The Wadena Area Amateur Radio Club succeeded in doubling their attendance at the recent third annual Arctic Blast Ham Fest event in Bertha, Jan. 11.

Looking forward to an even bigger and better event next year, the organizers plan to host next year's event in a larger venue in Wadena, according to a news release from the club. The club hopes to bring out enthusiasts from the region and reach out further to operators from Fargo and Minneapolis.

Attendees to the event included ham radio operators and their families from around the area and members of the general public, as well as amateur radio clubs from St. Cloud and Brainerd.

During the Ham Fest, WAARC Club President Andrew Browne (KD0WCH) presented a lifetime achievement award to Blake Rickbeil (N0WSH) of Bertha, and Don Snorek (K0EMS) of Wadena, for years of hard work in promoting, sharing experiences, knowledge and personal enthusiasm for the art and science of radio. The two have spent countless hours teaching ham radio classes and training new operators to become proficient in emergency communications.

Ham Fest is a convention of amateur radio enthusiasts and combines a trade show and flea market with various other activities including educational programs, according to a news release from the local radio club.

WAARC is a non-profit, all volunteer organization. For more information, contact WAARC at, or go to the WAARC Facebook page.