Keeping the Streets Warm, a free event scheduled 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at MLK Park in east Bakersfield will feature music, food giveaways and collect donations of blankets and other warming winter items for those in need.
Bakersfield's own Zacari, known for his vocal work on several Grammy-nominated projects, is expected to perform at the event, where attendees are being asked to follow all coronavirus restrictions.
"Home is where the heart is. If my city calls on me, I show up," Zacari said in a text Wednesday.
"There is a huge need," said Christian Romo, a staffer for Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, whose office has been involved in charitable activities at the park.
"We will follow all guidelines strictly and we hope that most people do drive up, but that community typically doesn’t have cars."
Indeed, many recent food giveaways in Bakersfield have been in a "drive-thru" format. Unfortunately, Romo said, those events are impossible to attend by those who don't have vehicle transportation.
Romo said they have been using the MLK community initiative location adjacent to the park for months, but this event is expected to draw a larger turnout, so they decided to use the park to properly social distance.
A spokesman for the city of Bakersfield said a permit for the event has not been requested by organizers or provided by the city.
Face masks will be available, organizers said.
"We have 50,000 masks donated from Brenda Jeans Sober Living and we are adhering and enforcing all CDC guidelines for COVID-19 at our event," said organizer Zylo Hefferan.
Smile Makers is providing free dental screenings and MLK Community Initiative is giving away food baskets, he said.
Donations of gently used or new blankets, jackets, sweaters, socks, gloves and headwear may be dropped off at the office of Supervisor Perez, 1115 Truxtun Ave., and at the MLK Community Center, 1000 S. Owens St.