BC looks for vendors for the 13th Annual Garden Festival

Miranda Defoor, Reporter

Bakersfield College is looking for vendors for the 13th annual Garden Fest. Garden Fest is an annual event coordinated and hosted by the BC Agriculture Department. It will be a free event, on campus, on April 21 at Renegade Park. The event offers free parking and free admission.

The Garden Fest is offering free booths to BC clubs, students, and vendors. Anyone can have a booth at the event for handmade products, crafts, and art. However, home businesses like Tupperware and Avon are discouraged, and selling food can be difficult due to permits needed from the Health Department, according to Sally Sterns, Environmental Horticulture Technician at BC.

All students need to do for a free booth at the event is fill out the online application, which has to be reviewed and approved by Sterns.

The goal for Garden Fest is to be a free, family friendly event. Sterns said the event and parking are free so that those attending can spend their money on vendors and food.

There will be 150 vendors, many from BC, as well as crafters, artists, and plant sellers. Food trucks will be at the event and three BC Culinary Arts students will get to compete in the “Throwdown,” as described by Sterns, against local chef John McFee.

Along with booths and food trucks, there will be free how-to seminars, a live radio show, and a carnival. BC clubs will compete to see who has the best carnival game, and the lucky winning group will receive $250 for their club.

Sterns said the Garden Fest is similar to the Kern County Fair, but it is aimed at home gardeners. BC Agriculture and Horticulture students can also seek job opportunities at the event through vendors such as the Bureau of Land Management, Parks and Recreation, US Foresters, Habitat for Humanity, and Bike Bakersfield.

The Garden Fest saw 5,000 people last year and organizers expect similar numbers this year.

“It is a good event for those [students] in the Horticulture Department,” according to Sterns.

“Students work hard to grow plants. They practice what they learn in class.” From seeds to selling, students get the experience of growing their plants into something ready to be sold to those attending the Garden Fest.