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KVMR live broadcast waxes nostalgic about county fair

It isn’t every day you get to watch a live radio broadcast outside under some tall pines.

But once a year KVMR 89.5 FM does its usual — and unusual — programming live in front of Nevada County Fairgoers.

Leave it to the late, fabled folksinger/storyteller U. Utah Phillips to wax nostalgic about the Fair itself.



“Everything in the world moves a little too quickly,” he said in a “Loafer’s Glory” broadcast a decade or so 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.

“It’s as though they freeze dried the kids and the animals, then put water on them to reconstitute them for this year’s fair,” Phillips continued. “And, as living proof of that, that’s exactly what I said about it last year.”




KVMR’s live remote broadcast begins at 10 a.m. each fair day, running until 6:30 p.m. weeknights, 6 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming). The station began the Fair broadcasts in 1995.

Its on-air booth is located at the end of Treat Street near the Nevada City Methodist Church bratwurst stand, 4H salad/breakfast concession and the pony rides.

That’s where you’ll hear a mix of KVMR’s eclectic music shows, as well as interviews with community leaders, nonprofit organization representatives, 4H Club ribbon winners, musical and theater artists, environmental and peace activists, plus the occasional farm animal.

“Although I do get a little nervous around large livestock,” notes Friday afternoon Music Magazine host Hap Hazard. “You never know what they’re going to say.”

KVMR’s Evening News joins the fun as well and airs live from the Fair at 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, with interviews from various sides of the political spectrum.

Skip Alan Smith, co-host of the native American “Dreamwalk” show at 10 a.m. Thursday, has been known to sample a Job’s Daughters corn dog or two on air.

At noon Thursday, Marc Cuniberti brings “Money Matters” to the KVMR booth. And Paule Castro hosts a live version of the popular “Flea Market”, asking fairgoers what they have to sell, trade or give away instead of the usual phone calls at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Veteran musician Homer Wills and singer-songwriter Juliette Gobert provide live music at the booth during Friday’s 10 a.m. edition of “Nevada City Limits” hosted by Dennis Brunnenmeyer.

FREED Center for Independent Living Executive Director Ana Acton then hosts “Disability Rap” at noon in honor of the Fair’s “Disability Day”.

Next up?

Awww, Ana’s proud mother, Robyn Martin, a longtime host of “Garden Forum”, which airs Friday at 1 p.m. She’ll talk with Fair foodies and ribbon-winning gardeners when she’s not boasting about her daughter.

It doesn’t get much better than that in small town radio, especially under those tall pines.

UTAH ENCORE

As U. Utah Phillips said earlier in this article, the County Fair is something you can count on to be the same year after year.

And just to prove it, KVMR will air an encore presentation of a “Loafer’s Glory” broadcast from the fairgrounds Sunday night at 8 p.m. (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming)

It could be the year his son Brendan played musical saw. Or the time his sister Deborah made farm animal sounds.

But it’ll be a slice of Fair history.

A weekly wrap-up of news and oddities about community radio station KVMR (89.5 FM, kvmr.org 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 <bridgestreetproject.org> Complete program listings are available at kvmr.org


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