XENIA — The 2020 Hamvention in Greene County has been canceled over coronavirus concerns.
“The Hamvention executive committee has been monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. We have worked very closely with our local and state health departments,” General Chairman Jack Gerbs said in a statement.
Gerbs said it was with a “very heavy heart” that the committee made the decision to cancel the world’s largest amateur radio convention slated for the May 15-17 weekend.
“This decision is extremely difficult for us but with around two months until the great gathering we felt this action necessary,” he said.
Hamvention first moved to the Greene County Fairgrounds & Expo Center in 2017, after its former home, Hara Arena, closed its doors. Hamvention’s contract with the Greene County Agricultural Society runs through 2024.
Last year, Hamvention saw its highest attendance with 32,472 visitors from 50 states and 60 countries, doubling the population of the city and adding millions of dollars to the local economy.
“We regret the decision had to made but, we completely understand the need for the cancellation,” County Administrator Brandon Huddleson said. “Hamvention has an estimated $30 million financial impact to this region and it will be a huge financial loss. However, protecting people is more important than lost dollars.”
Huddleson said he’s been in contact with Hamvention organizers and has asked them to consider rescheduling the event to the fall if possible.
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