Orange Amateur Radio Club Hamfest in Orange, Texas
The OARC typically holds their Orange Amateur Radio Club Hamfest , commonly referred to as the Orange Hamfest, during the last Saturday of February. For 2016, the date fell on February 27. This was my first year to make this show – I had purchased tables and planned to attend the show in 2015, but that weekend saw a huge ice-storm in the DFW area, and I wasn’t able to make it out of town that day. Back then, I didn’t even have a trailer to carry my inventory around, so I typically would load everything into the back of my pickup truck, cover it with a weather-proof tarp, and hit the road. With the ice storm in 2015, it would have taken me an estimate 2 hours just to leave the DFW area and get out of the bad weather, all the while having my inventory in the back of the pickup truck. I decided it wasn’t worth the risk and skipped the show that weekend.
So 2016 was my first time to attend the Orange Hamfest. They had a good group of people there, with several vendors attending other than myself. Houston Amateur Radio and Main Trading were both there.
We arrived Friday evening and they were having a dinner for the vendors and patrons of the show. So our tables were being used to let people sit and eat – hence, it took us a while to setup, but we got it done. We had 5 tables right inside of the back door, which was easy for loading-in, but we were at the back of the complex for the show on Saturday. That is usually fine with me, I don’t tend to care where my tables are, but with this show I think it made a difference. With Houston up front and MTC taking up the back wall, I was out-of-sight on the side wall. Granted, I am not nearly as large as these guys, but I do like people to notice I am there 😉
Over all the show was just OK. I thought it was well-attended and we met some nice folks, and even sold a few things, but I haven’t decided yet if I will return next year. Setup was somewhat hard to do during the dinner, and I’m not sure it is worth my time to attend a show like this (for a small vendor like myself). No decisions yet, though – my inventory this year is much bigger than it was last year, so logically it should be even larger next year. Perhaps by that time, it might be worth my time to revisit a few of these shows where I didn’t sell as much.
Some of the more popular items at this show were:
- TYT MD380 DMR HT (DMR repeaters in the Houston area, near Orange)
- Leixen VV-898BP and VV898SBP backpack radios
- Baofeng UV82 8-watt dual band HT
Keep up with the Hamfests I attend by signing up for my email list at this link