Eclectic activities for the curious

Marcinda Coil
September 27, 2006
Filed under Features

There is much to see this year at the Kern County Fair’s Jungle O’ Fun. For example, there are the new attractions, The Village Blacksmith and Lights, Camera, Animals! There are also some old traditions to see, such as the photo and art exhibits.

In the Fine Arts Building, onlookers can find anything from flower gardens to quilts.

Wood, metal, and leather crafts, all of which were crafted by local hands, are also displayed.

There is also a visual display of Kern County’s history.

Young generations can view miniature-building structures of the old Fox Theater, Buck Owens Crystal Palace, and the Kern County Museum.

Although not as popular, people can see that Bodfish Station dated back to the 1930s.

Then there is the art exhibit where appreciators of the craft can be found gawking at the beauty our locals created.

“I just like looking at art here in Bakersfield,” said art appreciator Chris McCullah,” it [the exhibit] gives them [artists] a chance to express who they are.”

Many styles, such as watercolor, oil, pastel, colored pencil, pencil, and even pen, are used to create the art.

Art subjects range from the abstract, animals, mythical, and Japanese animation.

Older generations can view Jimi Hendrix or Johnny Cash, while their children can marvel at a Homer Simpson or a Spiderman painting.

“I like some of the 3-D art,” said McCullah. He also likes the Splinter in the Sequoia, which is a landscape painting of trees and mountains. “It kind of reminds me of camping.”

Not only is art displayed in the Fine Arts Building, art appreciators can enjoy more visual stimulation in the Goode Auditorium that holds Community Exhibits.

A Jeep decorated with jungle imagery sits just inside the building, which adds to the fair’s theme.

However, there is more than jungle imagery in the building.

Photos of animals, landscapes, children, cities, sports, and abstracts decorate the walls.

They range from color, sienna, and black and white styles.

“Love it,” said Rhode Island resident Lisa Kotlen. “I like the animals, and I like the travel photos.”

However, fairgoers do not have to be art appreciators to enjoy other exhibits and shows the fair has to offer.

The whole family can enjoy The Village Blacksmith Exhibit and show, or even the walking puppet show that prances around entertaining children.

In maintaining the theme, the fair also offers Lights, Camera, Animals! It showcases a variety of animals that have appeared on television and movies.

People can meet “Rundown” and “Murder By Numbers” star Camilla the baboon, or 6-year-old Mickey the baboon that has appeared in two car commercials and an independent film.

Not only are there baboons, there is 5-year-old Chico the bird gracing the stage by taking a $1 bill from a member of the audience and then giving it back.

If that is not enough, people can pay to see a 13-foot, 1,200-pound Florida alligator named Big Al, or take a ride on one of two elephants.

No matter the attraction, they certainly attract all types of fairgoers looking for entertainment.

The Great Kern County Fair runs until Oct. 10 at 10 p.m.

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