The recent FDA and CDC announcement about a second booster and the spreading of the latest COVID-19 variant indicate the pandemic is not over yet and may not decline sufficiently for the majority of our event's attendees to be safe in a convention environment, especially one with largely attended meals where masking can’t work.
In June of last year, it appeared we should not have canceled the event. You know what happened with the COVID-19 Delta variant, infection rate, hospitalizations, and deaths the following month and continued for many months after. Unfortunately, today we are nowhere near achieving herd immunity which leaves New Mexico and the world at risk.
The Board examined the financial risks if we couldn't sell enough meals or rent enough rooms at Isleta, which the DCHF would then be financially responsible for making up the difference. With additional early commitments of over $10K (deposits, rentals, prizes, etc.), we felt we could not risk a financial disaster that would bankrupt the Hamfest and risk significant personal financial liability for Board members.
While desperately wanting to continue the DCHF tradition, we did not want to jeopardize attendees', presenters', vendors' nor the event center's staff's health. Sadly, the risks involved far outweigh any gain we might make by holding a convention this year.
It is important to understand ours is a Convention, not just a Hamfest, and least of all a tailgate. It is each of these elements. It can't be planned in a month or two when conditions could be different than they are today (March 29, 2022). In fact, we are well past the ten-month time frame of our normal planning cycle.
It is with heavy hearts that we cancel the 2022 Duke City Hamfest. We pray that 2023 will look much different than 2022 and we can join each other again under safe conditions to learn, explore, and enjoy both our great avocation of Amateur Radio and greet old friends as we make new ones.
Until then, stay safe, and get or remain radio-active. We're looking for a few good hams to join the DCHF Board of Directions to help plan for an even better convention in 2023. Let us know if you are willing and able to make the DCHF even better or if you have any comments. Click on the “Contact Us” link at the bottom of this page.
Seeking a few good hams!
Have you previously enjoyed attending the Duke City Hamfest and Convention? Do you want to help produce and host the premiere amateur radio event in the state of New Mexico? Maybe you have some great ideas for making the event even better. If so, we want you!
The Duke City Hamfest and Convention Board of Directors is seeking volunteers who are willing to help plan, prepare, and host the annual Hamfest and Convention. Many hands make light work!
Volunteers can expect to spend about 5-10 hours per month on BoD activities during most of the year. This includes our monthly meetings and working on tasks between meetings. Beginning around June of each year, the time commitment goes up a bit, as we become busier finalizing plans. The last few weeks prior to the event can be very busy, but is rarely chaotic due to planning and preparation throughout the year leading up to the event.
Willingness and desire to help put on an excellent Hamfest for the New Mexico and greater Southwest amateur radio community – there’s no “honorarium” positions on the BoD; we all help out!
Attend monthly meetings throughout the year (either virtually or in-person depending on BoD preferences), with more frequent meetings in the couple of months immediately prior to the Hamfest.
Promptly reply to communications sent by other members of the BoD.
Be able to attend and help out during the actual Hamfest, which is traditionally held over the third weekend of September.
For those who are physically able, assist with setup the Thursday prior to the Hamfest, and teardown Sunday afternoon.
Ability to work on various tasks throughout the year and proactively communicate with other members of the BoD when issues are encountered.
Flexibility and the ability to adjust to changes – both during planning and the Hamfest itself.
Members of the BoD do not need to be licensed amateur radio operators, although a majority of the BoD must be licensed.
Access to email and the Internet, as the BoD communicates largely via email and online file sharing.
If you are interested in volunteering, or have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or speak with any of the current members of the Board of Directors.
Board of Directors
New Mexico Hamvention, Inc.
Credit: Isleta Resort and Casino/Hamfest images by Tom Winfield, WA9LKD; Pete Spotts, NM5PS