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The tents are going up at Cal State Bakersfield and the tickets are just about gone, no surprise considering the Bakersfield Business Conference is a once-in-six-years extravaganza put together by George Martin, the city’s impresario of impresarios.

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How do you avoid the pressure of directing a musical based on a popular 2002 Oscar-nominated film? For Bruce Saathoff, who’s directed “Catch Me If You Can” opening Friday at Stars, you don’t worry about the movie.

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It’s a good thing there are 31 days in October because to check out everything going on in Bakersfield for Halloween, you’re going to need them all, and maybe even the last couple of days in September too.

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The first time “Fight Song” singer Rachel Platten had a chance to make a name for herself in pop music, she felt it slipped through her fingers. And she was well aware that second chances don’t come along for many artists — especially those reaching the wrong side of a certain milestone birthday.

  • BY ALAN SCULLEY For The Californian
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Boyz II Men may no longer dominate radio, sell albums by the millions or command attention as one of R&B’s most popular groups. But band member Nathan Morris has no complaints about the group’s current circumstances.

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It’s finally that time of the year where the worst of the Bakersfield heat is behind us and we can appreciate some pleasant weather outside before the cold moves us back indoors. It’s a brief sweet spot between the seasons, making it the perfect time for outdoor events.

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Trailblazer Jean Shepard, who recorded what is considered the first hit of the Bakersfield Sound era, died Sunday. The Country Music Hall of Fame member, who was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for more than 60 years and one of traditional country music’s greatest, feistiest advocates, was 82.

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Reader Leonel Martinez first tipped us off to the new casual downtown Mexican restaurant Santa Fe Mexican Grill, not to be confused with a now-defunct casual burrito place that used the same name on California Avenue. That spot is now home to a Boss Pizza.

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Ask anyone who’s been to Bakersfield’s Gospel Fest in the last few years and they’re sure to sing praises about the experience. And San Joaquin Community Hospital’s seventh annual gathering of music, worship and community outreach on Oct. 2 should be no exception.

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The house on the corner of 23rd and C streets stands out with the help of pops of red: the bricks of the large porch, the front door and the replica classic British phone booth where a Wendy’s Words library is housed. But what all those people who stop to take a book or a selfie with the pho…

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The house on the corner of 23rd and C streets stands out with the help of pops of red: the bricks of the large porch, the front door and the replica classic British phone booth where a Wendy’s Words library is housed. But what all those people who stop to take a book or a selfie with the pho…

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E ureka!, with its mixture of retro cocktails, craft beers and high-end hamburgers, has been one of the fastest growing regional restaurant chains in recent years. Now it has its first locally owned imitator, Flame Burger, which opened earlier this month in the old Juicy Burger location near…

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In the real Seven Oaks, residents are planning a dance night at the country club and seeing which neighbor is growing the nicest roses.

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Those who think a writer’s life is full of epiphanies with pen in hand and heaps of praise, take note. The everyday grind can be filled with revisions, distractions, soul-crushing critiques and moments of hope. “Seminar,” opening Friday at The Empty Space, explores the highs and lows of the …

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Singer Chris Young converted many a Bakersfield fan with frequent shows at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace over the years, and now he has the chance to win over even more by playing a bigger venue — Rabobank Arena — on Sept. 29, when he kicks off the current leg of his “I’m Comin’ Over” tour.

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One hundred years in the making, the centennial edition of the Kern County Fair needed to squeeze out every available minute Tuesday as crews hustled and bustled, putting up tents, making deliveries and running jackhammers. But ready or not, the fair begins its 12-day run this afternoon, unv…

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For one local dance mom, “The Nutcracker” isn’t “The Nutcracker” without live musical accompaniment by the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. So last year, when the symphony announced it would no longer pay its musicians to play the performances, Lizette Swanson launched a last-minute fundraisi…

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For one local dance mom, “The Nutcracker” isn’t “The Nutcracker” without live musical accompaniment by the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. So last year, when the symphony announced it would no longer pay its musicians to play the performances, Lizette Swanson launched a last-minute fundraisi…

  • BY ALAN SCULLEY
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A quick look at the tour itinerary of For King & Country is a good indication of how quickly this sibling duo of Luke and Joel Smallbone has risen through the ranks of the Christian music scene.

  • L. Kent Wolgamott
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Dustin Lynch draws on everything from Incubus and Mute Math to hip-hop in his music. But country music’s “new hat” says he will never stray far from his primary influences.

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College is stressful even years before a freshman steps foot on campus. Figuring out how to get in, how to pay for it and what to do with that degree afterward are concerns students and parents both face much earlier.

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September feels like a good month for resolutions, as it is a kind of a new year, at least for anyone whose daily life is affected by the school calendar. In September, our babies go off to kindergarten, kids start new grades, teens move up in the high school hierarchy, college students retu…

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September feels like a good month for resolutions, as it is a kind of a new year, at least for anyone whose daily life is affected by the school calendar.

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There’s plenty to see and do across the 168 acres of fairgrounds and, for the first time ever, fairgoers can have an easy-to-follow guide in the palm of their hands.

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A couple of days ago, I forgot my belt. After showering at the pool, I reached for the black belt in the backpack and it wasn’t there.

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If you’ve been to the fair even once in your life, you already have a list of favorites to check out. But we’ve compiled a list of the best of the new — and a couple of returning traditions — you should add to your itinerary.

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If you’ve been to the fair even once in your life, you already have a list of favorites to check out. But we’ve compiled a list of the best of the new — and a couple of returning traditions — you should add to your itinerary.

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There aren’t any new food concessions at the fair this year — in fact, at least one longtime local vendor is gone — but that doesn’t mean there won’t be new foods to sample. All it takes is a little ingenuity, a hot trend and a deep fryer or slush machine to make magical carnival morsels.

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For an event focused on the past — the big 100th anniversary is this year — the Kern County Fair is accentuating the new, as in new rides and attractions, new competitions, a new gut bomb or two, more room for concert-goers and a new wine slushie, whose invention is so why-didn’t-someone-thi…

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For an event focused on the past — the big 100th anniversary is this year — the Kern County Fair is accentuating the new, as in new rides and attractions, new competitions, a new gut bomb or two, more room for concert-goers and a new wine slushie, whose invention is so why-didn’t-someone-thi…

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Julie Gaines as Dorothy Brock and Mark Price as Abner Dillon appear in the Stars Theatre Restaurant production of “42nd Street.” The theater has been seeking to bolster its bottom line by asking the community for donations.

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Local writer and frequent Californian and Bakersfield Life contributor Lisa Kimble has submitted this wonderful piece on the Kern County Fair, on the occasion of its 100th anniversary.

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Sunday marks the start of Beverly and Fred Dukes Concert Series. The 11th season of the free Sunday afternoon concerts at First Congregational Church UCC begins with the Emerald Duo offering “Dances from Around the World.”