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  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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When Lanora Frazier set out to make a quilt featuring all the presidents, Barack Obama had just been elected the 44th president of the United States. When she finally finished it, Obama was serving the last month of his term. She didn't intend for the project to stretch over the eight years …

  • By PETE TITTL For The Californian
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Over the past eight years, many, many chain restaurants have undergone rough times. Logan’s Roadhouse, having emerged from bankruptcy in November, is one such chain with a Bakersfield restaurant that is scrambling to survive. 

  • By MATT MUNOZ For The Californian
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Bakersfield will get a rare opportunity to experience one of Jamaica’s hottest artists when acclaimed reggae singer-songwriter Protoje appears Sunday at the Fox.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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In news that may be more shocking than the leap into an icy pool, this year’s Polar Bear Plunge has been canceled. For the first time in 13 years, the McMurtrey Aquatic Center event, which was set for Saturday, will not take place due to construction delays and weather concerns.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Fun is popping over at Regal Cinemas at The Marketplace. The Bakersfield theater, as well as others in the Regal chain, are celebrating National Popcorn Day Thursday with a half-off deal.

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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Kids and sports go together like peanut butter and jelly, and children with mental and physical disabilities are no different. Thanks to League of Dreams, they, too, are able to get that quintessential childhood experience.

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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People from all over the country will take to Washington, D.C., this weekend for the Women's March, but many can't make the long and expensive trip. For those in Bakersfield who want to make their voices heard, the nearest major march is in Los Angeles, and four busloads will make the pilgrimage. 

  • By PETE TITTL For The Californian
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Food trucks used to be about convenience. You're in your office, the hunger pangs start, you walk outside and, voila, a food truck is there to satisfy. But these kitchens on wheels have become so sophisticated, the food often comparable or better than what you can get at a nearby restaurant,…

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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The Chinese New Year is still about two weeks away, but the upcoming dance celebration couldn’t be more timely with a performance of “Playing in the Rain.”

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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Mimi's Cafe on California Avenue in Bakersfield has closed, according to a woman who answered the phone at the Dallas-based chain's corporate headquarters.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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You better get moving: This is the last week to catch a glimpse of "Driven by Art," the public art project from the Bakersfield Museum of Art. Designed by local artists, 33 painted fiberglass trucks have been on display mostly in downtown Bakersfield (one is at The Marketplace) since September.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Let no one say the beginning of the new year lacked flair. With the holidays behind us, we can focus on getting back into the swing of things, namely enjoying the art, music and fun of First Friday. Here's a look on what's happening this week.

  • By MATT MUNOZ For The Californian
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Given our current political climate, an evening with Los Angeles punk rock pioneer Alice Bag sounds like the perfect way to release some tension to kick off the New Year.

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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Though they might not ever admit it, a lot of people are still kind of afraid of the dark. Other childhood fears are easier to overcome; eventually you get brave enough to look that scary clown in the eye and tell it who’s boss. But in the dark, you can never really know what’s lurking.

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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News is news no matter what language it’s reported in, so while one familiar face from KBAK-TV moves to Telemundo, the community will still get the same hard-hitting journalism (or “periodismo”) it has come to expect from him.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Fit Pantry, the local delivery business focusing on healthy meals, has big plans to ring in 2017. The local business will hold the grand opening of its restaurant and drive-through in the Riverlakes Galleria on Jan. 7.

  • By RICK KREISER For The Californian
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Do you ever have a feeling that something special is about to happen? That’s a fair description of how it is for me each time I descend the stage after introducing our Guitar Masters artists. The prep work is done, and it’s time to enjoy the show.

  • BY CESAREO GARASA For The Californian
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In a year that will be remembered for loss, there were two that hit very close to me: bassist Mike Thomas-Money and trombonist Armando Joe Vazquez. I played a few times with Thomas-Money with his band Hayesfield, and performed with Vazquez in Mento Buru for almost 25 years. The latter was as…

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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I don't get to as many concerts as I'd like, but I go to the ones that count. This year, the one that counted most was Chris Stapleton at Rabobank Theater, just weeks after the death of Merle Haggard in April.

  • BY HERB BENHAM hbenham@bakersfield.com
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Concerts can be tricky. If you have a drunk guy in front of you shouting out requests (Jackson Browne) or the artist appears to be stoned (Willie Nelson), then what is expected to be a home run can be a foul ball with the catcher running into the screen.

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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If the scenario sounds like a country song, maybe it's because it actually became one: Singer returns to the hometown he loved/loathed/ultimately escaped to make peace, relive his earliest memories of home and family, and say goodbye.

  • By PETE TITTL For The Californian
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In the history of Sunday brunches in Bakersfield, we first had the legendary Red Lion buffet on Rosedale Highway, which dazzled us back in the 1980s with a spread worthy of Vegas. Buck Owens took up the crown at his Crystal Palace after it opened 20 years ago, and it's still a wonderful opti…

  • By PETE TITTL For The Californian
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For decades, Bit of Germany was a little slice of Bavaria on the east side. There was a chalet-type exterior, pictures of the Motherland on the wall, the beer steins, the wienerschnitzel — it all seemed like a retreat from the Southern San Joaquin Valley.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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In honor of her first Christmas album in 50 years, “White Christmas Blue,” country music legend Loretta Lynn posted an interactive digital Advent calendar on her website.

  • By CESAREO GARASA For The Californian
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Comedians George Lopez and D.L. Hughley could have chosen pretty much anywhere to perform on what is most entertainers' personal super bowl, New Year's Eve. They decided to send out the old and ring in the new in a town they both look forward to performing in: Bakersfield.

  • By SCOTT COX For The Californian
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This was a banner year for concerts. Ben Haggard opened for Marty Stuart. The Byrom Brothers had a fantastic show at 1933 to celebrate the release of their new record. Elizabeth Cook crushed it at Temblor, and Dwight Yoakam lit up the Crystal Palace.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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June Gaede tried her hand at many professions — short-order cook, private investigator, radio announcer, factory worker — but her joy and triumph was as an educator. Gaede, who died Saturday at age 86 due to complications from pneumonia, had a nearly 60-year career teaching in Kern County, i…

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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As 2016 draws to a close, it’s time to decide how to ring in 2017. From black-tie affairs to a comedy show to rollerskating, there’s something for everyone who would rather not celebrate at home.