XENIA — Following its inaugural year, the Greene County Fairgrounds will host thousands of amateur radio operators from around the world Friday-Sunday, May 18-20 for Hamvention again.
“There’s literally hundreds of people here helping to get ready,” Michael Kalter, official spokesperson of Dayton Hamvention, said. “As a Greene County resident, I am very excited to see so many people pulling together to make the event a real success.”
Kalter said the three-day affair is a joint effort — including the township and the city, county and state officials, the county’s visitors’ bureau, the sheriff’s office, and more than 600 volunteers.
The flea market and inside exhibits will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.
Kalter said he’s expecting 30,000 to attend.
“We had been so long at Hara Arena and then we came here … the word spread on what a great event it was here,” he said.
According to Sheriff Gene Fischer, traffic patterns into the fairgrounds will remain the same this year. Drivers coming in from the west on U.S. 35 will be routed north on Trebein Road to alleviate traffic downtown and on North Detroit Street.
Local residents are encouraged to take back streets through neighborhoods between 7-10 a.m. if they see traffic on North Detroit Street and Fairground Road — or on any other main road — begin to snarl. Westbound Dayton-Xenia Road from Progress to Hawkins will be closed Friday morning.
Visitors are encouraged to utilize off-site park and shuttle lots to help alleviate traffic problems. Lots include:
— SVG Motors, 3401 Seajay Drive, Beavercreek, adjacent to the Lofino’s lot
— Lofino’s parking lot, 3325 Seajay Drive, Beavercreek
— Xenia High School, 303 Kinsey Road, Xenia
— Young’s Jersey Dairy, 6881 Springfield-Xenia Road, Yellow Springs
— Greene County Government Campus, 667 Dayton-Xenia Road, Xenia
— The old K-Mart lot, 84 Xenia Towne Square, Xenia
General parking will also be available at the fairgrounds, but this lot is weather-dependant.
According to fairgrounds officials, camping spots are full. Persons can visit www.greenecountyfairgrounds.com to be added to the wait list.
“I strongly encourage the public to attend. There are great displays and the opportunity to learn about emergency response and communication,” said Kathleen Wright, executive director of Greene County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This group has been a delight to work with and we are excited for the event to be underway.”
Kalter said he hopes visitors will check out downtown Xenia and explore its restaurants and shops.
A lot will be going on during the convention this year — including groups working on amateur satellite communication, an astronaut visiting the fairgrounds, and forums unfolding over the course of three days. Kalter said youth activities will be a new focus this year, and a special food truck for children will be an added bonus.
Visitors who think they’d like to obtain or update an amateur radio license can register for a technician class license course or general class upgrade course, both which will be held on Saturday.
For course registration, maps, travel and lodging accommodations and more, visit www.Hamvention.org. For Hamvention alerts, text Hamvention18 to 888777. Tune into 1620 AM for updates.
Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498 or follow @annadbolton on Facebook.