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What can I say about Dayton Hamvention 2017 other than WOW! It had everything; Great venue, 30,000 of your favorite ham radio friends, great vendors, Rain, Rain, and more Rain, good food, great buys, mud and on-site camping. Did I miss anything, share your comments below.
The Venue: Xenia, OH is a quiet little town southeast of Dayton, OH in Greene County. The Greene County fairgrounds consist of six buildings, a horse race track, camping areas and parking. The vendors, inside exhibitors and forums occupied the buildings with additional space provided by two large tents. In the horse track and some of the parking area was a giant flea market area. Except for the rain and mud created it was a really well laid out venue for Hamvention, but more on that later.
The Hamvention main area: I walked the area a couple of times and everything was packed. Right from the opening gun the buildings were buzzing with people, radio conversations, Morse Code, CWID and people talking all things radio. There were friends catching up, customers meeting vendors/businesses, plans being made for club repeaters/outings, and so much more. Between the buildings were tower displays, food vendors and more conversations.
The flea market was in and around the horse track. It was also packed with lots of people, gear for sale and deals to be had. I was not able to make it over there personally, but all reports were very positive.
The Rain: What's a Hamvention without the rain. This year we didn't just have a little, but several inches of rain. It rained every day and in buckets, but luckily no severe weather. The rain caused mud in the grassy flea market and camping areas. It also flooded the floor of parts of the tents. Nearly everyone that came into the vendor area had wet/muddy shoes and pants. Even still there wasn't much complaining and all seemed to be adapting. I heard reports of some folks getting stuck on Sunday, but were pulled out by a tow service provided by Hamvention. I suppose contingency planning for a rainy Hamvention 2018 is already taking place.
Conclusion: We loved the new venue. 30,000 people never seemed crowded and provided plenty of area for people to move about. It gave Hamvention a much needed face lift. Even with the rain people adapted and seemed to enjoy their time. I would say Dayton Havention in Xenia, OH was very successful.
I'm interested to see what changes are made for next year. I could see Hamvention growing again. Can you imagine 40,000 at Hamvention? I can! See you next year at Hamvention 2018!
Please share your comments and experiences, I'd love to hear your thoughts!