Wow, what a weekend! The 2016 Orlando Hamcation and the ARRL National Convention are now over. But, what a hamfest it was. This year's Hamcation has to rate at the top of my list of all time favorite hamfests. The only one better might be my first time at Dayton. I am sure I had more fun at this hamfest than any other.
The weekend started early as I went up to Orlando on Thursday to set up the MCARA table. As I was on the floor assembling the support for our sign, I heard a familiar voice of a friend from Canada. He had traveled down to enjoy the beautiful Florida weather and take in the Hamcation. The weather certainly cooperated as it was just as good as it gets all weekend. I saw dozens of my radio friends and barged right up to Doug rehman, K4AC, our division director to invite him to Stuart. I met Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, the new ARRL CEO-elect from West Palm Beach. Of course, I invited him to our hamfest as well. I saw lots of ARRL staff members at the ARRL Expo area.
Friday I left the Hamcation at closing time and headed to the Florida Contest Group dinner. I was among contesting royalty. At least two WRTC world champions were there, and lots of the BIG names in contesting. Ward Silver, N0AX, gave a very interesting talk on the future of contesting. He had a lot of ideas that would revolutionize contesting as we know it. For a contester wannabe like me it was a pretty amazing gathering.
Fortunately for us, the Hamcation organizers mover the prize ticket barrel into our building this year. Everyone that wanted to drop their ticket in the prize barrel had to walk right past our table. There were far more people in the room than I have ever seen. We handed out more flyers, and offered more prize tickets than ever before.
Many thanks to the club members that helped at the table. I think everyone had a good time and again we heard many comments about how people like our hamfest.
So the Stuart Hamfest is less than 5 weeks away. There is lots of work to be done. There are many opportunities to help out. Be sure to be at the next MCARA meeting on Thursday the 25th. There will be stories and reports from Orlando, election of Club Officers and Directors, and a LOT of planning for our hamfest. If you only make one meeting a year, this should be the one. We hope to see you there.