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Hamvention weekend a success


XENIA — Amateur radio operators walked away from the Greene County Fairgrounds May 19-21 vowing they’d come back next year, even if they left a bit muddy.

At least that’s the report from Dayton Hamvention General Chair Ron Cramer, who deemed Hamvention’s first year at its new venue a success.

“It was a great weekend, it was a tiring weekend, but everybody — 99 percent of people — walked away loving the place, saying they want to come back next year,” Cramer said. “You can’t beat that.”

Cramer said that the new venue was “very good” and that he didn’t hear any complaints about it. Instead, he said he’s been receiving constant feedback about how happy people were about it, and about how well-trained and organized the volunteers were.

Greene County Administrator Brandon Huddleson agreed that the event was a “huge” success.

“We battled through several days of rain and higher than usual temperatures, but as I walked around and spoke with friends attending the event, they all seemed pleased and excited,” Huddleson said.

Both Cramer and Huddleson noted the mud was an issue, but that visitors still seemed to enjoy their convention experience.

The two also mentioned that the only second real issue was traffic on the first day of the event, Friday. After an adjustment to plans, with the aide of Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer, the issue was resolved and there were no traffic problems the rest of the weekend, Cramer and Huddleson both said. More off-site parking and shuttling seemed to help traffic flow, Cramer added.

Just a day after the event ended, plans for next year’s amateur radio gathering are already underway.

“We’re talking about next year and getting prepared,” Cramer said. “The plan is pretty much the same other than some of the rough areas we’ll smooth over.”

According to Cramer, parking will be a little bit different but they learned how to control traffic this year, so that will already be under control. All exhibitors, forums, and the flea market will remain the same.

Huddleson added that one adjustment the fair board wants to make is to improve air flow in the buildings.

Collaboration between the parties was positive overall, Cramer said.

“All of the [parties] — the city, the county, the township and everyone else — were extremely helpful. There was a lot of cooperation and coordination, a lot of meetings ahead of time to try to work out any issues that might crop up,” Cramer said.

Attendance numbers are not yet available, but Hamvention organizers are currently counting ticket sales to determine the overall turnout.

Future Hamvention dates are set for Friday-Sunday, May 18-20, 2018; May 17-19, 2019 and May 15-17, 2020. At least the next two conventions will be held at the Greene County Fairgrounds, which is under contract.

By Anna Bolton

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Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.