• By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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Is there someone on your gift list who loves all things Kern County? If that someone also likes to read — or skim while looking at pictures — I have five gift recommendations, most of which I rediscovered during my end-of-the-year desk-cleaning ritual. (My copy of “Kern County Flora” was roo…

  • By SUSAN SCAFFIDI For The Californian
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This year's production of "The Nutcracker" will again have a live orchestra, but a smaller one, in what could be standard operating procedure from now on.

  • By SUSAN SCAFFIDI For The Californian
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To keep it "fresh," many choreographers have updated Tchaikovsky's immortal "The Nutcracker" ballet. There's a hip-hop version, a 1950s update using modern dance choreography, a London production that resets the Christmas party into an orphanage straight out of Charles Dickens. 

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Thursday, artist David Vanderpool debuts his second solo exhibit in as many years at the Arts Council of Kern. You may have seen his art displayed at the Kern County Fair, where his drawings have won many awards over the years, but it was his work at Kern Valley and Corcoran state prisons th…

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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On family excursions to Universal Studios when Mason Trueblood was growing up, the young Bakersfield performer and his mom would clap and wave from the tram tour as the movie and television stars wandered around the backlot during breaks in filming. 

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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Santa’s sleigh is pretty nice: It flies and can carry tons of toys for boys and girls around the world. But isn’t a motorcycle, even without all that holiday magic, still just a little bit cooler? It might not hold as many presents but, as thousands of riders will prove this weekend, a motor…

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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Thursday evening, just as they've done in holiday seasons past, the students at Bakersfield Christian High will focus on the three C's: Caroling, Christmas and cocoa. But this year they've added a fourth C: Community.

  • By ALAN SCULLEY For The Californian
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Switchfoot’s Tim Foreman believes his band has made an album in “Where the Light Shines Through” that offers both a nod to the rocking pop of the band’s early albums and some entirely new musical twists.

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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Holiday events at Kern Pioneer Village have, in the past, meant spending a cold December night bundled up with gloves, scarves and several layers of clothing while you take in the historic buildings, visit Santa Claus and get in the holiday spirit. A new event at the museum this year has the…

  • For The Californian
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High schools bring their fall productions to the stage in advance of winter break. Here is a look at two shows debuting this week: "The 1942 Holiday Radio Murder Mystery" at South High and Liberty High's "The Game's Afoot."

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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Stars Theatre Restaurant is preparing to send a sobering letter to patrons asking for donations through the end of the current season in February while disclosing the future of the venerable Bakersfield theater is uncertain beyond that point.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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With the holiday season upon us, even First Friday is caught up in the hustle and bustle. Here's a roundup of what's going on downtown.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Holiday travel takes people all over the globe, so it's no surprise that the local theater community is taking audiences on an adventure for the holidays. From Depression-era West Texas to the North Pole and somewhere between here and heaven, this quartet of holiday productions are on the move.

  • By CESAREO GARASA For The Californian
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Most musicians are all too familiar with the drudgery and drama that comes with being in a band. Toronto’s Mike Liorti, the 27-year-old multi-instrumentalist frontman of the group Rosedale, is definitely one of them. But he's found away around the compromises by finding the perfect bandmates…

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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The holiday season can feel like something of a roller coaster for a lot of us. With shopping for gifts, baking cookies and hitting up Christmas parties, it's like once December starts it doesn't slow down, so you might as well (figuratively) buckle up and enjoy the ride.

  • By CESAREO GARASA For The Californian
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With his big blond pompadour, and the big hollow-body guitars to match, Brian Setzer is probably one of the most recognizable musicians of his generation, both as the frontman of the legendary rockabilly trio the Stray Cats and as leader of his big band, which returns to the Fox Theater on D…

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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While many of us have been spending the long weekend getting our house Christmas ready, at least one family can sit back and relax in the knowledge that their decorating work is already done. 

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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Bryan Burrow, who once joked that he knew far more about country music than classical, is leaving as chief executive of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, ending a four-year tenure distinguished by an increase in attendance and revenue, a robust outreach to students and a highly publicized …

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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There's never a shortage of things to do during the holiday season in Bakersfield, but even with all the events filling the next five weeks, it seems there's one that locals always make time for: Holiday Lights at CALM.

  • By SUSAN SCAFFIDI For The Californian
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Shortly before she graduated from USC five years ago, Marisa Johnson returned to Bakersfield to give a recital to let her hometown hear how she had grown as a singer. Now Johnson, 27, is coming home again to perform and to ask her hometown to support a cause. 

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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The new year can't get here fast enough for country music fans: Rabobank Arena announced Monday that Blake Shelton, a bonafide superstar of the genre as well as coach of NBC's "The Voice," will perform Feb. 16, just a week after a three-night stand at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace by the legend…

  • By SUSAN SCAFFIDI For The Californian
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Four years ago, Californian photojournalist Felix Adamo joined three friends on an impromptu cross-country motorcycle trip in search of other places in the United States named Bakersfield. Hundreds of people followed the trip, named "Bakersfield to Bakersfield" on Facebook, while Adamo captu…

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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Through a little holiday magic and a lot of hard work, the spooky Halloween Town and Talladega Frights have been transformed into Christmas Town, all in just a few short weeks.

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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The head of the livestock office at the Kern County Fair confirmed Wednesday she authorized her staff to alter the weight of a pig on an official document, in defiance of the fair’s own rules, to allow a young exhibitor to sell the animal at the 2016 junior livestock auction.

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church is usually filled with music whenever its congregants are inside. What makes this weekend different is the amount of music and the reason for celebrating.

  • By CESAREO GARASA jself@bakersfield.com
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For the unfamiliar — there might still be three of you — the night before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest nights of the year for night life. Seriously, for revelers, it’s on par with New Year's Eve. How so? Let me count the ways.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Along with the closing weekends of "The 39 Steps" at Stars and "Rock of Ages" at The Empty Space, theater-goers have a chance to check out two limited-engagement shows offered at Bakersfield College and Cal State Bakersfield.

  • By JENNIFER SELF The Bakersfield Californian
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Dozens of invited guests and elected officials toured the Bakersfield Californian Foundation Research Center at Kern Pioneer Village on Thursday when a significant portion of the museum’s vast archives became more accessible to the public.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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For its third year, the Bacon and Craft Beer Festival decided it needed room to groove. So Saturday's event of local food vendors and craft breweries from all over California heads to the Park at River Walk. 

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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When people talk about history, they expect to pore over old photos or records. But when it comes to grocery stores, you can hop in the car or walk over to Chester Lane Market. Historian John Codd notes it is part of Bakersfield’s living history.

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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If you've been to Kern Pioneer Village recently and thought to yourself the place looks like a million bucks, you're lowballing it.