Sierra Arts & Crafts Festival

During the annual Sierra Arts & Crafts Fall Festival in Kernville, Andrew Collins puts his art skills to use on a community canvas and easel in Circle Park at the event put on by the Kern River Valley Art Association.

The Sierra Arts & Crafts Festival is rounding out Labor Day weekend at Circle Park in Kernville, Aug. 31 through Sept. 2, featuring handcrafted and antique merchandise mere steps away from the Kern River. When Kernville comes to mind, whitewater rafting and mountain biking usually are first in line. For Labor Day, think of Kernville to discover talented local and regional artists and works inspired by and crafted in California.

Andy Alvarez, first vice president of the Kern River Valley Arts Association that organizes the festival, explains why this small town is the perfect home for artists to connect with others and sell their work.

“Kernville is peaceful; it puts you in the right mind,” he said. “There has been a lot of younger generations moving and buying homes in Kernville and they really notice and are interested in collecting fine and handmade pieces. Now the scene is really growing.”

The Kern River Valley Arts Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding and supporting the local art scene, especially through this biannual festival. Started in 1963, the festival has grown to over 40 booths and many collectors and artists eagerly show their wares. Works are primarily regional and Western-style paintings, carvings, and handmade bath and beauty.

Circle Park is the perfect place to enjoy a family weekend by the river while enjoying the finer things life in Kernville has to offer, including local Native American tacos made with succulent meat fillings on delicious fry bread.

The town still offers action-packed essentials locals have come to know and love. There is always something for everyone in the family just in the vicinity of Circle Park, including mom-and-pop restaurants, antique stores, vacation rentals and the iconic Kern River Brewing Company, all of which are a stone’s throw from the mighty Kern River and Lake Isabella, some of the region’s most valuable and pristine natural features.

The Sierra Arts & Crafts Festival juries and handpicks talent while supporting up-and-coming creatives by offering spaces for artists who might not be able to show otherwise. In its 54th year, the Sierra Arts & Crafts Festival brings makers and aficionados from around the state to the quiet little town tucked in the mountains of Kern. Locally based art aficionados can enjoy a stroll around this western town while curating their own art collection.

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