To promote youth involvement with Amateur Radio, the East Greenbush Amateur Radio Association (EGARA) will offer free admission to its 15th annual “Hamfest” to all high school and college students who present their school ID at the event on Saturday, May 12th. The Hamfest will run from 8 am to 1 pm at the East Greenbush Fire Department at 68 Philips Road in East Greenbush, New York.
The Hamfest brings together Amateur Radio operators from all over the Greater Capital District and adjoining states. The event features an opportunity for fellow hams to meet, learn, and to buy and sell ham radio gear and accessories.
“Amateur Radio is at the very heart of today’s emphasis on STEM education and includes every aspect of it -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math,” said Tom Scorsone, KC2FCP, the club’s president. “To encourage students to learn more about becoming a ‘ham’ we are offering them free admission to our event this year when they present their student ID.”
Educational information about the hobby will be available at the Hamfest through the club’s partnership with the American Radio Relay League – known as ARRL – the organization that represents the interests of ham radio.
“There’s a perception that ham radio is old technology that’s been replaced by things like cell phones and the Internet,” said Scorsone. “But Amateur Radio is as relevant today as it was a hundred years ago. Just look at what happened in Puerto Rico after last year’s devastating hurricane – cell phones and Internet were knocked out. Yet Amateur Radio operators were still able to communicate with the outside world and stepped in to provide emergency communications when everything else failed.”
General admission to EGARA’s Hamfest is $6.00 and includes free parking. Children under 12 who are accompanied by an adult will also be admitted free and receive free ice cream.
A Grand Prize of a dual-band VHF/UHF mobile ham radio system will be given away, and a First Prize of a tri-band portable radio will also be offered. Many other door prizes will also be given away throughout the event. In addition, food and refreshments will also be available.