XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) – After two years, Dayton’s Hamvention is reopening this weekend at the Greene County Fairgrounds. Vendors from all over the world are setting up exhibits on Thursday in preparation for 30,000 ticket holders, something Greene County officials say will have a big economic boost in the Miami Valley.

This year’s theme is “Reunion” to celebrate getting a world of hams together after missing two Hamventions due to the pandemic. Now with the help of hundreds of volunteers, what’s special about Dayton’s Hamvention is that stretches all the way back to 1952.

2022 General Chairman Rick Allnutt has never missed a Hamvention for nearly 30 years. After the last two being canceled due to the pandemic, he said it’s the best feeling seeing exhibits getting set up.

“Amateur radio is great because it allows us in a non-professional way but license to use the radio spectrum to learn, to have fun and to meet other people,” said Allnut. “It’s a way to make peace all around the world.”

Greene County estimates that Xenia’s population will double with visitors coming to the event this weekend. They estimate Hamvention brings in $30 million to hotels, restaurants and more across the Miami Valley.

“Weekends like this, this is how they recover some of the lost revenue that they had, this is how they reinvest in their businesses and truly rely on events like this so please, please go out and support our local businesses,” said Greene County Administrator Brandon Huddelson.

Hamvention is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, a tradition that has spread across the globe.

“This is the largest Hamvention, the largest ham expo anywhere in the world and it’s really great to see friends from all over.

Hamvention hours are 9 to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 9 to 1 p.m. on Sundays with free admission. Tickets are $31 on Friday and Saturday.

While some parking will be available at the fairgrounds, much of it is weather dependent. Visitors are urged to use one of the remote lots with free shuttles listed below:

  • Hobson Freedom Park, 2910 Trebein Road, Fairborn OH
  • Xenia High School, 303 Kinsey Road, Xenia OH
  • Xenia Towne Square, 84 Xenia Towne Square, Xenia OH

Buses run from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.