On-the-air meeting to plan TRF parade participation

Three Rivers Festival parade logoThe Fort Wayne Radio Club is proposing that we (Amateur Radio operators of the Fort Wayne and surrounding area) should participate in the upcoming parade on the opening day of this year’s Three Rivers Festival. The date is July 11, and the parade will take place between 10 a.m. and noon on that Saturday.

The reason for participating is to put Amateur Radio in the spotlight at a venue where over 100,000 people will see it. It is a lot of publicity in a small amount of time. Our plan is to showcase several different aspects of our hobby and service.


There will be an initial on-the-air planning meeting on Wednesday night, May 13, at 7 p.m. on the FWRC 146.94 MHz repeater. We need to begin nailing down some of our operational details. We need the input of the amateur community in putting together this operation. Please consider the following points:


  1. The theme of the parade this year is “Here’s to Zoo”. This is a reference to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo 50th anniversary. We need to somehow tie our parade theme into this is some way, although not necessarily a strict tie. We need ideas, here. We have proposed something like “Safari World Wide via Radio”, or “Wild Adventure on the Air Waves,” etc. (got any ideas??).
  2. This is not just an FWRC thing. Hams from all clubs in the surrounding area are welcome to join us.
  3. We want to showcase all the different aspects of the hobby. So we will want to show off Community Service, DXing, ARES, SKYWARN, fox hunting, contesting, technology, STEM, you get the general idea.
  4. We are thinking of a combination of walking and vehicles. The parade is about 1.75 miles in length, so it is not a difficult walk, but we would like to have vehicles, cars and trucks and vans, with amateur equipment; antennas; etc. We also need these vehicles to take care if someone cannot complete the walk for whatever reason.
  5. We are allowed to hand out printed material about Amateur Radio. The parade requires that material not be commercial or political in nature, and that suits us easily.
  6. New banners are in order, to get our message to the public. Suggestions are needed here. This is another part of the planning process.
  7. This effort will be coordinated by Kim Machamer, KB9DOS, and Steve Nardin, W9SAN. We need others to step forward and help with the planning process and coordination of effort. We don’t have a lot of time, and there is another big event to plan: Field Day on June 26, 27, and 28.

Please consider these proposals and volunteer to help any way you can. If you can’t make the on-the-air meeting, but would like to help, please contact Kim or Steve via the following:

  • Steve Nardin, W9SAN, w9san@arrl.net, 260-482-4039 (leave message)
  • Kim Machamer, KB9DOS, kimandjim@juno.com

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