I got into a conversation yesterday with another ham about the status of some of the other ham swap fests in the area. One he was wondering about was the MARA (Madison Area Repeater Association) swap fest usually held mid-April in Stoughton.
I had heard through the grapevine that their event was not happening this year, but thought I’d check it out to verify the facts. The news is bad for those of you looking for another ham fest this year, but good for the future.
From a 2019 posting on the club website at https://w9hsy.org/, they confirm that — thanks to Covid — they had canceled everything through the 2022 fest, but expect to return to hosting the event in 2023. I have to say that I’m impressed: the group is organized enough to have announced the next decade of their fest dates!
For more information, check out their posting at https://w9hsy.org/2019/05/03/hamfest-dates-through-2028/. The post was dated May 3, 2019, so things might change again in 2023 but the schedule is likely to be as accurate as anything can be predicted today. I’m mean, it’s not like we ever have global pandemics, double-booked spaces, inflation, or unexpected Wisconsin weather events to deal with, right?
Given their time off and especially given the WARAC cancellation announcement, I plan to support the MARA fest with a visit next year. Our support through membership, volunteering for events, and attending events like swapfests keeps these groups going. Tell your spouse that it’s your amateur radio civic duty to spend the day looking at the cool stuff for sale!