Author Topic: Why the Dates Are Being Changed?.  (Read 494 times)

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Offline W1RC

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Why the Dates Are Being Changed?.
« on: December 17, 2022, 11:49:10 PM »
First of all, do not panic or be alarmed!  We have four and a half months to get used to the change.  The Fair Association did NOT change the dates on us even though they could have as we do not have our contracts for 2023 yet.  Initially I was opposed to it but after discussing it with my magnificent team I decided they were right and I was wrong.  Here is why WE decided to change the date. 
     The Deerfield Fair Association booked two other shows, the NH Farm, Forest and Garden Show and a horse show for May 5th and 6th 2023.  We were invited to host NEAR-Fest XXXIII on the same dates but we would not have been able to use all the space that we have been using for the past sixteen years.  Here is a brief synopsis of what areas we would not have been able to use had we gone ahead and scheduled NEAR-Fest XXXIII for May 5th and 6th:
      We would not have lost any total ground area but, unlike in the past,  there would have been boundaries marked by plenty of yellow tape which would have been inviolate of where we could not set up our stuff or park our vehicles.  These areas would have shifted elsewhere. These boundaries would not have been negotiable; I tried.  We would have been responsible for enforcing these boundaries and we really did not look forward to spending our hamfest time telling people they had to move their tables and vehicles.  We also would have been under a great deal of scrutiny?..
        Some of the places that are familiar to many would not have been available and those who liked to use them in the past would simply have had to find alternate spaces to set up but in more remote parts of the grounds, like near the Swine Barn and the Poultry Building.  I can just hear the pissing and moaning now.
        We would have lost full use of the Arts and Crafts Building (which was never ours to begin with) and, most unfortunately, the Meeting Room where the VE exams are conducted.    The other buildings are unaffected.
        We would have lost part of the relaxation grove but not the stage as well as the entire area around the flagpole and the roadway that runs from there up to the Relaxation Grove then turning right along past where Angelino is set up and any area near the Horse Show Ring, and this includes where Patty the Apple Crips Lady Food Booth is located.  The Command Center would also have been relocated.   It seemed a lot easier just to move the dates ahead by a week to April 29th and 30th and maintain the status quo.  So that is what I did.
        The map shows the new boundaries in red.  The black line shows the original flea market area what could easily be expanded if needed.  The area marked with a question mark was under discussion and we probably would have been able to use it.
        This entire odious situation was instantly and favourably resolved when I advised the Fair Association that we decided to change the date so that, as always, we have the entire fairgrounds to ourselves.  Just pray for good weather.
73, 
MisterMike, W1RC,
NEAR-Fest Benevolent Dictator

PS : The first map shows the flea market as mapped out while sharing the grounds with the horse show.  The area with the black line shows what we would be losing.  The second map shows the flea market area that we usually occupy but the boundaries are not set and the flea market could expand in any direction when we have the grounds to ourselves.  The third photo shows the portion of the flea market all the way up to the metal building that would have to be relocated.

Offline k1oik

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Re: Why the Dates Are Being Changed?.
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2022, 09:27:44 AM »
You have been a long-term customer why couldn't the horse show do April?
Investigate the Barnstable County Fairgrounds.
More centralized for those coming from New York and New Jersey. and not much different than Connecticut. Closer for the more populous sections of Massachusetts.
After all you have done for the Deerfield fair, once they start screwing you, who knows where this will end
I pray for rain in May.

Offline W1RC

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Re: Why the Dates Are Being Changed?.
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2022, 11:55:31 AM »
Burt, I do not agree with your statement that we are being screwed.  They do not owe me or us a thing. This was a business decision.  These two shows are bringing in a lot of money.  Their thinking is as long as we can have the same amount of real estate for the hamfest everything is okay. However, flea market metrics do not work that way and in our opinion the land around the swine barn and poultry building is too remote from the main flea market area and few sellers would want to set up there. But that is not their concern.  The photos attached to this message show SOME of the grounds that we would not be able to use in the spring going forward.  Too many people would be affected,
     During Covid while nothing else was going on at the other fairgrounds it was the smaller, local state horse breed association shows that kept the Fair Association in the black.   So if they owe anybody it is the horse people that kept some revenue coming in that allowed them to pay their bills during the worst days of the pandemic.
     We are damned lucky they let us come here with our junk in the first place. This is a designated agricultural fairground and we are most certainly not an agricultural event.
     I am not even going to think about looking into moving it anywhere else. There is no way I have the energy or even the inclination to start all over again building a relationship with new people.  I do nott like changing the dates; it makes more work for ME, but it is better than trying to operate with new restrictions and rules, especially with other people and animals on the grounds with us under foot.  I prefer to work with what I have been working with for seventeen years. They are fine people amd they like us.  Deerfield is special and if I cannot keep NEAR-Fest going here then I am done. Finito.  Someone else can start a new fest at a new venue somewhere else.  It will not be me.

Offline KB1NZN

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Re: Why the Dates Are Being Changed?.
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2022, 11:52:59 AM »
YES. It it a major PITA to have to change the dates of NEAR-Fest, at almost the last minute, but these steps are the best way to keep our event going with the traditional environment we have become accustomed to.

These dates have hosted the spring event several times in the past, so it's not too far out of the ordinary for our event to be held on these dates. All you have to do is look back in the archived events in this forum to see how many times it has happened, it's just a matter of how the calendar falls.

One of the main reasons this issue came up was because the Board of Directors have begun to pay closer attention to their bylaws and procedures, which is something that has become necessary for several different reasons. One major reason is that they are constantly being hounded by people that want to use the fairgrounds for reasons that we are well aware of, it's a great facility! It's a good thing of of course for all of us, because the association is financially strong and stable. We can expect to see more costly projects and improvements on the grounds. While some other venues fail and shut down Deerfield has never been busier. But the all of the "in season" weekends and some weekdays are booked, so we may see more events shoehorned into different timeframes, but they are VERY often turning people away. We need more spring/summer/fall weekends!

So just like any other event, come if you can. If not, we expect and hope to be around next time you can.

Offline W1RC

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Re: Why the Dates Are Being Changed?.
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2022, 02:30:08 AM »
Very well stated, Ben.
Just in case anyone is wondering, Ben was right there with me at the meeting with the board members.  He knows them as well as i, if not better.  Besides being a fellow Superintendent at the Fair he has done a great deal of work for them on their networkimg systems, including installing WiFi on the grounds over a period of several years as well as more recently their new Internet-based telephone system. The entire NEAR-Fest owes Ben the recognition and thanks he ao richly deserves. 
Thanks, Ben!