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Madrid merriment: Carnival benefits year-old community radio station

Oscar Huber Memorial Ballpark.

Oscar Huber Memorial Ballpark.

Pack up the kids and head north to one of Madrid’s famous sites for carnival games, music and fun on Sunday, June 19.

The Oscar Huber Memorial Ballpark will be the site of a community carnival held by KMRD-LP Madrid Community Radio 96.9 FM. The radio station is celebrating its first anniversary and inviting the community to learn more about the radio station and raise money for the nonprofit.

“The ballpark is so historic and sits here still today,” said Stella Linder Byrne, station manager at KMRD 96.9 FM. “It is used daily in Madrid. As the town park, it is a historically significant spot that a lot of people have put a lot of energy into preserving and restoring. The restoration of the grandstand was done by Madrid Cultural Projects. That organization is the local nonprofit license holder for the radio station.”

Thomas Edison provided lighting to the historic baseball field during the 1920s. The ballpark has been gradually restored, and new grandstands and an outfield fence were added last year.

On Sunday, the ballpark will be filled with local performers, carnival games and food vendors who will be selling light carnival treats such as hot dogs and snow cones. Carnival game tickets will be sold for a low cost to help raise money for the free-form community radio station.

“We have a bunch of games, sort of different carnival games and activities such as a Dunk-a-DJ and a ring toss that someone is building from scratch,” Byrne said. “It’s a DIY carnival. There are no dangerous rides. There are some light carnival snacks and some music and entertainment and performers, mostly Madrid music folks. It’s all different, from traditional to probably New Age electronic stuff, too.”

The station has a number of DJs who volunteer to do weekly slots. Weekly shows range from an hour to three hours.

“We have almost 70 local weekly DJs, which is pretty incredible for a population this size,” Byrne said.