December in Bakersfield is always busy, but this Thursday evening, there's so much going on that those who want to avoid crowded roadways could use a warning.
With three events all going on downtown Thursday evening, traffic (and parking) in the area might be a bit of a headache for those looking to dine or just passing through on their way home.
The Bakersfield Christmas Parade, starting at 6 p.m., is sure to be the biggest factor to consider. The route goes south on L Street, then turns west onto 21st Street, south onto G Street and east on 20th Street until O Street.
There will be no parking along the route, so parade-goers will want to park beyond those streets or in the Eye and 18th parking garage. Those who have parked on those streets along the route during the day will need to move their cars by 5 p.m. or be towed, according to a release from the Bakersfield Police Department.
Note that 23rd and 24th Street are both open but still down to two lanes between Oak and M streets as work continues on the 24th Street Improvement Project.
Over at the Fox Theater (2001 H St.), which is within the parade route, Mariachi Sol de Mexico will perform its "A Merry-Achi Christmas" concert. The theater has been working with the Downtown Business Association to help concert-goers navigate downtown.
Doors for the concert will open at 6:30 p.m., as previously planned, but the show will now start at 8 p.m. (instead of 7:30 p.m.), which will let the parade pass the venue when the band takes the stage.
Concert guests are encouraged to park to the west and south of the Fox, away from the parade. To accommodate guests who might have to park further away than expected, the theater will have golf carts available for transport. Guests can request a pickup by calling 661-324-1369, option 2.
While the Petula Clark concert at World Records (2815 F St.) is farther away from the parade hubbub, traffic getting there from anywhere else in town might be affected by all the people heading to the general area.
If you're heading to any of these three events (or anything else downtown), keep in mind that you'll be one of hundreds on the road, so give yourself plenty of time to get there. Or, if you want no part of all the traffic, maybe plan to dine or imbibe downtown on another night.