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Not a great start for me Xvention

Discussion in 'Hamfest Reports' started by W8AAZ, May 19, 2017.

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  1. K2HAT

    K2HAT QRZ Volunteer Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    Some folks left {as did I}about 4pm Saturday because the radar looked nasty, I was told the rain that arrived after I left about 4pm was wimpy.

    I was trying to sell stuff, but did wander around some, to the infield, there were not many empty spots that I could tell.

    First year at the new venue, a few growing pains, not too bad. I plan to go back next year. :)
    I was glad that I wore my waterproof work boots, which I also wear at Horseheads Hamfest in the fall, as the grass is always soaking wet there.
  2. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  3. W9ZD

    W9ZD Subscriber QRZ Page

    Do you mean the race track area? It was terrible. A mud pit. I got stuck driving in. My car was filthy. Two trips to the car wash. Add 20 bucks to the price of my ticket. I had first rate stuff and sold little because nobody wanted to drag heavy stuff a half mile through the mud to the parking lot. Xenia was not well thought out from the flea market point of view. I won't sell next year. Might not even bother to come back. Xenia is pretty but the restaurant and hotel situation is sparse.
    WB5THT likes this.
  4. W8AAZ

    W8AAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I will summarize my thoughts. Was kinda put off by my experience on Friday. But slept on it and Saturday was good for me, even with the rain. All we can do is wait and see what they can do about anything next year, which I heard the county got right onto, and hope the weather is more agreeable. I now say overall in positive range for a first try. Greene county likes the money and they will work to keep it flowing.
  5. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's a mixed bag of pros and cons. Firstly the wx and mud: If they keep having the fest in May it will probably rain. A few years of muck and glop in a row will kill the fest. You have people not even trying to see part of the flea market because of the mud. Also in some of those tents where they didn't roll up the sides, the air inside got pretty funky because wet grass after 24 hours and no air circulation and you have this fetid air. I went in one and did a U turn because it stank too much. If you have to roll anything heavy in or out of the race track or ride a cart you have to plan your route carefully. This is something that shouldn't have to be a problem. The ground will have to be dealt with, either by putting some kind of material down that will decompose eventually like straw or some other matting (surely this can't be the first time an outdoor event has had to deal with mud--there must be a solution) or move the flea market to pavement. Perhaps the county will allow the closing of Fairgrounds Rd. for 2 or 3 days along the fairgrounds to create a street fair type of environment with vendors setting up along both sides. That plus the paved areas of the fairgrounds would probably accommodate all of the folks selling stuff, but marking the road for spaces will not be possible.

    On the plus side as others stated, the food and facilities were good except if I were a commercial vendor like Kenwood I'd want air conditioning. But the area around the buildings seemed pleasant if the wx didn't get too hot and humid like it did on Friday afternoon. Also, let's not overlook the work of the DARA to get the place ready. People had to go out and mark with paint every single flea market space. They had to lay out a grid of spaces over the fairgrounds and walk around measuring and painting the lines. Then, some people had to write space numbers on little plastic tags, attach them to stem rods and go around and stick them in each space, making sure the right number went into the right space. How would you like to volunteer to do that.
    Getting in and out of the place was a PITA on Friday but I noticed they must have had a team meeting or something because Sat. went much better with more people out directing traffic. Friday was a mess partly because you had everyone trying to find their spaces all at once, and on the way out, Friday p.m. rush hour traffic as the locals went home from work. For me, if they can just deal with the mud somehow, maybe improving drainage so water drops down and flows away, then I can blow off the other negatives. I stayed in my old Dayton motel so the motel availability problem wasn't a big deal for me.
    KA0HCP and K2HAT like this.
  6. WA8UEG

    WA8UEG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree with W9ZD on the problem of getting a large piece of equipment out and to your vehicle. If they would have a 2 or 3 Gators positioned throughout the flea market that were there to only shuttle gear to buyers vehicles the vendors would sell more of the larger equipment.
    WB5THT likes this.
  7. ND8D

    ND8D Ham Member QRZ Page

    Re: The flea market. Maybe DARA or Xenia needs to get in touch with the people who make the temporary flooring for football aeans when they host concerts. For example:

    That would let the grass stay, but make for a fantastic floor for hamvention.
  8. W8AAZ

    W8AAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well the county is thrilled to pieces with the income and presumably the Chamber of Commerce is tipsy over it, and I heard they are already working to address some issues so I guess, stay tuned. Maybe we will get lucky next year and it will be a hit. All the possibilities and issues were theoretical to them, I suppose, until the actual event.
    K2HAT likes this.
  9. WA4KCN

    WA4KCN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I hate to say this. The ham fest was in 1 year worse than any I attended at Hara over 40 years. The fairgrounds is not suitable for The Dayton fest. Buildings not air conditioned. Friday it was hot and humid and no place to cool off. Few under those conditions were interested in buying. The flea market during the entire event Friday through Sunday was so bad many were standing at the one entrance hand on hips deciding yes or no to take the plunge many turning around saying no way. It was as if the infield was designed and set up for a muddy tractor pulling contest. I live in Arkansas and go to Dayton first to meet other hams and had a great time doing so. Second reason is the flea market. I went to the flea market Friday morning and that was it. Inside I saw the same equipment I have seen before or online. It wasn't just the flea market the whole darn place was muddy from carts and shoes and tires tracking mud everywhere. I feel for DARA where it is not possible to put on a successful ham fest in a pig sty. On the positive side there were more corn dog vendors. You can't make a silk purse out of a pigs hide.
    WB5THT likes this.
  10. WA8FOZ

    WA8FOZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That stuff is terrific. I saw them laying it out in anticipation of an event on the National Mall when I was in DC last week. The white surface that appeared in "some" pictures of the inauguration ;) . Probably bigly expensive.
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