With the weekend behind us, it is time to take a look back at our Tailgate Party 2023.
While we await the official numbers from our Treasurer & Tailgate Chairman Don, WA2SWX, I call it an unqualified success. It was our second ever Tailgate Party and I can say we have earned more than two and a half times our seed money.
I have long held that “Good luck happens when preparation meets opportunity”. We were certainly well prepared. Led by Don in his fourth outing as Tailgate / Hamfest Chairman, it was as close to a turnkey operation as he could make it. Your OVH Tailgate Committee met three times in 2023 to bring this together.
With the Coronavirus days receding in the rearview mirror, our most pressing concern was the weather. And here again, we got lucky. Tailgate setup day was the day before and was a blistering 93° at IAD. The day of the Tailgate Party was a comfortable 85° and mostly cloudy. Even the forecast evening rain was a no show, no doubt blown away by the evening winds.
Our flyer said we would run from 8 AM till 2 PM, and yours truly arrived a little after 7 AM. Even at that early hour there were many vendors either setting up or already setup. And quite a few customers, too.
We had plenty of volunteers for traffic control, but ran out of five dollar bills before 8 AM, so yours truly was dispatched. Our expected money changing service no longer provided that service, and banks typically don’t open on Saturdays before 9 AM. I remembered there is a chain of banks whose ATMs allow you to pick your dominations, so I withdrew over $200 in five dollar bills. And yes, if you are wondering, Don reimbursed me.
Our friends from the Virginia Defense Force were in attendance and looked impressive in their dress uniforms.
Also, as advertised, the Virginia QSO Party awards were distributed. Former President Jay, NQ4T and current Vice President Gil, KM4OZH took top honors in their categories. Both have good stories to tell about their wins. Jay wasn’t even sure if he was going to wholeheartedly compete, when, as he tells it, he got sucked in and when he looked up, 6 hours had passed.
This year, Gil found himself in the newly created “Rover” category. Gil flipped and flopped between his new and old categories, not to mention our Buckhall VFD meeting & following Gordon, NQ4K to Heritage Hunt. Not too stalker-y, Gill. As I said, both have very entertaining stories if you can get them aside at some time.
Edith (Mrs. WA2SWX) and her grandson, DJ, manned our snack table once again. We had homemade treats as well as store bought items for sale. It was quite a bounty and it sold well. Thank you to Edith, DJ, Theresa & John for the time and effort in making these fine snacks as well as transporting them safely & selling them.
All of you please take a bow.
The event peaked around 10:30 AM and then started winding down. The last of us left about 1 PM-ish.
The provided link will take you to George, K4GVT’s photographs and an aerial video of Tailgate 2023. They are always a treat. A big thank you to George. https://k4gvt.com/ovh/OVH_2023_Tailgate/index.html
The photographs in this article are used with permission from Everett, KJ4OLF & George, K4GVT
There were other photographers out at our event, and if you have photos you wish to share, please let us know & we’ll post them.
I end this article with a bittersweet note. Our Tailgate / Hamfest Chairman Don, wants to retire from this position after 4 years. From good years, to COVID years to recovery years, each year under Don’s stewardship, the OVH prospered, and increasingly so. I really hope he changes his mind for next year. If not, he has left some big shoes to fill.
A huge thank you to Don.
And kudos to everyone involved.