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Author Topic: Any really successful hamfests out there?  (Read 14328 times)

Posts: 27

« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2003, 10:54:11 AM »

What is your definition of a "good hamfest."

I'd bet that can mean a lot of different things to different people.

I attend Dayton, Orlando and Rochester, NY each year. These are considered large hamfests. Some would consider them expensive too!

I also try to attend local events, our RAGS (Radio Amateurs of Greater Syracuse, the Cortland and Horse Heads fests. These are smaller, less expensive and also fun, I wouldn't them attend otherwise.

When I want to sell "stuff" I know I can consistently count on Dayton. To a lessor degree Rochester, the others being hit or miss.

I find it good getting out, it's fun looking for those treasures I can't live without and socializing with some but not all of our brethern.

eBay is here and probably will be around for a long time. I've got to admit it's lot easier using my mouse to find those special treasures than my legs and eyes.

I'm also an avid computer user, but have not experienced a great love or success with hamfest specials or local computer shows. I prefer a solid warrantee from a solid company that can speak english, or a close approximation when I call with a problem.

Life is good, enjoy it while you can!

Gerd, W2ISB

Posts: 46

« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2003, 12:37:44 AM »

I just went to the "BRATS" hamfest at Timonium, MD. today with a friend who I am trying to get into ham radio. We were looking for what might be his first 2 meter radio for the truck.
Well, we saw about 4 to 5 used rigs on the tables, the newer one was a Yeasu FT-1500m which was a good deal at $100.00. The next newer radio was a Kenwood 241a for $125.00, and they got older from there.
If we wanted commercial radios, (base, mobile, or ht) we could have bought enought for the New York City police dept.
We had tables of toys and trinkets, and miles of computer parts.
I can't really blame the radio clubs, because they have to try and sell the tables to pay the rent. I guess that we were just looking for modern ham radio equipment and found boat anchors.
The did have a dealer with a full line of MFJ equipment, but with HRO having stores just down the road and up the road a few miles, I was surprised to not see them on site.
It reminded me of going to a Market Pro computer/craft show. Everything from quilts to doorknobs.

Posts: 1010

« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2003, 11:03:41 PM »

Shelby, NC is one of the biggest hamfests outside of Dayton and probably one of the best.  The indoor area is limited but the outdoor flea market, much like Dayton's goes on forever.  Don't come with empty pockets.  Lots of good stuff still shows up at Shelby every September.

The hamfests in Cary, Raleigh, Benson, and Kinston, NC are all very nice, friendly smaller hamfests, but are still worth going to.


Posts: 1

« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2003, 09:56:35 AM »

I felt it necessary to respond to a post by VE3GXR, since he reported some inaccuracies about Ham-Ex, an event sponsored by the Peel ARC and Mississauga ARC.

I feel qualified to respond to this posting, as I was joint chairman of Ham-Ex last year, representing Peel ARC, along with VE3CXT who represented Mississauga ARC.  Also, I have been involved with Ham-Ex for over 10 years in various roles, including a previous stint as chairman.

First, a minor inaccuracy, we did not charge $30 for a 6 foot table, we charged $25.  The charge of $30 was for an 8 foot table (many of our commercial vendors wanted 8 foot tables).  This charge has not increased in several years, although our expenses have gone up every year.

Second, to the charge that we are Greedy!  Greed to me implies personal gain.  Not one of the 100 or so Ham-Ex VOLUNTEERS made a single penny of gain from Ham-Ex, despite the fact that some of us volunteered many tens, even hundreds of hours of our personal time.  Every cent of profit from Ham-Ex has gone to fund club activities, such as Field Day, Terry Fox Run, MS Run for the Cure, Halton Railway Special Event Station, five local repeaters, open to all amateurs.  Also, I should point out that Ham-Ex tables have been sold out for as may years as I can remember, so the business man in me suggests that we have the price right.

Third, this strange tale of an agreement whith the Brampton Fair Grounds to exclude any other hamfests from the site.  Where did this one come from?  I personally signed the contract, and it was just the standard contract that the Fair Grounds asks anyone to sign.  There is no exclucivity agreement PERIOD.  I am just curious, who else wants to have a hamfest in Brampton?  I love hamfests, I would be at the front of the ine to get in!

Peter VE3DRS
Co-Chairman Ham-Ex 2003
Secretary, Peel Amateur Radio Club

Posts: 2

« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2003, 07:57:44 AM »

There is certainly an answer to the question asking about successful hamfests. There are three which come to mind that are excellent: (A) Shelby, NC, (B) Dallas, TX, and (C) Ft Wayne, IN. Do NOT waste your time, money, and effort on Dayton. The deals that are offered there are certainly not worth the exhorbitance of cost, time, and aggravation of admission.

Posts: 3

« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2003, 12:27:54 AM »

For those of you who don't get out to 1 land, Hosstraders is the #1 in the area. Of Course it bows down to Dayton, but then again, Dayton is Dayton, and Hosstraders is in my opinion, the largest in the Northeast. Held the first Friday and Saturday in May and October, I think the big thing is that the entrance proceeds go to the Shriners Hospital. Can't say much else for the other hamfests as to where the money goes, but I look at it this way, I rather pay and have fun, knowing that the money I spent will help some kid in need.

Posts: 1

« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2003, 08:56:08 PM »

Yes!  Huntsville Alabama has a great one every third weekend in August. Lots of dealers, and plenty of tables (tailgaters), with lots of everything imaginable. It's indoors and air conditioned. The door prizes are fantastic. They gave away 2 ICOM 706's in 2 days as grand prizes, and at least 4 mobiles and several H.T.'s. The tickets for the drawings are just .50 cents. Admission for 2 days is $6.00 dollars. They are very friendly and I got some great deals.I highly recommend it. Rick KG4EFA.

Posts: 197

« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2003, 11:43:59 PM »

Here in Ohio we have a couple of hamfests that have been good and kept their attendance up quite well. The Findley Hamfest in Findley,Ohio on sept.7th of this year has been able to sustain a crowd of 3000 for quite a few years now. Mansfield,Ohio has one in Feb. as well. Always have a fine time at either but Findley really stands out in my opinion. 73  Max

Posts: 2

« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2004, 06:00:15 PM »

All you New Yorkers must look beyond the Hudson River.
In the last 2 months I've attended delightfull hamfests in Wilkes-Barre, Harrisburg, Berryville, Va.
and Matamoras PA. They must be succesfull, as they've been going on for years.
  Yes, the internet has changed the character of the fests,so as a vendor I have to go with the flow, which for me is selling laptops, leaving the junk at home.
  The admission at these shows was very reasonable, and accomodations for an overnight stay relatively cheap(around $50 or so)
  So check the arrl site regularly, pack a bag, and plan a weekend fest. And ALWAYS break up the monotany
for the xyl with an activity she likes.  

Posts: 3

« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2015, 10:40:37 AM »

I realize this is a really old thread. But just so you know the Dalton Ga. W4DRC hamfest is still going strong. It just keeps getting bigger and better every year.  We use two large buildings at the local fairgrounds and fill them full. Then we always have huge boneyard full of sellers. It starts at 08:00 on fourth Saturday in February and generally starts closing around 13:00 . We always have great door prizes. Usually at least one great radio.  here is link and shows this year we had three great radios.

Posts: 4

« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2015, 11:50:57 AM »

Orlando hamfest has the best setup of most all hamfests I have ever attended all over the country.  Three large indoor areas, separate forum building, but most of all, camping and parking within the outdoor flea market.  No shuttles like Dayton, electric and water hookup within the flea market.  Reasonable overnight rates.  No crowding, plenty of space for low cost.

Posts: 940


« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2015, 05:02:58 AM »

Well, I'm going to toot our own horn... the McMinn County Amateur Radio Club in Athens TN has a great hamfest. It happens the 3rd Saturday in July. What's good about it?

Easy to get to, 7/10 mile off I-75 @ Exit 49.

31,000 sq feet of under roof tailgating (yes, you can pull your vehicle in and tailgate) Don't have to worry about getting wet.

We keep out the "junk", stuff like massive CB and linear displays, led flashing lights, and jewelry. It's a "HAM" fest.

It is growing every year.

Breakfast and lunch available on site.

VE testing.

NO forums. (We figure you came to buy, sell, and fellowship.)

Restaurants, motels, Walmart, and a campground within one mile, other local attractions a little further, such as museum, mountains, lakes & rivers, etc. Big regular flea market 12 miles away.

We'd like to see YOU there! Go to to learn more.

Posts: 588

« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2015, 09:02:44 AM »

In the Dallas/Ft Worth area HamCom has moved to Irving, close to DFW airport, June 12/13 2015.

Going strong since the late 1970s.

there is also a DX Dinner Friday 6/12  Grin

Posts: 284

« Reply #28 on: Today at 06:42:25 AM »


1) Reasonable parking and camping fees

2) A camp ground that does not flood no matter how heavy the rain

3) Free mains power at the camp ground

4) An exhibition that is not too crowded and a flea market spread over two very large halls

5) Tasty food at a variety of restaurants

6) Clean toilets that are kept clean during the event

7) Easy access from the Autobahn network

Cool Interesting lectures

9) Free access to the Maker Fair on the Saturday and Sunday

10) If you get bored with technology then you can watch the airship or wander around Friedrichshafen and the shores of the lake.

See you there!

Peter DL8OV
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