Despite the Internet, cell phones, email and modern communications, every year whole regions find themselves in the dark. Tornadoes, fires, storms, ice and even the occasional cutting of fiber optic cables leave people without the means to communicate. In these cases, the one consistent service that has never failed has been Amateur Radio. These radio operators, often called “hams” provide backup communications for everything from the American Red Cross to FEMA and even for the International Space Station. Members of the Marinette and Menominee  Amateur Radio Club will join with thousands of other Amateur Radio operators showing their emergency capabilities this weekend. 

From 1pm Saturday June 24 to 1pm Sunday June 25 the public will have a chance to meet and talk with area ham radio operators and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about as hams across the USA will be holding public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities. 

This annual event, called “Field Day” has been held annually since the 1930’s. Using only emergency power, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country. Their slogan, “When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Works” is more than just words to the hams as they prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis. More than 35,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year’s event. 

The Marinette and Menominee Amateur Radio Club will again be setting up their Field Day station on the Jones property on 32nd Avenue west of 18th Street in Menominee. Members of the public are encouraged to visit the local Field Day site to learn more about the hobby.  

Directions from the North:  After stop light at M35 and US41 take the first right turn onto 38th Ave.  Go to 13th St. and turn left.  Drive down to 32nd Ave. and turn right and go about six blocks.  Directions from the South:  At the first traffic light on US41 entering Michigan turn left onto 13th St.  Drive north until 32nd Ave. and turn left.  Go about six blocks west to Field Day.