‘I love being here;’ Hamvention brings in thousands, including international visitors

XENIA, Greene County — Hamvention is in full swing and people around the world have traveled to Greene County to attend.

This convention is one of the largest amateur radio events of the year and it takes place at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia.

Radio Society of Great Britain President John McCullagh is one of the tens of thousands in attendance.

“We come out every year, we find it very useful to come here and meet all our international contacts,” McCullagh said. “I’m actually from Northern Ireland…Which is part of the U.K. after all.”

>>RELATED: Thousands will be in Greene County this weekend for this year’s Hamvention

McCullagh said Hamvention is the best place for those interested in radio.

“It’s really interesting to meet a wide variety of people and of course, that’s why all the new amateur radio equipment is here as well. And the stuff that hasn’t actually been invented yet,” McCullagh said.

Jim Storms is the General Chairman of Hamvention and said the event is about having a good time and enjoying each other’s company.

He said many things make the event special, including its international reach.

“We meet people from around the world that we’ve talked to on the radio, we actually get to see them in person. And that’s a real big thing,” Storms said. “We have Italians here, French, English, Great Britain, South America, just from all over.”

Hamvention not only attracts thousands of visitors, but it also has a major economic impact.

“Last year was a really great year, which we considered our second highest year yet. But this year, it’s just been packed even more. So I’m excited to see the numbers,” Storms said.

A spokesperson from Hamvention told News Center 7 that at least 33,000 people passed through the gate last year.

>>RELATED: Hamvention returns to Greene County this weekend, drawing visitors from around the world

McCullagh said he couldn’t imagine not making this trip.

“I must say we do enjoy this convention. We do enjoy it, and I love being here,” McCullagh said.

The last day of the 2024 Hamvention will be Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., tickets are $30 at the door.

For more information on Hamvention, click here.

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