Come Saturday, the streets will be alive with the sounds of history as Stories on the Sidewalk debuts downtown.
Put on by the Arts Council of Kern, the first-ever event will bring to life the tales of 12 local historical figures at different stations through a stretch of downtown Bakersfield.
The 11 stops on the Stories on the Sidewalk each portray different notable figures in Kern history:
Col. Thomas Baker, founder of Bakersfield; story written by James Burger, performed by Edward French.
Truxtun Beale, diplomat and Tejon Ranch owner; story written by Robert Byrne, performed by Luis Velez and Carlos Vera.
Charlie Ping, highbinder (gangster) turned Chinatown businessman; story written by Stefani Dias, performed by Eric Pichardo.
Larry Itliong, Filipino-American labor leader who co-founded the United Farmworkers Union; story written by Chris Dison, performed by Jorge Lopez.
Pancho Barnes, pioneer aviatrix and owner of the Happy Bottom Riding Club; story written by Rossely Harmon, performed by Lorilyne Lee LaMacchia.
Madge Wilson, infamous madam in the tenderloin, Bakersfield's red-light district; story written by Lois Henry, performed by Janice French.
Alfred Harrell, editor and publisher of The Bakersfield Californian; story written by Runa Lemminn, performed by Jared Cantrell.
Flossie Haggard, mother of Merle Haggard; story written by Jennifer Self, performed by Laura Cruz.
William and Amanda Pinkney, pioneering African-American couple; story written by Tayci Stallings, performed by Travvon Trimble and Annie Pinckney.
Dick Fellows, stagecoach robber and horse thief; story written by Mandy Wallace, performed by Josh Carruthers.
Earl Warren, Supreme Court chief justice; story written by Martha Warriner, performed by Bob Anderson.
Attendees will meet outside the Mission Bank Building, which houses the ACK office, for a 90-minute walking tour with scenes lasting about six minutes at each stop.
It's highly recommended to buy your tickets in advance since a number of tours are already full. Visit kernarts.org for tour information and to buy tickets.
Beth Pandol, who came up the event with fellow history lover Tracy Walker-Kiser, said she'd like attendees to walk away inspired by these dramatic portrayals.
She said, "I hope people take away a deeper sense of local history, an appreciation for those who had an impact on Kern County and an interest in learning more."