Thursday, September 1, 2005
Tonight 6 to 8 p.m. Gong Show at Chelsea's Chinese Restaurant, 116 Main St. $3. 7 p.m. Teen dance in the Soroco Middle School gym. 8 p.m. Bartender races on Main Street. 9 p.m. Casual Delusions at Colorado Bar, 100 Main St. $2. Saturday 7 to 10 a.m. Pancake breakfast in the Soroco High School commons area. 8 a.m. Soap Box Derby on Main Street. 9 a.m. Bed races on Main Street. 10 a.m. Let's Dance performance at the Let's Dance Studio. 10 a.m. Cribbage tournament in the Elk's Tavern, 104 Main St. 10 a.m. to noon Dart tournament at Big Tuna's, 107 Moffat St. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Kiddie Fun Fair/Petting zoo at Decker Park. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Car Bash on Main Street. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Roadside mine tours meet at Let's Dance Studio. 1 to 5 p.m. Bingo in the Ambulance Barn. 2 to 5 p.m. Summer concert in Decker Park. 4 to 6:30 p.m. Historical Society barbecue in Decker Park. 7 p.m. Comedy show and live music with Kuzins at Colorado Bar and Grill. $15. Sunday 7 to 10 a.m. Pancake breakfast at Socoro High School. 10 a.m. Fishing Derby at Decker Park. 10 a.m. Lee O'Neal Remembrance at the softball field. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Kiddie Fun and Petting Zoo in Decker Park. KFMU 30th birthday celebration in Decker Park. $1. 2 p.m. Myria jean 2:35 p.m. The Plagiarists 3:30 p.m. American Relay 4:35 p.m. Casual Delusion 5:30 p.m. Better Half 6:30 p.m. Inflight 7:30 p.m. Bandana and Friends 7 to 9 p.m. Teen skate party at the Hockey Rink 9 p.m. Kuzins at Colorado Bar and Grill, 100 Main St. Monday 8 a.m. Two-mile run/five-mile walk meets at the post office 10 a.m. Parade on Main Street. After the parade: Kiss the Pig, Skydivers, food and games in Decker Park. 1 to 5 p.m. Bingo in the Ambulance.
In 1975, KFMU was the kind of place where disc jockeys brought their records from home to work, where dogs were welcome and where, if you were hungry while you were on the air, you put on a record and walked next door to Mary Jane's Kitchen in Oak Creek.
"You'd let the whole album play -- as many tracks as it took for you to get your food," said D.K. Landers, who worked at KFMU from 1977 to 1978 and again from 1990 to 2003.
In those early days, KFMU was a downtown Oak Creek mainstay on the top floor of a building that is now a Laundromat.
"DJs made $1 an hour," Landers said, "And an ad cost $2.50."
The station was the dream of Elliott Bayley, a man who built wind generators in South Routt County.
His station ran on 55 watts of wind power.
"There were these old batteries that stored enough power for 24 hours in case the wind didn't blow," Landers said. The station was wind-powered until 1997, when a windstorm destroyed the equipment. These days, the station is solar-powered.
When he started the station, Bayley wanted an independent station that offered "something besides country music to the Yampa Valley," Landers said. At the time, KRAI was out of Craig, and KBCR played adult contemporary music.
During 30 years, KFMU has had six owners and moved from Oak Creek to Steamboat Springs.
"In all those years, KFMU has never had a grim, corporate-radio feel like so many of those cookie-cutter, monolithic companies that run a thousand stations," Landers said. "It's still an anomaly that way. It's live and local, and it's all about the music."
This weekend, KFMU and the town of Oak Creek will celebrate the station's 30th birthday as part of the town's Labor Day weekend festivities.
In honor of the station's beginnings, the theme of this year's Labor Day weekend is "Flashback to the Seventies." Following the theme, people are asked to dress in their best '70s outfits.
Oak Creek always throws a three-day party for Labor Day, but the station's birthday has taken the weekend to the next level.
The party starts tonight with a teen dance in the Soroco Middle School gym and a Gong Show at Chelsea's Chinese Restaurant on Main Street.
On Sunday, KFMU will host seven bands from Oak Creek, Steamboat and Los Angeles on a stage in Decker Park. There will be a beer garden and food for sale. IDs will be checked at the gate.
When there isn't music playing at the park or at the Colorado Bar & Grill, attendees can participate in events such as the bed races, a revived '70s tradition involving pushing a bed on wheels down Main Street.
People also can look forward to the bartender races, in which local bartenders, past and present, run down Main Street holding trays of plastic cups filled with water. Whoever finishes with the most water left in their cups is named the best bartender.
The music and activities continue through Monday morning with the Labor Day Parade down Main Street and an all-day picnic at Decker Park.
"This (Labor Day) is a lot bigger than usual," Labor Day Committee President Becky Wisecup said. "But we're already talking about next year."