Images from the last time I attended the Glacier-Waterton Hamfest in 2005
Lasting friendships that endure decades are formed.
And winning a prize is inspiring to everyone.
The final auction for the great stuff available is always well attended.
Should We Do a Summer Event
Part of the success of having the Fleamarket here in the Lethbridge Region was due to being able to bring a major Canadian vendor out, not to mention a manufacturer's representative. That is huge, especially when they have shown interest enough to want to come back. The notion of having a summer event next year that won't interfere with other clubs and organizations in the province and Montana was discussed and the seed was planted to perhaps organize a summer event.
One of the problems with having events that cross the border is that the customs and duty people get involved and the paperwork for vendors is horrendous for both Canadians and Americans who want to visit each other's countries and events. This is the problem that has arisen for the oldest Hamfest in the world, the Glacier/Waterton Hamfest held on the third weekend of July in East Glacier every year. Many of us have attended this event in the past and enjoyed the wonderful eyeball QSO's and celebration of our lasting friendships that we had. Many bonds were formed between hams and their families during the hamfest. I, for one, have attended some of them and would go again except for one thing... the border.
Vendors, however, who used to be able to cross the border without hassle now are faced with a paperwork nightmare that would dissuade any business person from even thinking about coming north or going south. So what to do?
We used to hold the hamfest in each country and it worked well for many years. Then it moved permanently to East Glacier and things went south, so to speak. It's still supported by Canadians, but it just isn't the same from what I'm hearing.
Our idea is to hold a separate event here in the Lethbridge Region and make it a campout affair as well as one to celebrate our amateur radio roots. It would include a tailgate-fleamarket event, entertainment, vendors, a barn dance perhaps, a BBQ night, a sing along, lots of eyeball QSO's, bunny hunts, demonstrations of new equipment, build a receiver from scrap parts contest, build antennas for hf and other bands, a door prize draw and lots more fun.
We could hold it in August when the weather is warm and it doesn't interfere with other things like the hamfest in East Glacier or the Red Deer Picnic. We could hold it at Coyote Flats in Picture Butte where there is ample room to camp and facilities are available not to mention being able to tour this amazing facility and get a sense of the history of our region.
By the way the rf noise problem that we experienced there during the last field day has been addressed and we will check the area out for rf interference before any event will take place where we need quiet conditions. Fortis found a bad transformer on the grounds and have replaced it.
So think about it please and let's see if we can create another event for SAARC that will draw the rest of the province and our friends from south of the border up to visit us again. If you have any comments on this idea or suggestions that you think will work, send us a note at the e-mail address below.
Contact us by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org | Snail mail: SAARC, PO Box 1024, Raymond, AB T0K 2S0