Gary Girard

Gary Girard.

During the Christmas season, it’s always enjoyable seeing the lighted homes, and now the Delano Transit Department is going to make it easy to see them and allow the usual “drivers” to be able to concentrate on enjoying the lit homes.

From Dec. 18-21, the “Tour of Lights” is planned by the Delano Transit Department.

Two rides are planned, each with two buses of 30 passengers each, from 6 to 7 p.m. and another from 7 to 8 p.m. The cost is just $2 for adults and 50 cents for youth age 18 and under.

After the 40-minute tour, there will be hot chocolate and cookies for attendees. And for just $5 anyone may have a picture taken with Santa.

Pre-pay tickets are being sold, and space is limited with tours on a first-come, first-serve basis.


The Saturday before Thanksgiving, I ran across several past Delano High cheerleaders. At State Market there in the check-out line was former four-year cheer girl Nicole Uranday. It seemed she had graduated just a couple of years ago, but she informed me that she had been working in commercial real estate for 11 years!

At church seated behind me with her daughter was former cheerleader Lila Najera (sorry that I always list maiden names, but I am not ‘up’ on things). Then a few pews in front of me was Angelica Figueroa, who her senior year was manager for the cheer class — taking roll, putting on band-aids, filling the igloo with water and getting cups, and so on).

Then I headed to Kong’s for a Saturday night takeout, and who should emerge from the party room but past freshman English and cheerleader student of mine, Rolly Uclaray. “I thought I saw you just inside the door,” he said. Rolly still works in a bank in Las Vegas and continues to head a basketball league, and each Philippine Weekend he brings one or more of his teams to the PW tournament.

I did not attend the Robert F. Kennedy Thanksgiving day practice of the Thunderbird football team, but I assume they were practicing as they have past years and inviting parents and fans to take pictures with team members after the practice. Head coach Mario Millan probably wanted to keep intact the schedule of past years, and it paid off with a 30-28 valley section title win over previously undefeated Shafter — the only team that defeated Kennedy this season — a few weeks back ion a regular South Sequoia League game. Kennedy’s 13-1 season record was the best in school history!

That same morning I saw at the Del Vista School track persons from young to older adults playing touch football. It reminded me that usually the same day there are pick-up football games at Cecil Avenue Park.

Before heading for Porterville for Thanksgiving with my daughter’s family and my son’s family, I stopped at Fil Bake Shop to pick up some pan de sol and lumpia that I had purchased the day before.

With about four customers crowded inside the store, there were another 15 to 20 in line outside waiting to pick up the tasty treats from inside. Both the treats I picked up were a big hit at my daughter’s before the regular dinner.

In line was Max Bacerra, former student of mine, and I told him that he always had a news item for me, and what was it this time. He said that in early 2019 that a 10,000-square-foot building on Dover Parkway, headed out toward the Delano Marketplace and a type of medical building would be opening and that a few months behind it would be another medical building adjacent of about 8,000 square feet.

Delano High vocal music teacher Rene Gutierrez has his “charges” much involved in the holiday season. His calendar for the singers lists the Bakersfield High School Holiday Festival Dec. 3, the Delano Christmas Parade Dec. 4, the Kiwanis Club Festival of Carols Dec. 6, caroling at the Tejon Outlets at the Kern County Museum Dec. 8, and from Dec. 12 through 14 caroling during school finals.


Kudos to the Delano Police Department, which for the second year, held its “Turkey Round-up” to gather donated frozen turkeys to give out to the public.

In addition, the department is asking the public’s help in a “Coats for Kids” drive. Persons may donate new coats/jackets for children of the community “to stay warm this winter.”

Officer Lloyd Galutira in the flyer reported, “Winter months are dreary and cold. We have a lot of families in our community use their limited resources to meet the most basic essentials and are unable to provide their children coats. They need help to provide this winter necessity to stay warm.”

“That’s why,” said Galutira, “we need your support and help by donating new winter coats/jackets for children in grades kindergarten to fifth.”

Though the collection of coats was scheduled by Dec. 1, I am sure that the department will accept them even later during the 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday Monday through Friday.

More information is available by contacting officer Galutira at email or by calling 661-721-3377, extension 1448.


When I learned of the new aquatics center being constructed by the city at its 11th Avenue Center, I was told that community input had indicated that there was no need for the pool to be an appropriate length for competitive races.

Just a couple of weeks back a community leader approached me and declared that the city could have added just four feet and the pool would be a competitive length. The person — whom I will not put on the spot and identify — said such meets such as in the summer would draw many people to Delano who would contribute to the economy. He indicated that not making the pool a competitive length was due to a longstanding type of feud between the school district and the city.


The Harvest Holidays Association in its second year of existence again made a modest profit, it was reported at the recent meeting of he organization.

Chairperson Alice Luque-Duarte urged members to review copies of the by-laws and at the January meeting to be prepared to offer any suggestions for changes or additions.

All events involved in the festival had new chairpersons for 2018, and it appears that all the leadership are willing to again head the same events. It was agreed by directors that all planning needs to start earlier, and chairpersons reported that planning will start at the Jan. 10 meeting. Interested persons are invited to attend the meetings at 5:30 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce office, even if only to offer suggestions or to ask questions.

Directors, who have scheduled next fall’s event for Oct. 7-9, agreed that success of the event was especially due to support of many individuals, businesses, and organizations, plus the Delano Joint Union High School and Delano Union School districts.


St. Mary’s Church has scheduled Dec. 15 its Parish Christmas dinner/dance at the school auditorium. Tickets are $40 per person and are on sale for an evening of fun, food, drinks, music and dancing.

Another event at the St. Mary’s auditorium on Dec. 22 will be the 5:30 p.m. Saturday Mass followed by the Filipino tradition of “Simbang Gabi” pre-Christmas celebration, followed by a potluck dinner and Christmas carols. All are invited and each Filipino family requested to bring with them their favorite Christmas food or pastries. Lechon will be provided.


First tryout practice for Delano High cheerleader candidates is set Thursday, Dec. 6, from 3:10 to 4:15 p.m. for students who reside within the Delano High School boundaries, including current eighth graders from Delano and Earlimart.

Candidates will gather in the school quad or if cold or rainy weather the practices will be on the back stage of the school south gym. Other practices in December at which the applications and a full practice schedule and applications will be available included Saturday, Dec. 8, 8:55 to 11:15 a.m., and Wednesday, Dec. 12, 1 to 2:30 p.m. There will be 10 practices in all — candidates must attend at least seven — before the actual tryouts on Saturday, Feb. 16, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Delano High north gym.

Gary Girard is a longtime resident of Delano. He can be reached at 661-725-8803.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.