Hamvention® has announced that it will open the gates to all, without charge, on the final day of the annual gathering at Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. Hamvention 2019 General Chair Jack Gerbs, WB8SCT, said the idea is to encourage the curious to see what attracts some 30,000 visitors to Hamvention each spring.
In addition to the features and equipment that attract radio amateurs, non-ham visitors will get to see vendors selling a variety of other electronic equipment, including computers and accessories, security devices, networking supplies, tools and other items of interest to the general public. Those visiting the flea market area may be surprised at what’s available, often at a small fraction of its original cost.
Gerbs pointed out that Sunday is Hamvention’s lightest traffic day, making it convenient for anyone who just wants check out what’s there. Many vendors offer last-minute specials on a variety of items. The many food trucks offer a wide selection of menus, providing attendees with an opening to make Hamvention 2019 a family outing.
Hamvention will be open on Sunday from 9 AM until 1 PM. On Friday and Saturday, the gates will be open from 9 AM until 5 PM. While some parking will be available at the Fairgrounds, much of it is weather dependent. Visitors are urged to use one of the remote lots with free shuttles. These are located at Hobson Freedom Park, 2910 Trebein Road, in Fairborn; Xenia High School, 303 Kinsey Road, Xenia; Warner Middle School, 600 Buckskin Trail, Xenia, and Xenia Towne Square, 84 Xenia Towne Square, Xenia. Shuttles are in operation from 7 AM until 6 PM on Friday and Saturday, and from 7 AM until 4:30 PM on Sunday.
Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer, KX8GCS, arranged to make text alerts possible again this year. Those who wants to receive up-to-the-minute mobile phone alerts regarding weather, traffic, parking, and other useful information affecting the event are encouraged to sign up by texting “Hamvention19” to 888777. Those who signed up for the text alerts in 2018 already are registered for this year’s event.
The Media Committee is working to make winning prize numbers available on the alert system soon after they are drawn, in order to help winners claim prizes and to decrease the number of unclaimed prizes. Hourly prize drawing also will be posted on Twitter and Facebook as well as displayed on monitors throughout the fairground’s buildings. All prizes will be posted following the event.
The text alerts supplement the Hamvention talk-in station that has operated for many years on the Dayton Amateur Radio Association 146.94 repeater (123.0 Hz tone) to give directions and other assistance. Last year a traffic bulletin station was also added on 145.525 to periodically repeat needed information. Amateurs with 2-meter capability are encouraged to program those frequencies before heading to Hamvention.