Around this time of the year, Bakersfield weather hits its sweet spot. The cold is over, as is most of the rain, and the triple-digit heat we're dreading is, mercifully, not yet upon us.
It's the perfect time for outdoor events, and this weekend there are a lot of them. Tough choices will need to be made when it comes to planning the next two days, but with outings this good, there are no bad options.
Still, if you need a little assistance figuring out what to do, we're here to help. Here are our top picks for this very busy weekend.
1. CAMPOUT AGAINST CANCER
You can't go wrong with a good time for a good cause. The sixth annual Campout Against Cancer is happening this weekend at the Kaiser Permanente Sports Village (9001 Ashe Road).
The campout starts today but the fun continues Saturday with events kicking off at 9 a.m. with an opening ceremony and survivor celebration. There will also be a carnival, campsite games, live music and more, before the event wraps up at 4 p.m. with closing ceremonies.
Wristbands are $25 per person and good for both days. The event raises money for the Kern County Cancer Fund, with all funds staying in the community. Last year's campout raised nearly $435,000, and this year's goal is $500,000, which would help the organization serve 100 local patients.
2. SCOTTISH GAMES AND GATHERING
You have two chances to check out the Scottish Games and Gathering at the Kern County Fairgrounds this weekend, Saturday and Sunday. That's good, because seeing very strong people tossing a telephone pole and other heavy objects around is something you do not want to miss.
With live Celtic music, scotch flights and haggis, the gathering is a quick trip to Scotland without the price of airfare. However, if your tastes run a little more American, there will also be hamburgers, pizza and tri-tip, among others, available for purchase.
The Scottish Games run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, entering at the fairgrounds' main gate (1142 S. P St.). Tickets are available at the gate for $25, $1 for kids ages 6 to 11 with a paid adult. Children 5 and younger get in free.
3. MEGA ADOPTION EVENT
If you're thinking about adding a pet to the family but have been hesitant to check out local shelters, Sunday's Mega Adoption Event is the place to see dogs, cats and maybe some other furry friends from local shelters and rescues, all in one happy place.
This event is also happening at the Kern County Fairgrounds, but safely away from all the Games' flying cabers and haggis. Guests will instead enter through the Belle Terrace parking lot.
While adoption might be in its name, the event is also for people who already have pets. There will be information on local resources and vendors selling all kinds of pet-related goods. Pets are welcome to join their people at this event and can even enter into four pet contests.
It goes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entry is free but adoption fees will vary by shelter and rescue.
4. JEWISH FOOD FESTIVAL
Come hungry to the Jewish Food Festival happening Sunday at Congregation B'nai Jacob (600 17th St.) because there is going to be a lot you will want to eat.
For lunch, guests can choose from two kosher options prepared for the event: a brisket sandwich with an Israeli salad or a bagel with lox, cream cheese, tomato, capers and onion. The $18 lunch also includes water.
Other goods for sale include sweets and bagels from the Jewish bake shop, matzo ball soup to go and kosher wine and beer.
The event is a joint fundraiser with B'nai Jacob and Temple Beth El. Admission is free but you'll want to bring your wallet for those food purchases.
5. STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL
Not content to just start selling the strawberries that are growing this time of year, Murray Family Farms wants to celebrate the fruit with a special event.
The Strawberry Festival is happening Saturday and Sunday at the farm (6700 General Beale Road) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes pick-your-own fruit, as well as hay rides, tours, special strawberry menu items, games and more.
Be sure to bring your camera, as there is no cuter photo-op than picking your own strawberries, especially if you've got kiddos sneaking a bite.
Admission is $5.99 for children ages 1 to 3 and $11.99 per person for anyone older.