Do these 100-plus-degree days have you down? Are you looking for some cool activities to help beat the heat? Then the Tehachapi Mountain Beer and Wine Fest is waiting to lower your core temperature and raise your spirits.
Taking place July 21, the annual festival is expected to bring more than 2,600 people to the city's Benz Visco Sport Park for a day of music, libations, food, games and general merriment.
Organizer David Brust is a supporter of all local festivals but said this one is special.
"Our crowd is really a different crowd," he said. "There's just a different vibe. People are just really happy."
That may start with "air that they don't need a knife to cut through."
Good weather — other than an unseasonable rainstorm in 2015 that eventually flooded Highway 58 — and clearer air has helped the festival succeed since starting in 2014 but there's more to the equation.
Live music, which this year not only includes favorite Bakersfield party band Mento Buru but also country music from Vince Galindo and Country Deluxe, adds some spice as well as games.
"This year, we are adding some inflatable games: a giant basketball hoop; it has a 40-inch basketball that requires two people to shoot it. And we have inflatable lawn bowling."
That's in addition to returning games such as cornhole, giant Jenga and checkers and flamingo golf, which is unique to the event.
"That we will be bringing back. ... It's nine holes, nine flamingoes. The hula hoop you throw like a Frisbee at the flamingo."
And, of course, the beverage selection is always a draw. More than 58 breweries, serving beers of all stripes and hard ciders, as well as wineries from the Central Coast and beyond will offer dozens of options for the unlimited tastings. Tehachapi will be well represented with Local Craft Beer and Triassic Vineyards.
For those who want a break between drinks, a fully stocked water and soft drink stand offers ways to keep hydrated.
Food is also taken seriously at the event, which includes a full dinner with each ticket. Options include lasagna from The Garden Spot; mac and cheese and pulled pork slider from Bootleggers; a trio of sliders plus coleslaw and mac and cheese from Red House BBQ; tacos, rice and beans from Gabbys; tamales, rice and beans from Fresco Mexican Grill; Peruvian ceviche from Mi Peru; chicken skewers from Big Papa’s Steakhouse; and hamburgers from P-Dubs.
There may also be a possible ninth vendor.
"No one goes away hungry," Brust said. "We make sure everybody has a complete dinner."
VIPs ($125) have even more options, with one-hour early admission, exclusive tapas meal from Big Papa's, bar with cocktails sponsored by The Library and air-conditioned Porta Potties.
Those who are worried about making the drive up and back from Bakersfield still have time to take advantage of the charter ticket ($99), which includes transportation on a luxury coach to and from the festival courtesy of AVE Travel Club and a general admission ticket.
(For the charter, drop-off and return site is 201 New Stine Road, Suite 120, departing at 2:30 p.m. and returning at 9 p.m.)
In addition to offering a good time, the festival is driven by good causes. Proceeds benefit more than a dozen charities, many based in Tehachapi, who provide volunteers for the event.
Make a Wish Central California has been a beneficiary for the past few years, with the festival being able to fund six wishes for local children with life-threatening medical conditions. One child, Adam West, was able to receive a special computer system he could use. The boy, who died just shy of his ninth birthday this year, was grateful for the wish.
"We were happy we could help him," Brust said. "We wish we could have done it sooner."
Helping organizations while having a good time keeps Brust and his team motivated.
"My wife and I take it to heart. Our mission in life to improve our community. We want to leave the earth better than we found it."
The festival runs from 4 to 8 p.m. July 21 at Benz Visco Sport Park, 20537 Tehachapi Willow Springs Road in Tehachapi. Tickets range from $65 to $125, available at tehachapibrew.com.