Anyone going to the Dayton Hamfest?

If I were only two hundred miles away I'd start going again. Good luck hunting and selling. Sure hope there's no tornados like the mid west has been plagued with this spring. And stay out of the building. I hear the black mold inside is really bad.
And don't forget to check out the great Chinese restaurant China Cottage just a little West of the arena on Shiloh Springs Rd.
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The rumors were faint, but audible. A conversation with a Hamvention official did not confirm or deny them, but it was obvious that the Dayton Hamfest as we knew it was in trouble.....if for no other reason than the fact that the site is in serious disrepair, and multiple quick fixes were still being made to the electrical system on setup day to satisfy the fire inspectors......

Well the announcements are now posted on the Hamvention web site.....Dayton as we knew it is DEAD! The site will likely be torn down.

The "new" Hamvention is planned for the same dates (mid May 2017) in a new city about 20 miles south east of Dayton. It's too soon to tell whether the fair grounds in Xenia is an improvement or not. After watching Miami survive two venue changes, and still grow, only to be killed by a change of personnel at the radio club, and a dose of bad timing dealt by the NFL, the Hamvention's fate will be in the hands of the radio club.....I will be there in 2017, after that????
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I from time to time still attend one out by Manchester NH called Near-Fest which has in recent years appeared to shrink. I may make it to the next one in October and will then decide if I will go again. I always wanted to go to Dayton because it was one of the largest and most diverse in the country, but I realize I have missed the boat.

The MIT-Flea still seems to do well, but in general ham fests seem to be a dying institution, the internet having rendered them somewhat superfluous for specific needs, general scrounging can still be fun.
While vacationing In Florida, today I went to one of my favorite Orlando area attractions.....ESRC vacuum tubes. I stopped by to pick up 270 fresh tubes to play with, and to talk tubes and politics with Stan for a couple of hours.

Stan claimed that the Orlando hamfest has grown every year since Miami died. I haven't been there in 3 or 4 years since it's a 1000 mile drive, but if Dayton dies, it may be necessary. Orlando sold 18,000 tickets this year, Dayton 22,000. Not all ticket purchasers actually show up though.
My brother will be there by himself this year, selling off excess boat anchor stuff. He's always got quality stuff, and tests all of it before putting it out. Usually some Collins, Hallicrafters, etc. I'm sitting it out. I'm pretty sure the fleamarket will be smaller than before, but that's not necessarily a bad thing if the quality vendors show up. There was just so much junk that showed up at HARA; much of it the same useless crap, year after year. A little less of that wouldn't hurt the show one bit, IMO.
It seemed like there were far less people at the "new" Dayton hamfest than usual. The weather did not help. The new venue isn't as bad as I had thought, however the main concern that I voiced to the swap meet chairman did turn out to be a big problem. MUDDD, and plenty of it.

The main flea market area was in the infield of a horse track. The isles for people to walk on had been heavily travelled by trucks pulling trailers during setup day (Thursday) and by people Friday and Saturday. The serious rain came Saturday around noon, and by two in the afternoon vendors were leaving. I tried to traverse the flea market around 3 PM and found it impossible in my usual flip flops, so I resorted to bare feet. The average mud level was over my ankles.

I had arranged a flea market spot near pavement, which turned out to be a lifesaver, because my FWD Honda would not have made it through that mud loaded down with over 1000 pounds of test equipment. I made it back to my swap spot around 4 PM. I was actually muddier than when I ran a Tough Mudder obstacle course race. I had to wash the mud off in a puddle since there was no running water nearby......but yes, I will do it again next year.

I didn't buy a single tube. In fact I didn't buy much at all. Didn't sell too much either.