2015-03-11The New England Amateur Radio Festival (NEAR-Fest) will hold it’s seventeenth event Friday and Saturday, May 1st and 2nd, 2015 at the Deerfield Fairgrounds, 34 Stage Road, Deerfield, New Hampshire.  The event is held twice per year in May and October featuring a huge outdoor electronic flea market, three buildings full of commercial vendors, forums, technical seminars, demonstrations, exhibits, displays, licensing examinations, special events radio stations, a “jam session”, good food, fellowship and fun.  Discounted hotel rooms are available fifteen minutes from the event at the Super 8 Motel, 2301 Brown Avenue, Manchester, New Hampshire.  To reserve your room before it sells out, call them at (603) 623-0883.

Mister Mike, W1RC, General Chairman (affectionately known as the benevolent dictator) had previously announced at the October 2014 event that “because you guys have been such a wonderful group of attendees for the last eight years, we have decided that NEAR-Fest XVII in May of 2015 is going to be free.  There will be no admission charged”.  Later given the name FreeFest, it was announced by Mister Mike in the following March 1, 2015 press release that while NEAR-Fest will happen in May, the FreeFest aspect will be postponed to a future event:

Dear Friends of NEAR-Fest:

It is with great regret and sadness that I must inform the radio amateurs and electronic hobbyists of New England that the NEAR-Fest Board of Directors finds it necessary to POSTPONE the FreeFest aspect of NEAR-FEST XVII that was scheduled for May 2015. It will be held at a later date. However, first and foremost, I want to assure everyone that NEAR-Fest XVII WILL TAKE PLACE AS SCHEDULED on May 1st and 2nd, 2015, at the Deerfield NH Fairgrounds. NEAR- Fest XVIII will also be held as scheduled on October 16th and 17th, 2015.

The Directors made the difficult decision to POSTPONE the FreeFest due to a legal issue that has arisen since the FreeFest was announced last October. The matter is being addressed professionally; however the funds that would have financed the FreeFester may now be needed to resolve this issue at hand. There was no other option open to us. It is important for everyone to understand that there are no issues or problems with the Deerfield Fair Association; in fact our relationship with them is better than ever.

I want to personally assure you all that the FreeFest will be rescheduled as soon as possible once this issue has been resolved. The entire NEAR-Fest management team is committed to, and is looking forward to, hosting the FreeFest, in it’s original spirit, to thank all our loyal attendees and the amateur radio community for the support since 2007. We appreciate your understanding and continued support. We hope to be able to post an update about FreeFest on our website before the end of the year. Advance tickets and inside parking passes will be on sale in the usual places starting in April. Check our Web site (www.near-fest.com) for more details.

To summarize: NEAR-Fest XVII WILL TAKE PLACE on May 1st and 2nd, 2015, exactly as scheduled, Admission will be the same as always, $10 per person and $10 for an inside parking pass. NEAR-Fest XVIII will also take place as scheduled on October 16th and 17th, 2015. The FreeFest that was planned to take place as a part of NEAR-Fest XVII is POSTPONED until a later date.

The NEAR-Fest staff and management as well as I thank you for your total support and understanding.

73,

MisterMike, W1RC

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