• By KIM MCABEE-CARTER For The Californian
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Bakersfield mourns the loss of another loved country music great: “Mel Ray” Lawrence, a third-generation musician. His grandmother and grandfather played in a gospel quartet in Arkansas. His grandmother was first cousin to Johnny Cash and, coincidentally, she grew up singing in Bonham and Sh…

  • The Bakersfield Californian
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The lake is full, the river high and vendors plentiful for this weekend's Sierra Arts & Crafts Festival in Kernville. For more than 50 years, the Kern River Valley Art Association has hosted its Sierra Arts & Crafts Festival on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends at Circle Park.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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An annual fundraiser is looking for a few good men — not to contribute funds but rather fun. The Boots & Bachelor Auction, which benefits the Bakersfield Homeless Center, is seeking at least a dozen available men to flash a smile and sway some attendees to bid big bucks for a night out.

  • By PETE TITTL For The Californian
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The competition continues to heat up in the sushi niche of the Bakersfield restaurant market, and one of the places ramping up the heat in more ways than one is downtown’s newest Japanese restaurant, Yamato Sushi & Bar.

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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There are just a few places here in Kern County capable of taking visitors on a trip back in time: The Kern County Museum, where Pioneer Village is home to several old buildings restored to former glory, and the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History takes visitors way, way back with fossils …

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Pizza and beer go together like peanut butter and jelly, so why hasn't Bakersfield had an event devoted to this pairing before now? We won't need to wonder after Sunday when the first Pizza and Craft Beer Fest heads to Craft Tap House.

  • BY ROBERT PRICE rprice@bakersfield.com
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Probably for as long as humans have made art, artists have formed loose communities born of their need for mutual support, inspiration and amusement. In the 1920s expatriates like Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso found that community in the Paris salon of the American writer Gertrude Stein…

  • The Bakersfield Californian
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No one was likely happier to learn that California's severe drought had ended than the Epilepsy Society of Kern County. After skipping their popular Mud Volleyball Tournament in 2015 because of conservation concerns, organizers have kept an eye on conditions. Last year, teams slogged merrily…

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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The Bakersfield Museum of Art finds ways to add local touches to many of its exhibitions but for this summer offering, it’s very Kern County-focused. In addition to two ongoing displays, the exhibition opening Thursday features works from Tehachapi-based artist Tina Dille and the popular Vis…

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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While there have been a number of changes to the annual KidsFest, which is coming Saturday to the Kern County Museum, it's all in service of making it a better family event.

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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Last September, Jami Anderson and her two children faced every mother’s nightmare: They were hit by a drunken driver while heading home to Bakersfield from Pismo. Coming out of the accident with just some bumps and bruises, Anderson counted her blessings. She knew things could have been wors…

  • By PETE TITTL For The Californian
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I could count on one hand the number of restaurants I’ve written about over the years in the space at 818 Real Road, near the Rodeway Inn bowling alley. Restaurants come and go at that spot, some before I can even visit. There’s a hotel there, so you’d figure you’d have something of a captiv…

  • By Annis Cassells For The Californian
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We're deep in the season of graduations, hall of fame dinners and sports championships. Writers of Kern, the only professional writing club in the valley, has its own contribution to the local award scene — the WOK Honors Dinner — coming May 20 to Hodel’s. Club and community members will be …

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Downtown Bakersfield is already home to a number of murals — "Three Guitars" on the east side of Front Porch Music on 19th Street, the veterans tribute at the southeast corner of 20th and Eye streets — but two new projects are getting their moment to shine.

  • By SUSAN SCAFFIDI For The Californian
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Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is regarded not only as one of Beethoven’s greatest compositions, but as one of the greatest pieces of music in the Western European tradition.

  • By CESAREO GARASA For The Californian
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Robin Trower worships at the church of blues where fellow guitarists Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan have ascended to sainthood: the use of distortion, wah-wah and whammy bars to bend, fold and manipulate the strings on their Fender Stratocasters to make sounds both of this world and not.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Five and thriving — that’s how it is for the Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival. Other brew events tap the city like a keg but this premier craft beer festival continues to reign at Cal State Bakersfield Amphitheater.

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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With one season left on his contract with the Bakersfield Symphony, conductor Stilian Kirov will add a third musical commitment to his busy repertoire this fall in accepting the baton at an orchestra outside Chicago.

  • The Bakersfield Californian
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Options for opera lovers in Bakersfield are limited. If watching the Met telecasts at Edwards isn't cutting it, head over to Liberty High School this weekend for the debut of "The Mikado."

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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Popcorn and theaters are a delightful duo, especially when watching a show at the Fox Theater. But if you've ever found yourself hungry for a little more and wished you'd eaten something ahead of time, one more downtown dining option could be coming and it will be a lot closer to the theater.

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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You can get Mom the finest jewelry, the most beautiful flowers and the most decadent chocolate but we’re guessing what she wants most for Mother’s Day is some quality time with her children — even better if those sons and daughters are picking up the check.