The Fair on KVMR: Where Everything Doesn’t Move Too Quickly |

The Fair on KVMR: Where Everything Doesn’t Move Too Quickly

Jimmy LaFave
submitted |

To the late, legendary folksinger/storyteller U. Utah Phillips, the Nevada County Fair is an annual ritual.

“Everything in the world moves a little too quickly,” he theorized in a KVMR broadcast from the festivities maybe 15 years ago. “But you walk into the gate to this fair and everything is exactly where it was last year, the year before and the year before that.”

Then he added this observation, with a twinkle in his eye.

“It’s as though they freeze dry the kids and the animals, then put water on them to reconstitute them for this year’s fair…”

“And, as living proof of that, that’s exactly what I said about it last year.”

Phillips saw the Fair as one part of community that stays constant year after year.

Since at least 1995, with just one exception, KVMR’s live remote broadcast of the Fair has also been an annual staple of the eclectic, non-commercial radio station’s August programming.

This year, the Nevada City station will broadcast over 40 hours live from the Nevada County Fairgrounds, beginning at 10 a.m. and going to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday (89.5 FM, streaming)

There’ll be a bevy of nonprofit leaders, 4-H Club members, Treat Street cooks, environmental and political activists, ribbon winners plus the occasional farm animal, among those to be interviewed.

Last year, one duck put up quite a fuss during a Music Magazine interview segment. And smiles abounded.

Plus station officials expect a number of live music performances during the Fair broadcasts. First time volunteer fair broadcast producer Al Camillo has been busy organizing the 100 or so broadcasters, producers and engineers who will make the remote happen.

The KVMR broadcast comes from the station’s on-air booth, located at the end of Treat Street near the Nevada City Methodist Church bratwurst stand, a 4-H salad/breakfast concession and the inevitable pony rides. Room to sit and watch live radio being made remotely comes courtesy of some well-placed hay bales.


Roots singer-songwriter artist Jimmy LeFave has been a longtime favorite among KVMR’s Americana broadcasters and listeners. Now the station will present an intimate, up-close-and-personal performance from LaFave as it records his live show at the Palms Playhouse in Winters this week for broadcast Sunday 7 to 9 p.m. (89.5 FM, streaming).

LeFave — a Texas native credited with crafting a musical style called Red Dirt music when he turned to the profession in the 1980s — has recorded over 15 albums, including this year’s “The Night Tribe.”

He’s known for his original writing as well as his interpretive covers of songs by the likes of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and others.

LaFave has also become known for his work on behalf of the music of Woody Guthrie, including serving on the board that produces an annual Guthrie festival in Oklahoma.

KVMR broadcasters Wesley Robertson and Kim Rogers will host the special LaFave “On The Road Live” concert broadcast.


Friday is the last day for KVMR listeners and community members to donate CDs and LPs in good condition to the non-profit radio station for inclusion in the station’s annual Music Sale later this month.

Contributions need to be brought to the station’s offices at 120 Bridge Street at Spring Street in downtown Nevada City, across the street from the Miner’s Foundry. Donors can receive a tax deduction for the music albums.

The Music Sale will take place Saturday, Aug. 29 at KVMR’s new Community Room.

(A weekly wrap-up of news and oddities about community radio station KVMR (89.5 FM, streaming), a noncommercial station offering diverse musical programming, independent news and provocative public affairs from about 180 volunteer “citizen-broadcasters.” A video and other information about the station’s new building is available at <> Complete program listings are available at )

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