KPCW celebrates 30 years
On July 2, 1980, the radio frequency at 91.9 FM crackled to life with the voice of station founder Blair Feulner: "You’re listening to 91.9 FM, KPCW, the station that Park City built."
In its primitive moments on air, the station played a tune from a local country western group, The Park City Rhythm Wranglers, and introduced its first volunteer disc jockey, Howard Kadwitt.
That night, two celebrations were held in honor of the town’s foray into radio broadcast, Feulner recalls. An official "wire-cutting" ceremony was held at Car 19, a Main Street restaurant and bar, with emcee Tom Bock, the city council, Mayor Jack Green, and the Lt. Governor in attendance.
Across town, a second party was held under a tent in Prospector that drew nearly the entire adult population. "My recollection is that there were at least 500 people there," Feulner says.
That party featured a live band, dancing and a spirit of reveling not unlike that which will undoubtedly pervade KPCW’s 30th birthday celebration this Friday.
The annual KPCW/Cole Sport Summer Bash is organized each year with support from Cole Sport, one of the station’s community sponsors.
This year’s celebration will be held on July 2, the same day Fuelner signed on three decades ago, at the Town Lift Plaza on lower Main Street. Kids’ activities will begin at 5 p.m. with a live performance by Motherlode Canyon Band starting at 6 p.m.
The event itself is free with the stipulation that guests will purchase food and beverages from vendors including Butcher’s Chop House, Davanza’s Pizza, The Bridge Cafe and Grill, Kumbayah Kitchens, Sugar Buzz and High West Distillery. Beer and wine will be available at pavilions set up by Big Four Distributing Co. and the Park City Food & Wine Classic.
Participating eateries will charge $10 per plate and all food and drink purchases will go toward supporting KPCW.
Guests will have the opportunity to make memories and capture candid moments in photo sessions provided at no charge by ShutterBooth, which creates customized photos for special events.
According to the station’s general manager, Larry Warren, who took the helm in May, the Summer Bash is the ultimate party for Park City locals. "It’s where everybody in town who’s interested in good music, food and drink gathers on a summer evening," he says. "It’s a heck of a good party, and it’s also an important fundraiser for [KPCW]."
The Bash in previous years has been held the night before the Park City Kimball Arts Festival, but a change in date to coincide with the station’s anniversary seemed prudent.
On Friday morning from 9 to 10 a.m., KPCW news director Leslie Thatcher will host a special broadcast featuring figures from the station’s history, including Feulner, who resigned in 2008.
Parkites who have had experiences with the station over the past 30 years whether it helped locate a lost dog, find a ride, or endure a particularly heinous desk job are encouraged to call the studio line at 655-8255 and share stories on air.
For more information about KPCW and the KPCW/Cole Sport Summer Bash, visit http://kpcw.org.
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