Since most events wilt in Bakersfield's summer heat, activities really ramp up in the fall. After many postponed and modified festivals last year, we're back in business with some local food and beverage fun this October.
First up is the return of the Greek Food Festival. For nearly 50 years, St. George Greek Orthodox Church has fed, entertained and called to the dance floor the entire Bakersfield community.
Last year, organizers offered a takeout dining event on Saturdays in October, serving pastitsio (a Greek-style lasagna), savory spanakopita and tiropita, dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) along with rotating entrees such as Greek chicken, leg of lamb and pork and chicken souvlaki.
This time around, the festival is expected to return "back to the ol' days of fun, music, Greek food and dancing!" Along with the expanded menu (fingers crossed for loukoumades!), the event will include music and dancing, a bounce house, vendors, church tours and a raffle.
Held at the church's Hellenic Park (401 Truxtun Ave.), the festival will run from 4 to 10 p.m. Oct. 1, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 2 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 3, with the bar staying open the first two nights until 11 p.m.
Admission will be $5, free for children under 12.
The fun continues in October starting the next weekend with the return of Bakersfield Brunch Fest. The inaugural event was held in 2019, created by the organizers of the Mac and Cheese Fest as a way to still eat and drink without being loaded down by so much dairy.
Expect tasting-size portions of some of the best brunch items in town. Previous participants included KC Steakhouse, Jerry's Pizza, Better Bowls, The BLVD, Crab in a Bag, Cafe Crepes, Mr. Clamato, California Pizza Kitchen and Fresco Mexican Grill. A list for this year's event has not been posted.
And what would brunch be without adult beverages? This 21-and-over event will serve up samples of bloody marys, mimosas, micheladas, sparkling wine and a wide variety of beer.
Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets to hang out while listening to live music and a DJ at the event being held at Stramler Park.
Bakersfield Brunch Fest will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct 9 at the park, 4003 Chester Ave.
Early-bird tickets are $55 (plus fees), available now at eventbrite.com.
The Tehachapi Apple Festival is coming Oct. 16 and 17.
This free event includes a variety of activities including carnival games, apple bobbing, pie eating and pie baking contests, face painting and petting zoo, puppet shows, a hula hoop contest and bounce houses ($10 for the day).
As the name implies, apples are the highlight with apple pies from Mill Street Kitchen, apple fritters from Moessner Farms, apple nachos from Boy Scouts as well as farm-fresh apples for sale.
Those with apple overload can still choose from a selection of food vendors slinging barbecue, Asian fare, tacos, sausages and even nonalcoholic piña coladas served in pineapples.
For attendees 21 and over who want something stronger, there will be a beer and wine garden.
Also special this year is the addition of the Mountain Festival carnival rides. Due to scheduling, the Mountain Festival, being held Aug. 21 and 22, is unable to host the carnival but their loss is the Apple Festival's gain.
The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 16 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 17 along Green Street in downtown Tehachapi.
A new event is on the horizon with Brews on the Mountain Beer & Wine Festival, coming Oct. 23 in Tehachapi.
Presented by Westlane Brewing, the first-ever event will offer beer and wine tastings from more than 10 vendors including Westlane, Crusader Brewery, Lancaster's Bravery Brewing and Lucky Luke and Transplants Brewing, both from Palmdale.
The event will also feature live music and food and merchandise for sale.
As the folks from Westlane put it on Facebook: "Guaranteed to be a decent time."
Brews on the Mountain will run from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 23 at West Park's Grimes ball field, 490 W. D St. in Tehachapi.
Admission is $40, includes keepsake tasting glass, or $75 for VIP, which includes the glass, event T-shirt and early entrance at 11 a.m.
Tickets are available at the Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Park District website at tvrpd.org/events/brews-on-the-mountain.