid plan to keep the people flowing in,” Kalter told Duffy.
Kalter said arrangements have been made to have staging areas for those needing to either offload or load equipment from the indoor exhibit areas or the flea market.
He also pointed out that on-site parking would be free, and that no one will have to park in the mud. Kalter said areas set aside for parking are well drained, and he doesn’t anticipate any problems, even if it rains during Hamvention. That goes for the flea market area as well, he said, noting that the arena infield area gets used events in good and bad weather alike.
Kalter said Hamvention expects to be able to post the plan for flea market spaces on its website soon. The layout for indoor vendor and exhibitor booths is already available on the Hamvention website. Kalter said that if everyone who attended Hamvention 2016 at Hara Arena shows up again this year, they will find plenty of room at the new venue. Maps are available on the website.
Turning to traffic of a different sort, Kalter noted that Greene County has brought in a high-speed Internet “pipe” to the new venue, and AT&T will drop telephone lines wherever they’re needed.
Duffy asked whether the new venue would have an area similar to that outside Hara Arena, where those attending Hamvention could sit down with friends for a bite to eat or a drink. Kalter said there will be plenty of picnic tables as well as a temporary structure dedicated for socializing. He also promised that Hamvention 2017 will offer “a wide variety of great things to eat.” That will include food vendors and food trucks.
Kalter said some 600 volunteers in all are required to make Hamvention happen each year, and the leadership team consists of 86 individuals.
Reflecting its new venue, “Hamvention — Same Friends, New Home” will be the theme for the 2017 event. Last summer’s closure of Hara Arena forced the move to the new location more than 20 miles to the southeast.
The price of admission to Hamvention has gone up slightly; tickets will now cost $22 for all 3 days ($27 at the door). Accompanied minors 12 or younger may attend free. Online ordering is not yet available, but those planning to attend can order tickets by mail. Hamvention runs from Friday, May 19, until Sunday, May 21.