XENIA, Ohio (WDTN)– As the 2022 Hamvention comes to a close, officials are reflecting after the last two were canceled due to the pandemic. Sunday marked the end of Hamvention’s weekend but this year’s theme of reunion brings a whole new meaning to Greene County.

“The theme is reunion because with amateur radio operators, as with most organizations, like to get together once in a while. Virtual is great, has its place but it’s nothing like being in person,” said spokesperson Michael Kalter.

After two years of cancellations, this weekend kicked off Greene County’s 2022 Hamvention. Officials and ticket-goers said they are beyond thankful to be in-person for this year’s Hamvention.

“There are good deals on products and meeting people that you talk to on the radio is always fantastic, it’s a great time,” said New York resident Frank Ardito.

Greene County officials estimate that the Hamvention weekend doubles Xenia’s population and brings in over $30 million to the Miami Valley, funds that are crucial to help small businesses stay afloat during the pandemic. For their first year reopening, Hamvention officials said they are ecstatic to see amateur radio fans return to Greene County once again.

“We didn’t open until 9 a.m. and people were lined up at 6 a.m. to be one of the first ones in, they got so excited to see the technology,” said Kalter. “Right now, we’re looking at the number of tickets sold to be maybe 30,000 plus, which is spectacular.

Out of the $30 million Hamvention brings to the Miami Valley, Greene County officials estimate that up to $19 million is directly funneled back into Greene County businesses.