Forty KVMR listeners gathered outside the Madelyn Helling Library on Sunday for the radio station’s second annual Caravan of Love.
The trailer was a safe, public demonstration of Nevada County’s pandemic love and resilience last year. This year, the event maintained the same mission with fewer participating cars, but great enthusiasm.
“It’s a super simple message – hearts and love,” station manager Ali Lightfoot said. “It’s about coming together on this beautiful day and being surrounded by people who uplift us.”
Lightfoot said the intent behind the event was to spread positive vibes through a method the station knows has been proven to work.
“We are experiencing polarization and negativity on the streets – on our streets,” Lightfoot said, adding that the station’s mission aligns with its specialty – community gatherings and music. “Things like love and music – those are obvious things to do to feel better. We thought, ‘Let’s do the obvious to bring in the positive.’ »
Regine Wilson, a 17-year Nevada County resident, helped design and orchestrate last year’s trailer. This year, she and her partner were parked in front of the line before the motorcade reached Broad Street in downtown Nevada City and then East Main Street in Grass Valley.
“KVMR would like to reach out to everyone and be as apolitical as possible,” Wilson said, adding that the simplest version of the message the station hopes to deliver with the event is apparent in the Beatles song, “All you Need is Love”. .”
Wilson said she started listening to the public radio station after hearing about its broadcast course from a woman waiting in line at the grocery store three years ago.
Wilson was given a mentor and taught how to use studio equipment. The hopeful disc jockey said she had two shows on the station between midnight and 4 a.m. before the station’s paid DJs began broadcasting from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I applied to be part of the KVMR board during COVID-19 because I have some experience in this area,” said Wilson, who remains committed to the radio station’s community mission, although that his DJ dreams have since faded with his knowledge of the station’s equipment.
Last weekend’s caravan was just one of the events planned by the station.
Station manager Ali Lightfoot said a scaled-down version of the station’s Celtic festival, which has been canceled for the past two consecutive years, will take place this fall.
According to the station’s website, the two-day event attracts 7,000 Irish folk music fans to the area and is KVMR’s main fundraising event of the year. The station normally schedules the event a year in advance, Lightfoot said, which is why it isn’t on the station’s September schedule yet, even though mask mandates have been lifted.
Lightfoot said the final date remains tentative, but the station is considering the possibility of a smaller version of the event this fall in the form of a one-day festival showcasing local musicians of the genre.
Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at [email protected]