Hamcation Hamvention


Requires lots of planning, hard work, and a team of dedicated volunteers.

A Letter

From The Chairman

About HamCation 2023

HamCation® has announced that it will host the ARRL Southeastern Division Convention in Orlando, Florida, from February 10-12, 2023. HamCation is the 2nd largest gathering of radio amateurs in the world annually.

The convention will kick off on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, February 10-12, hosted at the Central Florida Fairgrounds and Expo Park in Orlando, an 87-acre lakefront fairground.

HamCation is sponsored by the Orlando Amateur Radio Club, an ARRL-affiliated club, and is supported by volunteers from radio clubs throughout the region. The published gate figure for 2022 was 19,500 (all 3 days). Our website includes details on tickets and information about forums, exhibits (including information for vendors and tailgaters), testing, travel, and preferred hotels with special rates.

HamCation acknowledges that the pandemic has introduced uncertainty into any long-term planning. We will follow all government and health requirements and guidelines as plans are committed for the 2023 event. Further details and any changes will be shared via our website:


Michael Cauley, W4ORL
General Chairman - Orlando HamCation®


Of HamCation

The first recorded hamfest organized by the club was held at Rock Springs on August 15, 1946. Pete Rodriquez, W4KCK, headed the affair and served up Cuban style pork.

The 60's marked a new era in hamfesting in Orlando. On April 23, 1960, the club held its first hamfest in a hotel. The site was the old Cherry Plaza Hotel at Eola Park and was billed as "An old fashioned hamfest with new ideas". Our own Elmer the Great Huddleson, W4HFR, was among the fellas responsible for that successful first.

Hamfest were held each succeeding year at Cherry Plaza until 1968, when, under the direction of Jess Price, W4CLJ, the club moved the event to the Statler Hilton on West Colonial. In the years that followed, the hamfest moved first to the Howard Johnson's Plaza, then to Exposition Hall, and then to the new Sheraton Twin Towers in 1976. We stay there till 1981 then we moved the show for 1 year in 1982 to the Central Florida Fairgrounds.

Throwback 1981

Go back to 1981. Download the HamCation program and see what was cool and trending as we roared through the 80's in style!

Download 1981 Program

Then in 1983 HamCation was moved to the Expo Center where it called home till 1988. Then for the 1989 and 1990 shows we were at the Orange County Convention Center.

Then in 1991 we moved the show back to the Central Florida Fairgrounds where it has been since.

When we start the 2018 show we will have been at the Central Florida Fair Grounds for 28 Years.

Each year has seen a bigger and better hamfest. From the first hamfest at Rock Springs in '46, the Orlando HamCation has grown to an annual event attended by thousands from all over the World.

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