Photo courtesy Rich Clemens

Mountaineer Amateur Radio Association to participate in most popular on-the-air event in U.S., Canada

FAIRMONT — The Mountaineer Amateur Radio Association (MARA) will be participating in the 2021 ARRL Field Day Exercises. This event is the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in the U.S. and Canada.

On the fourth weekend of June of each year, thousands of radio amateurs (hams) gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations. In the case of MARA, it is located at their tower and Field Day Site located off E. Grafton Road and Williams Crossroads Way in Marion County.

Field Day is a picnic, a camp-out, practice for emergencies, an informal contest and, most of all, FUN! It is a time where many aspects of Amateur Radio come together to highlight our many roles. While some will treat it as a contest, other groups use the opportunity to practice their emergency response capabilities. It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Amateur Radio to the organizations that Amateur Radio might serve in an emergency, as well as the general public. For many clubs, ARRL Field Day is one of the highlights of their annual calendar.

The contest part is simply to contact as many other stations as possible and to learn to operate our radio gear in abnormal situations and less than optimal conditions. Away from typical power sources and without many of the comforts of home. This training exercise allows teams to help train for emergency situations when the normal power, internet, telephone, and such services we enjoy daily are not available.

Often called “ham radio,” the Amateur Radio Service has been around for a century. In that time, it’s grown into a worldwide community of licensed operators using the airwaves with every conceivable means of communications technology. Its people range in age from youngsters to grandparents. Even rocket scientists and a rock star or two are in the ham ranks. Most, however, are just normal folks like you and me who enjoy learning and being able to transmit voice, data and pictures through the air to unusual places, both near and far, without depending on commercial systems.

For those members of the public or press that would like to visit the site during the event please contact or for detailed directions to the site and schedule of times for visiting.

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