Hamfests are the social event of the season for all amateur radio communities. Field day is a big draw but the hamfest is social event and swapmeet rolled into one. Not only do you see folks you won’t see any other time of the year, you get to see all kinds of neat junk. There is stuff from ancient days to the newest cutting edge technology.
If amateur radio is to continue to be an exciting and viable avocation, hamfests need to be supported and attended. Don’t ever make an excuse not to attend. Sure, you can buy just about anything you want off of eBay or QRZ.com as well as a plethora of other amateur radio social media sites. But there is something special about that hands on purchase from the actual owner. The history of that piece. Some of the stories that radio can’t tell you itself.
The Hazard hamfest was this past mid-October. Organizers report that attendance was down. But the number of hams is increasing. The answer?…… each of us, the more long in the tooth hams, need to invite these newbys to the experience of the local hamfest. I hear folks regale the experience of going to Dayton. Sure Dayton is the US place to see, at least once in your lifetime, but the local hamfest is where you meet and greet the hams in your community. This is the place where clubs can strut their stuff. This is the place that new face to face friendships can blossom.
So, please support your local hamfest. Even if all you can do is buy a ticket and walk around to chat and spend some enjoyable face time with people you only know from the speaker on a radio. Get involved in your local hamfest group. Set up some exciting things-to-do. Organize a special event station to get your hamfest on the air. Invite attendees to sit and operate. Build a big straight key and see who can send the best CW using their left foot (QLF)…..
Advertise your hamfest via the ham radio social media sites as well as on the air. These venues are a lot more cost effective than using the US Mail. Let’s work on getting local hams off their duff at least once a year to hobnob and swap stories. Hope to see you at a hamfest this year
By the way, thanks to all that responded to the article… Is There Anyone Out There? It’s good to know that there are regular readers of the KYHAM News site. Please share it with others in the Commonwealth. It is the best place to find news targeted to KY.
Photo credits WA4SWF and KY4JLB