This was my first trip to the new location and my first thoughts were ... what a great place for a hamfest !!
Compared to the old Shelby Hamfest location ... this was much cleaner ... better modern facilties for the indoor venders ... and more room for the average ham to tailgate. But ... If you don't like to walk .. Beware, because you'll have a lot of ground to cover at this hamfest.
I also noticed that parking locations were great ...there were plenty of shade trees ... which is great for both the vendor and the customer. The facilities were well groomed ... the grass was mowed, and dirt was at a minumum ... The Dayton hamfest organizers need to visit this place and take notes !! ... I also noticed plenty of food vendors ... and yes the food was actually really good.
Now for the negative ... I wish there were more facilities for indoor vendors and dealers ... It would be nice if more of the big name dealers had been represented ... Both Yaesu and Icom were represented well ... but no Ten-Tec ... Kenwood ... or Elecraft .
I would love to see Array solutions ... DX Engineering ....Optibeam ... Force 12 ... Buddipole ... Micro-Ham and a few more .
MFJ was well represented as always, and covered the most indoor floor space... Ham Radio Outlet was 2nd in area coverage.
If these two dealers had been missing ... the hamfest would have suffered in a major way.
As for the boneyard .... it was BIG !!! ... lots of sellers showed up with a variety of gear .... there was plenty of the vintage / boat anchor gear available as well .... the people were friendly and the smell of food filled the air.
The only downside to the boneyard ..... there was quite a bit of illegal CB equipment for sale .... which in my opinion should not be allowed to be sold at a hamfest ... FCC approved CB equipment is fine ... and I have nothing against CB ops ... as long as they show some respect to other ops and the hobby itself.... That works both ways of course ... Hams need to show the same respect to the hobby.
My final rating on a scale of 1 to 10 ..... RATING 8 .... mainly because of lack of big name dealers, and the sale of illegal CB equipment.
Main thing was ... This was not a JUNK fest ... and yes I hope to be back next year !!