Free vintage and retro radio appraisals at ARCI’s Radiofest

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With slight damage to the tuner (cap), this seldom-offered "Sparkling Pepsi Cola" radio sold for $900 against a presale estimate of $1,000 to $1,500 during Roland Auctioneer & Valuers' (New York) Winter Wonderland Auction, held Feb. 26, 2011. The Pepsi Cola radio measures 24 inches tall and displays wear on the graphics. Photo courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com

WILLOWBROOK, Ill. – The Antique Radio Club of Illinois (ARCI) will be holding its 31st annual Radiofest Aug. 4-6, 2011 at the Willowbrook Holiday Inn Convention Center in Willowbrook, Ill. The theme of this special show is “100 Years of Amateur Radio.” Radiofest is one of the largest gatherings of radio collectors in the United States; collectors from across the country, Canada, Europe and Australia gather annually for this event. The Willowbrook location along the I-55 corridor is no more than 30 minutes from downtown Chicago, and Midway and O’Hare airports.


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Radiofest opens with a large radio auction on Thursday evening, Aug. 4. Top-of-the-line radios, rare advertising, vintage television and phonograph items are the often featured fare. The thrill of a live auction creates a high energy opening to Radiofest. The public is welcome to sell their radios at the auction for a nominal charge.

Friday morning starts early with the radio flea market. More than 200 selling spaces are filled with radios, phonographs, televisions, parts for restorations and, for many, nostalgic memories of the past.

Also on Friday, ARCI provides free “Radio Appraisals.” The public can bring in actual radios or pictures of their radio. Experts will advise them of condition, the age of the radio, suggestions for restoration and an approximate value.

Radiofest offers educational seminars to club members (annual dues are only $20). This year’s sessions include “The Vacuum Tube Audio Forum” by Pete Nauseda, Karl Johnson and Terry Shaver; “Vacuum Tube Numbering Systems” by Bob Dobush; “Ham Radio Forum” by Bill Ross (W9WR); “The Process of Broadcasting” by Al Germond; “Seeing Sound” by Bret Mesassa and “Chicago Experimental Television” by Steve Jajkowski.

Friday also brings fantastic displays of rare and unusual radios and other items in the annual Equipment Contest. This temporary museum features seldom-seen examples of radios and related memorabilia typically not seen by the public. A special exhibit will include a display titled “Amateur Radios from Spark to Solid State.”

This year ARCI is also proud to have Wise Guys as the entertainment at the Friday evening banquet. Wise Guys is a talented comedy show with great music and a wonderful trip down memory lane. Tickets are available at Radiofest until noon Aug. 5.

Radiofest concludes Aug. 6. The flea market continues until noon. The ARCI also hosts a large donation auction where the proceeds support the club. Radios and related items are sold at the auction without reserve, often as low as $5. This final event brings out the bargain hunters!

There is no general admission fee for any of the selling areas, and the public is invited to attend. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in uniform may attend all activities free of charge except the banquet.
Radiofest is a premier event for radio enthusiasts. Additional details can be found on the ARCI website.



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