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Photo courtesy of Hank Shiao

The Shafter Symphony at the organization's first concert last June, at the Fred L. Starrh Performing Arts Center at Shafter High.

Although you might question what it has to do with art, the 5K Fun Run added to this year's celebration of the arts in Shafter is perfectly in tune with the title of the event: Colours.

All that's required for the race is a $35 entrance fee, a white T-shirt and a good sense of humor.

"We're doing the 5K run where people will have colors thrown on them at various stations along the path," said Larry Starrh, a founder of the event. "By the end of the run/walk their white shirts are multicolored, and it's fun to do too."

Also new this year is Sounds at Brookside, a night of acoustic music at a local coffee house featuring contemporary Christian performer Topher Daniels, formerly the lead singer of the group Melee.

And then there's the 34-member Shafter Symphony making its first appearance at Colours, now is in its third year.

"We started it last summer to see if there was support for (a symphony), and there was," said conductor Stephen Penner.

The orchestra will close the four-day event with a concert Sunday evening at the Fred L. Starrh Performing Arts Center at Shafter High School.

Their program includes two pieces by Mozart, the Overture to "Don Giovanni" and "A Little Night Music"; "The Hebrides," a tone poem by Mendelssohn; and Beethoven's 7th Symphony.

Like many people involved with Colours, Penner lives in Bakersfield but has a Shafter connection. He grew up in the city, which is about 20 miles northwest of downtown Bakersfield.

Others, like Radon Fortenberry, who's coordinating the visual art exhibit at the Veterans Hall, have lived in the area all their lives.

"I was born within the city limits but now we live out in the country on 21/2 acres," said the retired Shafter High School coach. Although not an artist himself, he and his wife, Judy, collect art and have many friends in the art community.

The gallery will be open throughout the weekend, but the highlight is a $50-per-person wine tasting from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday where guests can mingle with the artists. Nancy Goehring selected the wines, which are from six different wineries.

Sixteen artists have been invited to show their work, and Fortenberry anticipates there will be about 60 pieces in the exhibit.

"At least half of the artists showing are from this area or close to it," Fortenberry said. "Joaquin Patino, a teacher who mentored a lot of people will be here -- I think he may bring some of his pottery."

Also expected to attend is Curt Maynard, a former Shafter High art teacher who now is a Bakersfield resident.

"It's a fairly diverse exhibit," Fortenberry said. "Gary New, who used to be a set designer and art director in movies and television, is bringing models for certain scenes he's done. It's a hands-on thing; you can leaf through his portfolio and see some of his work."

Several stage performances will be presented throughout the weekend at three different venues.

Students at Shafter High will present "Broadway in Shafter"; radio personality Dan Shaffer will star in "The Last Singing Cowboy," a musical written by Larry Starrh; and Randy Messick will direct "Wild Oats," a comedy written in the 18th century by Irish writer John O'Keeffe.

Two silent movies will be shown: "The Mark of Zorro" and "Peter Pan." Both will be shown at the Congregational Bible Church and will be accompanied by Robert Salisbury on the organ.

One of the more unusual Clours events, the Parade of Lights, begins at 6:15 p.m. Saturday. In recognition of Shafter's agricultural roots, a stream of brightly lit and colorfully decorated tractors and other types of farm equipment will gather on East Tulare Avenue and continue west to Mannel Park in the center of town.

Starrh said one-half of the net proceeds will be used for scholarships and grants.

Incidentally, if you're wondering about the British spelling of the word, it's because Starrh borrowed the idea from the annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.