XENIA 2018. Better

Discussion in 'Hamfest Reports' started by W8AAZ, May 20, 2018.

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  1. W8AAZ

    W8AAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    This year the traffic handling was much better. Actually excellent for the size of the thing. So they got a handle on that issue. I went Fri and Sat. and now it is coming down to, will it rain? Started out deciding what to put on my feet on Friday. Took boots with rubber bottoms put on. But got there and thought not so bad so stuck with my Nikes. Was fine till the on and off rain started really going. Later my feet were wet thru and thru. Sunday those Nikes are still damp. Saturday I put on the boots with the rubber covers on and never had to give another thought to that aspect. Except for their weight! Very heavy compared to Nikes. The bummer was the weather. Flea marketers without tents were pretty much out of business most of the time. Others just let it go and equipment dribbled water out of the insides when examined. I assume those bits are destined for the dump or back next year with new rust. Inside was not bad but these are open buildings. So oddly we had clouds and off and on rain showers and occasionally the sun would actually pop out. This turned it into a nice sauna when that happened! Some areas had improvements to suppress the mud like asphalt paths, but the grass areas got muddy regardless, after all the rain and traffic. Overall much better for me than last year except for the weather. Flea market sales seemed rather sluggish for Dayton. My buddy usually sells most of his stuff on Friday and pretty thin by mid Sat, but he has to go back Sunday to try to move more, now.
    KA0HCP likes this.
  2. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    "Into every Hamvention a little rain must fall!". Thanks!
    K2HAT likes this.
  3. W8AAZ

    W8AAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I drove past Xenia Sunday going elsewhere but did not drop into the fest. Other obligations. Of course, Sunday had to be the nicest day be a long shot. I thought the weather was gonna be comparable to the others, based on a skimming of forecasts, but it was hazy sun and nice all day. Enough that all day would get you sunburned. So, well, next year.......
  4. WA9SDJ

    WA9SDJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    My first time to the new venue, been to Hara a dozen or so times, personally prefer XENIA.

    We had a great time and am already looking forward to next year.
  5. W8AAZ

    W8AAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have to mention that I knew Hara pretty well as I had been there since 1973 or 74, but I easily get disorientated at the new venue. And they are adding another building at the fairgrounds, I was told, that will cut into some of the flea market area. Not that everything inside the racetrack area was full. And the new venue is only 20 miles from my home instead of 40. So I don't have that excuse to miss out on it.
  6. W3UC

    W3UC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was told by a DARA member the new building will be where the front flea market is now and that the front flea market will be moved over to the paved area is with the large tents.
    Id have to say the DARA team did a outstanding job .
    ND6M likes this.
  7. K4NYW

    K4NYW Ham Member QRZ Page

    W4NNF, KA0HCP and WD3N like this.
  8. K2HAT

    K2HAT QRZ Volunteer Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    I was there in 2017 and again this year in the Flea Market trying to sell some stuff.

    2018 Xenia was improved over last year. :)

    It will continue to get better every year!

    I have no control over the weather, that was my nemesis; LOL, trying to sell in the Flea Market between the rain storms.

    I was there Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

    I did set out the tables for a while Thursday, went to the motel about 4pm.

    Friday I packed up my stuff after 45 mins of heavy rain, about 12:30pm, and wandered for a couple hours.
    Left at about 2:45pm to go back to the motel, due to another rain shower.

    Saturday I packed up about 3pm due to a thunderstorm and went to the motel.

    Sunday I set my stuff up at 8:45am and packed after 1pm.
    I sold one thing Sunday just before I packed up, which made it worth being there Sunday.

    The infield is not perfect but better. :)




    I suggest wearing waterproof boots.


    Sometimes it rains hard hahaha.

  9. N3IL

    N3IL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My first DHV was 1985. A flea marketeer from 1985-1996, on/off attendee 1997-2016, and then back as a flea marketeer in 2017 and this year. I believe the current location at Greene County Fairgrounds (GCF) is a remarkable improvement from Hara Arena.

    Hara Arena was in disrepair in 1985 and in the subsequent years the arena degraded. I never understood how the arena passed code considering elements of the NEC (e.g. Mains power wires not in conduit stapled down the walls to outlets that where within the reach of the public). The parking lot where the flea market was hosted really deteriorated over the years and in some areas one needed to watch every step else a twisted ankle could be the result. Parking was another issue - paid parking at local businesses and residences or the free shuttle from/to the defunct Salem Mall (parking lot so-so). And the food from the arena left a lot to be desired to put it kindly. The pit area inside where the main vendors were located was quite tight quarters, challenging to see the displays and interact with the vendors, and ventilation at times felt non-existent.

    DHV at GCF is spread out with a lot more room than Hara. Yes, there were issues in the first year (2017) especially on Friday with the traffic and parking issues. The rains also wreaked havoc with a mainly grass infield that is home to the flea market. Traffic had remarkably improved on Saturday. The grounds though did became a mud bath. I felt for the patrons using electric scooters - constantly getting stuck (as well as a variety of cars).

    This year no visible issues with traffic or parking. As others said, grounded asphalt mixture was placed in the 'roads/walkways' within the infield. My understanding in talking with Steve in the Flea Market Vendor Trailer is that the Fairgrounds placed this mixture down on Wednesday - a day before setup. Perhaps if this was performed earlier the mixture may have had time to settle better. On Saturday (after Friday rains, foot and vehicle traffic) ruts and mud was present in many areas on Saturday. Straw was added to assist in controlling the soggy grounds. Saturday saw several rain storms interspersed with several periods of sunshine and increased temperatures. It was manageable to navigate most areas.

    The DARA Staff did their homework after the 2017 hamfest, they have my gratitude and appreciation.

    I personally like the vendors spread across multiple buildings. The buildings are relatively close together. The larger buildings house the major vendors like ICOM, JVC Kenwood, etc. along with vendors like Universal Radio, HRO, and DX Engineering. Wide aisle-ways (except still quite tight when the heavier rains hit on Friday). Smaller buildings housed clubs, smaller vendors, etc. The buildings are nice, well kept and maintained.

    Food offerings are typical fairground types of food vendors. I found the vendors to be reasonably priced, decent quality in taste and portion offerings, very pleasant serving staff, and prompt service. In my opinion, an order of magnitude improvement from the captured Hara food offering.

    One change - the pedestrian entrance was changed. According to Steve this was a directive from the Fire Marshall regarding not mixing vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Confusion on Friday as posted signs were directing people to this entrance - only to be turned away by hamvention staff and security. Personally my flea market location was along the fence near this entrance - when they closed the entrance to foot traffic it essentially stopped the flow to the several of us along the fence. I had to remind the hamvention staff and security that there were three of us along the fence - and they were stopping foot traffic. After that, they did their best to let people know there was a 'hidden row' but still little joy in sales (we all have different spaces for next year after meeting w/staff).

    My recommendation - if you are at all interested and able to attend next year, do not hesitate.
    K2HAT and KA0HCP like this.
  10. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is all great news. I went to Hara once, and that was it - what a dump, and I thought it was a total embarrassment to the hobby to hold the premier AR event there. Maybe it was acceptable in 1975... I dunno.

    Great to hear the new venue is working out, and improving! Hopefully, I'll be back, maybe next year!

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