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  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Next week, the Arts Council of Kern will kick off the third annual Kern County Plein Air Festival. Seventeen artists will take part, including returning painter and Bakersfield native Keith Wicks. In advance of the festival, Wicks will be in town this weekend conducting a two-day oil/acrylic…

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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Nostalgia has always been hot at the city's amphitheatre, but rather than bring back bygone boomer bait like last summer's Kenny Rogers, the Beach Boys and Lynyrd Skynyrd — who basically do tributes to their former selves — the upcoming concert series is full-tilt homage.

  • The Bakersfield Californian
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Acoustic Eidolon, the husband-and-wife duo of Joe Scott and Hannah Alkire, are heading back to the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame for an encore of their Guitar Masters concert from a couple of years ago.

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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With all its bright colors and appealing goodies, NYX Professional Makeup was basically a candy store for cosmetic lovers at Thursday's sneak peek opening event. But unlike a candy store, sampling the products was encouraged.

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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They’ll have to hustle to make it, but brothers Noel and Ben Haggard are hot-footing it from a concert in Oklahoma City on April 8 to Bakersfield the next day for a reason that’s pretty hard to argue with: Their dad.

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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Every year since 2012, the Kern County Fair has given up one day of gate revenue to feed the hungry in Kern County — to the tune of 204,477 pounds of food.

  • The Bakersfield Californian
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Jennifer Garrett, director of choral activities at Bakersfield College, is asking the public's help for a worthy cause: Getting her hard-working choir to Australia for a tour in 2018.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Spring is here and craft beer lovers with festival fever or a wanderlust to travel have some exciting events coming their way with next week's Country & Craft Beer Festival and Wine and Craft Beer Tasting and Auction.

  • By CESAREO GARASA For The Californian
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Manuel Gutierrez, the 47-year old owner of Elements Venue, is definitely a product of the 1980s. It was the era that nurtured his love for, and taste in, music. And, in a way, The Californian had something to do with it.

  • By SUSAN SCAFFIDI For The Californian
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No one knows more about freedom than someone who doesn't have it. And so the life of Harriet Tubman, born a slave but eventually the very symbol of deliverance — for herself and many others — inspired Bakersfield composer Ron Kean when he was asked to write a piece on the concept of freedom.

  • The Bakersfield Californian
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Last fall, Peppa Pig and her friends traveled throughout the East Coast and South as part of "Peppa Pig’s Big Splash." Based on popular demand, the North American tour was extended to include 40 cities through the West and Canada, including a Bakersfield stop March 28 at the Fox Theater.

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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Stars Theatre Restaurant, which has struggled with debt and uncertainty for some time, has a new lease on life — in the form of a new lease — at the Chester Avenue venue it has occupied for nearly two decades.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Attendees of the seventh annual Chile Verde Cook-off at Amestoy's Sunday will truly be lucky, being able to celebrate it there for the last year. Owner Mike Miller said the popular event has outgrown the lot at the northeast Bakersfield watering hole and will have to relocate next year.

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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If you can expect to look a little foolish completing the silly challenges in any given Bakersfield Amazing Race, just imagine what racers are going to have to do this year, when the event falls on April Fools' Day. 

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Saturday may the big night for the Bakersfield Fiesta but enthusiasm was still as peppy as a petticoat Sunday morning. Now in its 51st year, the three-day festival of square and round dancing drew about 900 dancers to the Kern County Fairgrounds this weekend.

  • By PETE TITTL For The Californian
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Considering how difficult it is to survive in the restaurant business, it’s a miracle when a place lasts 50 years. El Sombrero, at the intersection of M Street and Golden State Highway, is celebrating that anniversary in style next month.

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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Just two days before the concert, Elton John has postponed his sold-out show scheduled for Saturday at Rabobank Arena for undisclosed medical reasons, according to management at Rabobank Arena.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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In the nexus between St. Patrick’s Day festivities and their regular Friday-night dancing crowd, KC Steakhouse found another way to amp up the celebration — adding the 30th birthdays of two of its bartenders.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Anyone who eats downtown for lunch has either waited in or walked away from the line at Sequoia Sandwich Co., which often extends right out the door. So when the owners of the popular 18th Street shop starting thinking about their franchise's future, they focused on the main customer concern…

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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At the suddenly hopping corner of Rosedale and Calloway in the northwest, there is a din of hammers and electric saws, but the noise will eventually give way to the inviting rattle of cocktail shakers and the booming bass of Hollywood blockbusters now that the city has granted a theater chai…

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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Her story is intrinsically linked to Kern County, but Bakersfield is getting no sneak peek of a new documentary about labor leader and social justice advocate Dolores Huerta.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Bakersfield will have its very own royal sighting this week. In honor of the opening of the live-action "Beauty and the Beast," which opens Thursday, Maya Cinemas will host appearances by Belle.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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The 51st annual Bakersfield Fiesta is no one-night stand. Lest you think an article on this weekend's festival of square and round dancing is starting off too racy, let us explain. The term is used to describe an event where dancers can get by with just learning enough calls for the evening.…

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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A joke, a hot link, a well-timed compliment: Gregarious restaurant owner Fabious Worthy was into making people feel good, and he usually relied on the potent combination of humor, Southern cooking and general positivity to do it, up until the end Friday, when he lost his nine-month battle wi…

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Bakersfield, which appears to be honorarily Irish this time of year, is brimming with events celebrating music, food and beverages. Celebrations run the gamut — Celtic music and Guinness, bar rock and green beer, special Irish-themed menus — so whatever your inclination, enjoy a wee bit of t…

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Today is National Pi Day, recognizing the mathematical constant that begins 3.14159, and local pizza restaurants are calculating their own way to celebrate with pie deals.

  • BY VALERIE SCHULTZ For The Californian
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My parents, God rest them, knew I was an odd child when I preferred to be indoors after school reading a book, rather than outside playing with the neighborhood kids, as my siblings did. I was also, at the age of 11, immersed in politics, which was weird. My folks didn’t really know what to …

  • By CESAREO GARASA For The Californian
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There will be some familiar faces performing downtown Saturday night, each with some different mileage under their treads. Backup Johnny will be hosting a CD release party at Sandrini’s Pub, while Jesus Christ Muscle Car will be reuniting at Riley’s Tavern.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Each month Ron Saylor brings magic to Bakersfield with his Celebrities of Magic series. But the veteran magician has another trick up his sleeve, helping conjure some big-screen magic with the upcoming film "Sleight" on which he served as consultant.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Although those headed to the nearby traffic court may disagree, the complex at Gilmore Avenue and Buck Owens Boulevard has become a nexus for fun. Joining Temblor Brewing Co. and Rush Air Sports is Bakersfield Karting Experience, which has been catering to those with a need for speed for the…

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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For the opening show of a season under development, Stars Theatre Restaurant was looking for a sure-fire hit. Enter "Always ... Patsy Cline," a rollicking honky-tonk of a musical that had a sold-out run in 2015 and returns to Stars this weekend.

  • By RICK KREISER For The Californian
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The California Guitar Trio has won a huge following with its whirlwind of instrumental styles that fuse classical, rock, blues, jazz, world music and progressive — not to mention that most indispensable of genres, California surf music. From intricate originals to Bach's "Toccata and Fugue" …

  • By MARJORIE BELL For The Californian
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A series of five free noontime music recitals are scheduled during Lent at First Congregational Church at 5 Real Road. The new series continues a tradition started more than 30 years ago by the Trinity Anglican community in their original home at St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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When you're so far behind the competition driving a go-kart, you might as well pretend the reason you don't see your fellow drivers is because they're all so far behind you, eating your dust. There's no point in dwelling on how you'll never catch up, especially when you really are going as f…

  • By MIKE STEPANOVICH For The Californian
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The Kern County USC Alumni Club is joining University of Southern California alumni and friends in SCervice Day on Saturday, a day when Trojans around the country volunteer to serve their communities.

  • By STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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There was concern that the Tastries Bakery inside JC’s Place might have closed recently but owner Cathy Miller told us they were just remodeling at the building. Miller, who also coordinates events at the venue, said the two-week closure was to expand her wedding dress shop inside the buildi…