Local amateur radio operators, also known as hams, will commemorate the 163rd birthday of Minnesota statehood with a special event called the “Minnesota Birthday Bash” in Stillwater’s Pioneer Park on May 11.

The South East Metro Amateur Radio Club will have several radio stations operating in a variety of frequencies and modes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to a press release from SEMARC. The public is invited to watch and ask questions about ham radio.

The location of the event was selected because of its proximity to the place where a group of Minnesota leaders met in 1848 to write a petition requesting Congress to establish a territory that led to statehood on May 11, 1858.

Ham radio operators use their equipment to talk across town, around the world, or even into space, all without the Internet or cell phones, the release states.

They can provide communications during emergencies, often without a commercial power source, in support of non-profit and governmental organizations, such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and the National Weather Service. Although ham radio operators share a common a basic knowledge of radio technology and operating principles.

Pioneer Park is located on North Second Street overlooking the St. Croix River.

For more information visit www.semarc.org.

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