CSUB will open its doors to its new class of incoming freshmen along with the rest of Kern Country this weekend for a fun (and educational) day of events showcasing all the school has to offer, along with the many talents of its current students and faculty.
Event organizer Toni Jacobs, who attended CSUB following high school and has worked in the credentials office for nearly 30 years, knows firsthand the value of having a four-year university right in your back yard.
"I've been at CSUB for nearly all of my adult life," Jacobs said. "I started out as a freshman in college, and I've been here ever since. I'm 52 years old now, and I'm so grateful for everything Cal State did for me; I just felt like we needed some type of community event and on campus, an event that would allow us all to come together and show what CSUB brings to the table."
The day's roster of activities begins with a 5K fun run/walk and pancake breakfast. Registration is open to anyone, and sign-ups will be held from 7 to 8 a.m. in front of the Student Recreation Center.
In addition to the run, an assortment of activities will continue throughout the afternoon, including carnival games, circle painting, chemistry and other science-related demonstrations (like using solar panels to bake chocolate chip cookies).
"People should feel comfortable coming onto our grounds, and when you do come, let's stimulate and challenge one another," Jacobs said. "For many kids, this could be their first chance to set foot on and see what's going on at a college campus. It just puts a huge smile on my face; I'm just so proud to be a part of this -- it just makes sense to me."
There's no better way to show off the stellar abilities of the CSUB students, staff, faculty, and the rest of its community supporters than a community talent show. Thus, Jacobs and other organizers decided it was time to revamp and resurrect the Celebrate CSUB talent show. Like its new title suggests, Bakersfield's got Talent is modeled after the similarly named reality show.
After auditioning nearly 50 people, ranging in age from 11 to 35, a panel of judges managed to narrow down the acts to 13 finalists -- all of whom will vie for the $1,000 first-place prize in their final performance on Saturday.
Spirit coordinator Arthur Smith was surprised and pleased by the diversity of the acts he saw come across the audition stage and by the quality of the performances as well.
"The talent that we saw really blew myself and the judges away," Smith said. "I think that we just have some phenomenal performers in the Bakersfield area."
Starting at 11:30 a.m., all of the finalists -- with performances ranging from tap dancers to rock bands -- will perform, with critiques, scores, and top prizes awarded on the spot.
"I really think this is a good event for the members of the community to come out and view because it's doing just that -- showcasing the community," Smith said. "It's not exclusive to CSUB students; the individuals that are singing and dancing up there are members of the community; they're your neighbors."