The 45th annual Tampa Bay Hamfest is on the horizon. Scheduled for December 11th and 12th, 2020. Be sure to mark your calendar.

TICKETS and More
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Message from our President, Bill Williams.

Well, the 2019 Tampa bay Hamfest has been over for a month or more and it is past time to make some observations on our effort.

The weather was once again a factor as a front passed through Tampa Bay. On Friday we suffered through a drizzly day that made the tailgaters unhappy though inside we were quite comfortable. Some hams stayed away but missed the best deals that always come when our vendors first open their tables. The early worm and all that still holds true.

After the threat of rain on Saturday morning the skies turned blue and a beautiful day developed drawing in more hams to enjoy the festivities, buying, selling, and meeting friends again over the great food at the FFA building. Even the tailgaters enjoyed a good day when the weather cleared out.

Thanks to all who came to wheel and deal, selling and buying and making this a successful Hamfest, in spite of the weather. We always need and depend on your support, vendor and buyers alike.

A special thanks to the volunteers who helped with putting on the hamfest and to my fellow directors who are also volunteers for the event.

The FGCARC Board is in the throes of planning for the 2020 Tampa Bay Hamfest. The dates for this year’s Tampa Bay Hamfest will be Friday, December 11th and Saturday, December 12‘“. Ongoing we are updating the website,, to reflect on the past Hamfest and to provide details of this year’s Hamfest. Your input, ideas and suggestions, would be appreciated and you can contact any of the FGCARC Officers via this website, click here right now.

Once again I appeal to my fellow hams to volunteer to help with this annual effort we have presented each year for the past forty four years. Each year there is a shortage of willing volunteers to help run the Hamfest. We always need help with the tailgate sales area and with ticket sales spots inside the Hall. So if you have a few hours you are willing to spare helping us, reach out to Security on the contact form and we will set you up to suit your schedule and be very appreciative. By the way, there is a $50 cash prize drawing as a way to thank the volunteers.

The 2019 grand prize winners are listed on this page and we congratulate both on their success. We once again thank Dave We|ty for his handling prizes and announcements. Beyond the Grand Prizes we handed out many more prizes such as ARRL cash certificates, Hamfest Bucks (for your use buying from any of our vendors), handheld radios, emergency kits and other useful prizes.

The Future Farmers of America did another great job with the fine food and refreshments. The strawberry shortcake was, as always, the highlight of the menu. Thanks, guys and gals of the FFA.

All the best in 2020. We’ll see you again in December.

Bill Williams AG4QX
President Florida Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Council
Chairman of the 2019 Tampa Bay Hamfest and West Central Florida Section Convention ARRL

Here are the 2019 prize winners:

The winner of the Saturday grand prize for 2019 was Art Lusk, KI4SGM, from Valrico. Art was presented with an AnyTone AT-D578IIIPRO Tri-Band Amateur DMR Mobile Radio with Bluetooth and GPS and antenna to match.

Congratulations. Art. We look forward to talking with you on the air.

The Friday prize was won by Dee Turner, N4GD. Dee’s prize was a Yaesu FT-70DR dual band handheld radio,  a very easy radio to program and use. Congratulations, Dee.

What is a Hamfest?

If you ask the all-knowing Internet that question you will get this answer:  A hamfest is a meeting of people interested in Amateur Radio.   Hamfests offer exhibits, forums, and fleamarkets for Amateur Radio operators or “hams.”  Now that is all well and good and certainly describes the fundamental offerings of the Tampa Bay Hamfest but there is more than that, much more. What you can see at this Hamfest is a gathering of hams enjoying the camaraderie of fellow hams. This is the intangible benefit of this Hamfest and indeed all hamfests. We like to have the opportunity to gather and meet our friends from other parts of Florida and elsewhere. Please join us, vendors, clubs and hams alike, in celebrating our hobby – amateur radio.

As you can see, our website has a new look. We would like to keep the site up to date with new information as it becomes available. To this end we will add items of interest to local hams and to our vendors to this Home Page as they become available. Please keep checking in for this information as we add it. In addition we ask for your participation in this effort and ask you provide items and information you would like to pass on to our local ham community. Thanks in advance for your help.

This effort will doubtless have its glitches and oversights so we always appreciate hearing from the sites users with constructive comments and advice. Click here to contact us.