If you've ever wanted to talk with someone in another country by two-way radio, Lexington-area ham radio operators will offer the opportunity this weekend.
Bluegrass Amateur Radio Society members will continuously operate three radio stations at Lexington's Veterans Park from 2 p.m. Saturday to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Visitors can drop by anytime during the 24-hour period to learn about amateur radio and use the society's radio equipment to talk with ham operators in other countries.
Guests also are invited to bring a covered dish and join in dinner, which the radio society will host at the park at 6 p.m. Saturday, according to society spokesman Wilson Wells.
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Society members will be operating at Pavilion 1 in Veterans Park.
The activities are all part of Amateur Radio Field Day, when ham radio groups all over the country hold events to demonstrate their hobby.
Over the decades, ham radio operators have offered various public services, from providing communications during major disasters to keeping service members overseas in touch with families back home.
Wells acknowledged that interest in the hobby has declined somewhat with the advent of cellphones. But ham radio can do things cellphones can't, he said.
For example, so many people called for information following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that Boston phone systems were overloaded. Ham enthusiasts helped fill the communications gap, Wells said.
Locally, ham operators helped keep communications open during the 2003 Lexington storm, he said.