A screenshot of May's Second Saturday Takeover. Second Saturday went virtual to give downtown businesses the opportunity to get the exposure they needed.

Downtown Bakersfield comes alive every second Saturday of the month, highlighting the businesses in the area to create a fun family friendly experience.

Second Saturday organizer Shannon LaBare said Second Saturday is a way for people to explore the downtown area scene.

“It was a blitz of excitement when it started in 2017. It was mostly to contribute and patronize all the cool downtown businesses. We wanted to elevate the idea that the downtown was extremely walkable,” she said.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, LaBare said that she and her team discussed the future of Second Saturday and decided to go virtual.

“The core about Second Saturday is about being with people and gathering. When those two things are not safe, there’s so many different ways that businesses are approaching (the pandemic),” she said.

LaBare said with many businesses still open and offering new products, their online platform would help businesses present something to their audience.

Traditionally, Second Saturday maps out 20–30 businesses in the downtown area for people to explore. LaBare said “Second Saturday Takeover” was an easy opportunity for downtown businesses to still reach the community through Instagram Live. The takeover is divided into timed segments, depending on the business. Just like a traditional Second Saturday, people can still participate from touring an art studio, participating in a yoga session or learning DIY projects.

LaBare said their takeover on Instagram Live still brings businesses and keeps viewers involved and connected.

“Our goal is to support downtown businesses. We want to see what we can do to help so they don’t close and it’s not forgotten about,” she said.

With businesses slowly reopening in Bakersfield, LaBare said she would like to continue their Second Saturday Takeover and their actual event.

“I loved the ability to have the dynamic to change every month. We might do a hybrid (of traditional and a virtual Second Saturday). We want to be creative and show that our downtown is a creative hub of opportunities,” she said.

As the coronavirus pandemic affects many local businesses, LaBare said she wants to continue to help local businesses get the exposure they need.

Viewers can find more information about the next Second Saturday Takeover on Instagram @bakersfieldsecondsaturday.

“We’re still here for our downtown. That’s a win for us and we’re confident moving forward,” LaBare said. 

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