It is, IMHO, most unfortunate that a few (both here and other places) are
already making disparaging remarks about the new location for Hamvention.
Especially since it was just announced, and we haven't even actually been there
for the event yet, not even once.
But just for comparison, if I can beg everyone's indulgence for a moment...
A local club (not mine) restarted their annual hamfest quite a few years ago,
after some issues with venues (and other things that I won't go into - mainly
due to lack of facts). Their location was the county fairgrounds.
And yes, their first year or two, when they were relatively small, was in an
agricultural building -- if memory serves, it was the one that 4H used for the
rabbits, or something like that.
However, a funny thing happened, and that it happened during the years that the
hamfest was re-establishing itself and growing. The county built not one but
two multi-purpose exhibit halls for non-agricultural exhibits. (I know they do
gun shows there, they used to do computer shows -- may still do, for that
matter -- as well as arts & crafts shows, and a locally based manufacturer of
high end cookware has their bi-annual "seconds" sale there, just to name a few
As of last fall, this hamfest had grown into one of the larger (if not the
largest indoor) hamfests in the area, and now completely occupies the larger of
the two "new" buildings.
And the old 4H rabbit barn? It's still there. But it's not used by the
My point, in a round-about way, is simply this... just because the property
that Hamvention is relocating to is a "county fairground" doesn't mean that all
it does is host an annual farm/agricultural fair. Many now have real exhibit
halls for things that aren't out of "Charlotte's Web".
You may choose to fault DARA for sticking with the Hara Arena complex so long
(I don't), be it out of loyalty, or out of a good price. But don't knock them
for having a backup/contingency plan ready to go. While the new location will
be different, and some changes to the traditional Hamvention experience are
inevitable... it is going forward. And that's what we should be counting on.
73, ron w3wn
CQ-Contest mailing list