The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum will join more than 400 lighthouses from throughout the world for International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW) Friday, Aug. 16, to Sunday, Aug. 18, with support from the St. Augustine Amateur Radio Society (SAARS) on the museum grounds.
SAARS members will operate the HAM radios and communicate with lighthouses all over the globe. The weekend festivities begin at 4 p.m. on Friday and run through 7 p.m. on Sunday. Most members will rotate shifts through the entire 48 hours.
“We always enjoy participating in this worldwide event,” said Executive Director Kathy A. Fleming. “It brings together so many groups of people who are passionate about the history and care of our historic lighthouses. We appreciate all the volunteers from the St. Augustine Amateur Radio Society who help us connect with the world and share the story of our lighthouse.”
This annual event began in 1998 as a way for lighthouses, lightships and maritime beacons to connect with each other via amateur radio and advocate for the preservation of these historic structures. Major amateur radio organizations such as the Radio Society of Great Britain, the Amateur Radio League of America and the Wireless Institute of Australia support and promote this event.
A tent will be set up in front of the St. Augustine Lighthouse to serve as ILLW headquarters. During regular visiting hours — from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. — museum guests are welcome to visit the tent to listen and watch as SAARS communicates with other participants around the globe.
Marking its 22nd anniversary this year, the event attracts over 500 lighthouse entries located in over 40 countries. Today, it is one of the most popular international amateur radio events in the world.
For information about the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, visit staugustinelighthouse.org or call 904-829-0745.