Kern County Museum holds Village Fest to celebrate local restaurants


Francisco Parraguirre shows off “Catrina Divina,” a dress designed by him.

Jenny Brito, Reporter

The Kern County Museum opened its doors for the yearly Bakersfield Village Fest. The event drew approximately 5,000 people who enjoyed a night full of music, drinks and a variety of food.

The museum grounds were divided into different villages, and each played a specific type of music. For example, the Microblues Stage played blues, and the Craft Brew Stage had Hispanic music.

The Craft Brew Stage was one of the most popular of the evening. The inside was crowded with people dancing to salsa and reggaeton music. The party got louder after Mento Buru took the stage at 9 p.m.

Miranda Whitworth, the event’s media coordinator, said that although Latin music tends to be more popular, this year had many other options.

The Village Lawn Stage, which was emceed by Mary G and Snacks from Energy 95.3, was one of those options.

“Country artists Truxtun Mile, 80’s cover band Members Only, and rockers The Aviators really kept the crowds captivated and the lawn packed,” Whitworth said.

In addition to music, participants could get up to 15 drinks for free. Different wineries and breweries set up tents where people could stop by and get their cups refilled.

Heineken, Corona, and Bud Light were among the major breweries at the event. There were also local options such as California Lager.

Dos XX and Tecate provided beers that did not count toward the 15 drinks allowed. Laura Barrientos, a first-time attendee, said that she was pleasantly surprised to see that people could drink more than 15 times.

Food was also abundant. Approximately 30 local restaurants participated in the event. Places such as BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, Sugar Twist, and Salty’s BBQ and Catering offered generous food samples for all attendants.

Leonardo Rodriguez, who has attended Village Fest for the past three years, shared that his favorite part of the event is that unlimited food is offered.

“You get to try food from different places in town, and many of them end up becoming your favorites,” he said.

The event is now 23 years old, but it has managed to keep up with the times. People of all ages are drawn to it every year. Event coordinators make sure that every year is a new experience, and they want Village Fest to continue to evolve.

“Whether it’s expanding our social media presence, rebuilding the website or switching from a traditional ticket retailer to a vendor like Eventbrite, we need to make sure we are embracing new trends,” Whitworth added.

The Bakersfield Village Fest takes place every year in Bakersfield, and proceeds benefit the Kern County Museum and Children’s Advocates Resource Endowment (C.A.R.E.).