• 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 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.

  • By PETE TITTL For The Californian
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There once was a building on California Avenue that I used to refer to as the Bermuda Triangle for restaurants. Eateries would come and go, sometimes three in a year. The place where dreams went to die. Ghosts walked the aisles. Didn’t matter what concept, what food was coming out of the kit…

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the much-anticipated latest chapter in the Star Wars franchise, opens Thursday in theaters everywhere. In addition to screening the movie, two local theaters are offering a little something extra.

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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Klarke Garl, an investor/entrepreneur from Santa Barbara who saw the beauty in Bakersfield's downtown and worked to restore two of our loveliest landmarks, died unexpectedly earlier this week in his apartment at the historic New Yorker building, which he owned. He was 54.

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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At the tail end of one of the most active years in recent memory at the Fox Theater, the foundation that owns the historic venue is considering parting ways with the operator hired last year to increase bookings.

  • By SUSAN SCAFFIDI For The Californian
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Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”? Check. “Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride”? Check. John Williams’ “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas” Check. 

  • TBC
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Call them the lucky 13 or, better yet, call us — the diners of Bakersfield — the lucky ones. More than a dozen restaurants opened in 2016 that have made restaurant critic Pete Tittl's list of the best, but the lists don't stop there in our 2016 Dining Guide, out Saturday.

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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Even when Bakersfield is cold, it’s not really that cold. Remember the 70-degree heat last Friday? As nice as it is for us not to have to shovel snow from our driveways, it does make that picturesque Winter Wonderland everyone sings about a little harder to come by.

  • By SUSAN SCAFFIDI For The Californian
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There is much to enjoy in terms of entertainment during the holiday season, especially performances of large-scale masterworks such as Handel’s “Messiah,” Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” ballet, and other holiday essentials. But there’s also room for the small-scale moments, such as this weekend’…

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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Bakersfield Sound great Red Simpson could write a song in the time it took to walk from one honky-tonk to the next, but naming a street in the man's honor? That, apparently, takes a little longer.