To mark the centennial of the Kern County Fair, The Californian wants your memories. What has the fair meant to you? What is your first or happiest memory of the fair? Have you competed in the fair? Tell us about the experience. Whatever moves you about the fair is, yes, fair game.

Send your fair memory to Entertainment Editor Jennifer Self at or mail it to her at PO Bin 440, Bakersfield, Calif., 93302. Include your first and last name and phone number, which will not be published. Please share pictures if you have them (though they will not be returned). Your story should be no more than 400 words and may be edited for length or clarity. If your memory is published in The Californian, you will receive two tickets to the 2016 Kern County Fair, which runs from Sept. 21 to Oct. 2.

Sonnet Thornburgh Barr’s fair memory:

Sonnet Thornburgh Barr found among her late father’s papers a wonderful piece of fair history: “County of Kern: First with the Best from the West,” a booklet of sheet music published in 1925.

From her note to the paper:

“My Dad, Floyd Thornburgh, lived in Kern County from the age of 9 months so he was pretty much a ‘native.’ He passed away at the age of 105 in 2011. (You did an article on his 100th birthday in August of 2006.)

“I am sending this to you and give you permission to keep, share, throw away, as you wish. My husband and I teach Enlish in Moscow most of the year and just happened to be here this week. But we will be back in time for the fair!

“I know you will be enjoying the many stories that all of Kern County will share with you about the fair. Personally my favorite was when I had a Reserve Grand Champion Spring Heifer — eons ago!”

The song lyrics are by Douglas M. Allen (music composed by Mary Crane Garrard):

Rugged mountain peaks rise Touch-ing in - di - go skies, And the

foot-hills lie sun-drench'd be-low them. ———— At their fee spreads the val-ley All

pur-ple and gold, A-cres and a-cres of farm-land un - fold. From the

e-ter-nal snows Swift the Kern Riv - er flows, Spread-ing green through the

far-reach-ing plain. —————— The des - ert fan - tas - tic, Weaves spells and works

mag - ic With col - or and sand - stone and rain. ——————


Then come and live in Kern Coun - ty, Suc - cess is wait - ing you

here. ————— We've oil and soil and heav - ens blue, Sun that's

shin - ing the whole year through. You'd bet - ter come to Kern Coun

ty, To look all a - round you and learn ————— What peo - ple like

we are, Can show folks like you are, Here in the Coun - ty called Kern.

We're first with the best In the West, and the rest That we

want you to know of Kern County - ty ——— Is of busi-ness and cit - ies, Li

- brar-ies and schols, Of high-ways and pave-ments, and clean swim-ming pools. Then we've

fruit, stock and mines, And our cot - ton you'll find Is the best Cali - i

- for - nia has knows. ————— We've oil from the West side And Kern Riv - er

hill - sides, and the ear - li -est grapes that are grown. ————

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