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  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Tuesday is not normally a night for going out but revelers make an exception when it's Mardi Gras. Along with special events, a couple of downtown restaurants are bringing a taste of N'awlins to Bakersfield.

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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Don Markham was the guy who most literally embodied the name of Merle Haggard’s legendary band, the Strangers: Always looking a little ill at ease, he kept a low profile on stage, blending into the background curtains and sticking close to one of Merle’s backup-singer wives — Bonnie or There…

  • By PETE TITTL For The Californian
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Lumberjacks Restaurant strikes us as a cross between Black Bear Diner and Farmer Boys restaurants: Black Bear because it’s a chain coffee shop that’s open for all three meals and has some distinctive specialty items it uses to build a base of regulars. Farmer Brothers because it offers big p…

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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Just like the gravity-defying carnival rides, the cost of attending the 2017 Kern County fair is going up, up, up after the fair’s board of directors approved increases in adult ticket prices, parking and carnival wristbands at its monthly meeting Tuesday.

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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With the resignation of Rusty Graham from the Kern County Fair board of directors, Gov. Jerry Brown has the opportunity to appoint a community member who understands the board's obligation to be open, honest and accountable to the public — the same public that makes the fair the most popular…

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Shafter Colours Festival kicks off this week but organizers want you to know there's more in store. The community's growing arts scene will not be contained to just one weekend in February; events continue the next two weekends and a Shakespeare festival is planned for May.

  • By CESAREO GARASA For The Californian
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Ever since the rise of digital media, people have been ringing the death knell for record stores. With a finger stroke there is instant access to pretty much any song ever, so why would anyone step foot in a brick-and-mortar record store anymore?

  • The Bakersfield Californian
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Bakersfield College is leading the charge to shine a light for challenging times ahead. Thursday night it will present its own Ghost Light event, asking participants to bring a light source to shine in a show of inclusion.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Since last fall, downtown has been abuzz about a new cafe set to open on 18th Street. That chatter has only grown, at least in The Californian's office, where hard-working journalists are always on the hunt to find a cup of coffee downtown under $4 that actually tastes good.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Bakersfield's creativity will be on full display March 2 when ARTMIX returns to the Bakersfield Museum of Art. The annual spring event brings together the work of local mixologists, restaurants and artists for a night of fun and fundraising.

  • By CESAREO GARASA For The Californian
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The dynamic duo of Dustin “Catfish” Meridith and Paul Cartwright return to Lengthwise: The Pub on Thursday. There was a time when you’d find one of these two — if not both — playing on a Bakersfield stage on any given day of the week. Nowadays, however, Cartwright keeps a steady schedule as …

  • By MATT MUNOZ For The Californian
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It's a Bakersfield as opposed to the Bakersfield. That's the way comedian Louie Anderson explains the setting of his hit FX comedy "Baskets," for which he has won an Emmy playing the mother — yes, mother — of a down-and-out rodeo clown.

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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Can't make it to New Orleans for Mardi Gras this year? Never fear; a party in Bakersfield is bringing the Big Easy out west, and since it's all for a good cause, there need be no shame in your partying game.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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While a lot of discussion has taken place concerning Stars Theatre on Chester Avenue, the smaller rehearsal and performance space on Mosasco Street has been on the back burner. That's all about to change this weekend as the newly branded Stars West Comedy Theatre debuts its first show.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Cocktails or coffee? Depending on your mood (and the day of the week), downtown Bakersfield has two fresh options opening in its burgeoning east quadrant. Already home to Mexicali, Goose Loonies, Too Fat, the eastern stretch of 18th Street welcomes a brand-new cafe and the return of a Bakers…

  • By PETE TITTL For The Californian
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With New Year's Eve resolutions not too far in the distant past, I usually try to highlight at least one restaurant that features healthy options at this time of year. Fit Pantry is a great place for anyone hoping to kick-start a weight loss program or just eat better. 

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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If you want a Bud Light with your movie, you'll still need to drink it at home for now. The Bakersfield City Council, asked to usher in a new trend in movie-going Wednesday, told a theater chain seeking to sell alcohol to reapply for a permit and come back for the sequel.

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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They wanted to rename a street after Red Simpson, but the people who live on Hart Street in Oildale didn't want to go to the trouble of changing their addresses.

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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Mardi Gras in New Orleans is many things but "family friendly" is typically not one of them. But when a building at the Kern County Fairgrounds transforms into a capsule NOLA this weekend, it will be with all the fun and none of the vice.

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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That Disney park in Anaheim might tell one story of California, with its old Hollywood streets and glamorous facades, but for the nitty, gritty Golden State experience is Kernville's annual ode to the wild west.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Valentine’s Day has passed but love is still in the air — at least in the literary sense — at the Kern County Library’s northeast branch. Today, the library will host a Literary Speed Dating event, the brainchild of branch supervisor Ariel Dyer. She organized a similar event at the Literary …

  • BY THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
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Bakersfield jazz singer Gregory Porter earned his second gramophone trophy Sunday night at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards.

  • By PETE TITTL For The Californian
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It’s pretty much impossible for me to dine in Taft without thinking of the late great Ollie’s, a chrome-plated diner on Kern Street that had a nice run specializing in the most amazing malts, shakes and burgers. We went there with the family enough to try almost everything on the menu. The l…

  • By CESAREO GARASA For The Californian
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There was probably little evidence that a myth was in the making that night in 1980-something at Highland, but this would go down as a high school talent show for the ages: Two future arena-thumping rock stars competing alongside a preacher’s son who one day would win international acclaim f…

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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As Valentine's Day swiftly approaches, love is in the air — even if it's being manufactured by businesses. In addition to Cafe Med's pre-Valentine's champagne brunch Sunday and sweetheart specials dinner on the big day, and dine-for-two deals at California Pizza Kitchen and Marie Callendar's…

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It was Debbie Perry's dream to open up a little eatery but her husband Mike admits he was the one who wasn't convinced it was a good idea. Mike a professional welder says he was busy chasing drilling rigs. When oil prices dropped Mike used his welding skills and a 750-gallon tank to build a …

  • The Bakersfield Californian
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The three sold-out concerts by country music legend Willie Nelson scheduled this week at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace will not be rescheduled, according to Palace talent booker Jerry Hufford.

  • BY SUSAN SCAFFIDI For The Californian
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Alzheimer's disease became a reality in T. Paul Rosas' family several years ago when his mother-in-law began to exhibit the symptoms of dementia in the last year of her life. From that time on, Rosas, a church organist for most of his life, has used music to unite people affected by the disease.

  • By CESAREO GARASA For The Californian
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As a movie and book buff, the combo of film noir and the Northeast Branch Library is one I can truly get behind. The Columbus Street library is hosting the series the second Thursday of every month; this month’s selection is the 1944 classic “Double Indemnity.” 

  • The Bakersfield Californian
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An undisclosed illness has forced country music legend Willie Nelson to cancel his three shows this week at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace. 

  • BY KELLY ARDIS kardis@bakersfield.com
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The Chamber of Commerce at Kern Pioneer Village is one of the first buildings visitors see, with its welcoming doors seeming to beckon them inside. But for years guests would have to keep walking right past the building to actually get to the grounds. Now, after years of work, guests can fin…

  • By PETE TITTL For The Californian
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If you dine on sushi regularly, you know it can be hard on the pocketbook. Order one roll here, some sashimi, tempura and before you know it, you’re staring at a $60 tab, even without copious amounts of sake.

  • BY STEFANI DIAS sdias@bakersfield.com
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Things are rockin' at The Marketplace — and we're not talking about Johnny Garlic's. A new restaurant, Rockin' Crawfish, will be going in at the northwest corner of the shopping center in the space formerly home to Camille's Sidewalk Cafe, which closed late last year. It will be dining neigh…

  • By JENNIFER SELF jself@bakersfield.com
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Remember when the point of going to the movies was going to the movies? That notion is becoming nearly as obsolete as silent films, even in Bakersfield, where theaters are jumping on the nationwide trend of serving full meals and liquor to entice home-theater diehards to leave their couches,…

  • By MATT MUNOZ For The Californian
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Bakersfield dream pop chameleons Joseph and Jenny Andreotti are set to release their first full-length album, “Who Cares About Tomorrow,” this time as their latest incarnation, Fawns of Love.