Greene County Fairgrounds Tour

posted 10/22/16


As I am sure you are aware, HamVention will be moving to the Greene County Fairgrounds and Exhibition Center in May!


Earlier this week Dayton Amateur Radio Association members received an e-mail about a tour that would occur of the Greene County Fairgrounds and Exhibition Center on Saturday, October 22nd.  Jim - WB8VSU and I decided to attend the tour.


If you haven't looked at the drone movie and narration by DX Engineering you might want to do that prior to looking at today's photos.  It will help you get your bearings.

Click on the link below to see the video prepared by DX Engineering of the Xenia Fairgrounds...


Things got off to a bit befuddled start for me.  I did not bring along my fancy GPS.  Instead I had hand copied directions off of Google Maps.  The address that Google Maps provided for the Fairgrounds does not seem to exist.  I had to stop and ask for directions.  I was not that far away.  I will address this issue for IOOK'ers prior to HamVention.



Our tour guide was the Dayton HamVention General Chairman, Ron - KD8ENJ!

I am sure you noticed the warm coats being worn.  The temperatures were in the 40's


Here's Jim - WB8VSU!

We are looking east in the photo.  Our first building to tour is behind Jim.


This covered area will probably be used for concessions.  In the distance you can see the three main buildings as well as a couple of other buildings on the far left and right.  We are looking north here.


The first building we toured was the Assemble Hall.  This is where some of the forums will occur.

Looking south...


Inside the Assembly Hall.  It is set up for a wedding party today.  You can get a feel of it's large size from these shots.



There is a wall separating these two large rooms that can seat over 400 people.  Depending upon what forums are occurring, the rooms can be divided up as well.

There are also office areas and rest rooms available in this area...


We are looking north.  To the west is what will be the main parking area.


They anticipate that most HamVention attendees will be able to park on the grounds.

There is a nearby church that will be used for testing and there is additional parking there and shuttles will be provided.

There will also be some on sight parking with full hook ups for camper folks.

These is also an abandoned factory of some kind nearby that can also be used for parking and shuttles will be provided.

A large outside tent or two will be set up to the west of the Assembly Hall to accommodate more vendors.

We are headed towards the Livestock 1 building.  It is huge and will provide a great area for vendors.  There is also another building that is the same size off to the right that you cannot see here.  There is also a large area that will be used for vendors in the back of the middle building called "Greene County Fairgrounds" in this shot.

Looking northeast


This is a large central area between all the buildings.  It will be the area where most of the food vendors will set up.  They anticipate a lot of picnic tables and benches to be set up here as well for folks to eat and relax.

Looking southeast...


Between each of the three main buildings is a covered walkway in case of rain.


This is one corner of one of the inside areas for vendors.  Multiply this by four and you have an idea of the size.



Now we have moved to the track area.  We are looking southeast.  The flea market area will be inside the track on the grass.  The track will be used for flea market vendor parking.


Looking south...


Looking at the grandstands that overlook the track.  Looking northeast.  Behind the grandstands is another building where more forums will occur as well as where the Beer Garden will be located.  Yes, the Greene County Fairgrounds and Exhibition Center has a liquor license but only beer will be available.


Here's another look at part of the flea market area looking southeast.  They anticipate a change in the opening time for the flea market to be 9AM instead of 8AM as in the past.  There are several reasons why this change is necessary that I won't go into at this time.  Flea market vendors will be able to get into the flea market starting at 7AM.  No overnight camping will be permitted in the flea market area.


Looking southwest...


Looking south outside of the track area - that small building by the entrance area will be the coordination point for flea market vendors.


Looking west from the west end of the flea market area.


This is the main entry area for the flea market area.  Looking northeast...

They plan to add an entry point for folks to walk across the track and into the flea market area.


The Fairgrounds Furniture building is the one building that will most likely not be available to HamVention.

Looking north...


Looking northwest...  The building to the left of the flag pole is the Assembly Hall where we started our tour.


Jim took a picture of me!  Yes, I was wearing my IOOK sweatshirt in addition to the jacket because it was cool this morning!


A parting shot looking northwest...


In summary, I believe that the HamVention crew is doing all it can to make the transition as painless as possible.  Yes, there will be a lot of items for us to deal with as we approach HamVention 2017.  However, I am encouraged by what I got to see today!


I asked Jim to collect his thoughts and send me an e-mail with a summary.  Here is what Jim has to say!


Keith, as I was thinking about what to say,  a word that popped up in my mind was "Refreshing". 

The people and governments of Greene County are excited about hosting the event and are doing everything they can to make the HamVention committee feel welcomed. They are working with the committee on a daily bases to help minimize issues. 

The location is pretty much self contained,  verse HARA's remote parking.  Including the ability to deal with campers. So there will likely not be bus traffic to ride or deal with. 

Unlike HARA the layout of the buildings will make figuring out which building to go to and where it is,  a piece of cake.  

The food vendors will be a higher quality than what HARA had. 

The buildings are well ventilated and well maintained. No leaky roofs,  etc. 

HARA didn't have good ventilation. HARA's air-conditioning likely didn't work,  plus with all the open doors they could not do much anyway.  HamVention is not held in the middle of July so air conditioning is not that important, although heat might be. 

The committee is spending lots of time and energy to make sure it has as few glitches as possible.  They still have lots to work out and are focused on making sure everyone will be pleased.  People need to be patient while they are working out all the finer details. 

The biggest issue will likely be traffic in and out as it is mostly remote.  They have a team working on the details, several of the team members are experts on traffic flow and have dealt with things bigger than HamVention. 

They are expecting larger crowds next year as compared with this year.  There were a lot of people who quit coming as they could not stand the condition of HARA.  So it makes sense a lot of people who have not been there for a while will return. 

Jim Bacher



Well, I think that wraps things up for today!  Now I will look forward to the day when I can sign up for our three flea market spaces.

Then I will be looking at making my preparations for my annual trip to the Yuma hamfest!

Best 73!

Respectfully submitted,

Keith - WA8ZWJ