Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQs for Everyone

* Who sponsors Frostfest?
Frostfest is a production of the Richmond Amateur Telecommunications Society, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit amateur radio club located in Richmond, Virginia. RATS is the operator of the W4RAT repeaters on 146.880MHz, 442.550MHz, and 443.5875MHz (analog and DMR). Frostfest serves as the club’s primary fundraiser, thus helping to support the club’s public service mission by keeping these public wide-area resources (and our served agencies) on the air.

* Whom should I contact if I have questions about anything Frostfest-related that is not answered in the FAQ?
Please click here to visit our Contact page, and let us know what’s on your mind.

* Where exactly is the Frostfest being held?
Frostfest is proud to host our event at the Richmond Raceway Complex, at 600 East Laburnum Ave. Richmond, VA 23222. Please click here for detailed directions, map coordinates, and easy-to-follow driving directions from just about anywhere.

* The Richmond Raceway Complex is huge! Which building will you be in?
We will be located in the main Exhibition Hall – the largest of the group of four buildings just inside the main entrance to the Raceway complex off of Laburnum Avenue. Here is a map of the Raceway Complex vicinity – if you zoom into the Raceway grounds, you can see the Exhibition Hall a couple hundred feet north of the red marker.

* What is the Talk-in Frequency?
Talk-in will be on the RATS 146.880 Repeater (standard –600 kHz offset). Our standard PL 74.4Hz will be turned on during talk-in to prevent interference from repeaters in Raleigh, NC and Greenbelt, MD that use similar frequencies.

* What are the Hours of the event?
Doors will open at 8:00AM for Early Bird ticket holders. Gate ticket sales begin at 8:30AM for everyone else, and we will operate until 3:30pm Saturday.

* How do I purchase a ticket for Frostfest?
Easy! Just click here to purchase your tickets here on our website. Folks who purchase their tickets online (“Early Bird” tickets) are eligible to enter the show as early as 8:00AM Saturday. You may also purchase your tickets the day of the show. Our ticket windows open at 8:30AM.

* Do you accept Credit Cards at the Ticket Booth?
No, we will only be accepting cash for ticket purchases Saturday morning. There is, however, an ATM on the front of the Exhibition Hall just a few feet from the main entrance.

* Will there be DXCC Card Checking at Frostfest?
Yes! There will be DXCC Card Checking at the RATS/ARRL tables along the rear wall of the Exhibition Hall, courtesy of Sterling Park Amateur Radio Club.

* Will there be an ATM at Frostfest?
The Richmond Raceway Complex has a Virginia Credit Union ATM just to the left of the main entrance to the Exhibition Hall. Fees may apply to use the machine. RATS/Frostfest has no control over this service, but we are assured by the facility that the ATM will be stocked and ready!

* I’m hungry – what about food?
The Exhibition Hall features a concession area in the front lobby. There are also a number of fast food restaurants within a short driving distance of the Frostfest. We can offer you directions and stamp your hand at the door so that you can re-enter Frostfest when you return.

* What are Frostfest Buck$?
Frostfest Buck$ are gift certificates to be used at the show. They are presented to the winners of certain door prizes; our Grand Prize, for example, is $1000 worth of Frostfest Buck$! These gift certificates can be spent like cash with any Frostfest vendor. So instead of winning something you might not need as door prize, you can purchase anything for sale at Frostfest – new, old, radio, antenna, computer, cable, rope, a hat embroidered with your call sign – whatever you want. Vendors love Frostfest Buck$ too, because we make it easy for them to get paid – it’s a win for everyone!

* What amenities are available in the RV campground?
Electrical service is available in some areas. No water or sewer hookups are available in the winter months, though there is a wastewater dumping station. See our RV Camping Information page for more information.

* Where can I stay while visiting Frostfest?
Many hotels and motels are within a few miles of the Raceway Complex. We have negotiated special Frostfest discounts with the properties listed here. Be sure to use the supplied links when making reservations to make sure that you get our discounted rate (calling a nationwide number or using the corporate websites for those properties may make it more difficult to book the correct discount).

* Can I use my Frostfest ticket to get into the Gun Show or Comicon?
Unlike in some previous years, there is no gun show or comic book convention at the Richmond Raceway Complex on the weekend of this year’s Frostfest.

* Did you guys raise your ticket prices?
Nope, still just $10. They have been the same price since 2013.

* Why are firearms and pets no longer welcome at Frostfest?
Put simply, lawyers. You may read the Raceway’s rules for attendees here.

FAQs for Vendors

* How do I register for a table?
You may order your tickets and tables right here on our website! Please click here to begin. We are also prepared to sell tables on Friday, January 31, 2020 and Saturday, February 1, 2020 while we are onsite. Please bear in mind that Frostfest has been a full sellout for the past several years, so there may not be any tables available on Saturday morning – your best bet is to purchase your tables early!

* What are the Rules for vendors?
All vendors at Frostfest must agree to our Terms and Conditions – a basic set of rules regarding prohibited items, legal responsibilities, and so on. Please click here to review them. 

* What are the Setup Times for Frostfest?
Friday load-in on January 31, 2020 runs from 10:00AM to 7:00PM. Saturday load-in on February 1, 2020 runs from 6:30AM to 8:00AM. Please note that no load-in or load-out is allowed through the main glass doors at the front of the building – please use the side and rear cargo doors for load-in.

* Are Vehicles allowed in the building?
Yes, drive-in loading is available to our vendors, but only on Friday, January 31, 2020. You may enter through the large door at the rear of the building starting at 10:00AM on Friday. We request that you drive in, drop your merchandise, then exit as quickly as you can. Later in the day, as the building fills up, it becomes more difficult to maneuver; accordingly, we will enforce a 2 hour time limit, and we also reserve the right to restrict or halt drive-in loading if deemed necessary for safety or other reasons. There is NO drive-in loading available on Saturday morning, but you may bring a vehicle back inside to load out starting at 3:30PM Saturday (or when deemed safe by Frostfest staff, law enforcement, or RRC staff).

* Is there a Loading Dock available?
Yes, a loading dock is available on the side of the building, for those dealers who may need to load in from a semi or other large truck. If you would like to make use of this facility, please let us know, so that we can make any necessary arrangements.

* Will there be Security at the Frostfest?
Richmond Raceway Complex will remain locked and guarded overnight, and security will be provided throughout the event. If you set up on Friday, we suggest covering your table(s) with a tarp once you are done setting up.

* What the heck are Frostfest Buck$, and why should I accept them as payment?
Frostfest Buck$ are gift certificates presented by the RATS/Frostfest team, which can only be used at the show. Winners can spend the certificates with *any vendor*, meaning that even General Sales vendors can participate. All you have to do is to accept the certificates as cash payment at face value, then bring those Frostfest Buck$ certificates to the show office (located in the front lobby of the building) anytime between 11:00AM and 5:00PM on the day of the show, and we will exchange them for cash. That’s it! No forms, no mailings, no fine print – just switch ’em for cash and you’re done. So easy!

This program has been so popular with vendors and attendees that several other East Coast hamfests have started their own gift certificate programs.

* Did you guys raise your table prices again? Why?
Yes. General sales tables are $40 this year, up from $35 the last few years. We go to great lengths to avoid raising prices, but since our expenses to produce the show go up every year, our prices need to rise occasionally too. Please bear in mind that Frostfest is produced by a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and that our entire team – from the chairman to the folks in the ticket booths – are all unpaid volunteers.

* What’s the deal with chairs?
Frostfest does not provide chairs to vendors. This is an example of our aggressive efforts to hold the line on expenses. Frostfest gets charged by the venue for every chair that gets used during the show; if we provided chairs to all of our vendors, we would then need to charge our vendors even more per table to offset the added expense. Instead, we simply ask that if you want or need a chair during the show, please bring one with you.