Bakersfield Arts District Foundation presents First Friday

Dunia Cantu, Reporter

Every first Friday of the month, Downtown Bakersfield has its Art Walk. That consists of downtown shops, restaurants, local street vendors selling their products, and live music. Whether it is art pieces, clothing, or jewelry, one can find it at First Friday.

Dunia Cantu
The band Due to Circumstances performing for the first time at First Friday. They had they crowd going by performing cover songs. Charlie Laxague (singer), Sean Miller (guitar and bass), and Isaac Roquemore (drummer).

First Friday starts at the intersection of 19th and Eye Street. They close those intersections so that the public can roam around freely. Though 19th street is still open for cars to be able to go in and out of the area.

Even though the shops in Downtown close early they stay open late for First Friday.

There were a lot of tents set up with Bakersfield locals selling their products. Most of the products that were being sold were art pieces and handmade items.

Omar Baeza who is a Bakersfield College student had his art displayed and for sale on First Friday. It was his second time setting up there.

“I present my paintings to the public that I make at home. Whether that’s acrylic or oil paintings. They range anywhere between $40, $90, and the biggest one is $200. That is my masterpiece called “Apocalypse,” and it is only because of the price of the canvas,” Baeza said.

Another vendor that was outselling their product to the public was Lindsey Bennet. Who is the owner of Midnight Soapery. She was out their selling soaps that she had handmade herself. Bennet has been setting up at First Friday for a year now.  Bennet likes that Bakersfield lets locals sell their products.

“It is nice because usually, you have to reserve to Etsy, or Amazon if you want jewelry and stuff. But it is nice to come down here and see like ‘oh these people make their jewelry or oh I can go buy a painting, and I can know somebody here actually made it.’ Cause they can say they made it and they bought it, but here you can see and talk through the process with them. So, it is interesting,” Bennet said.

Apart from the vendors setting up on First Friday, art galleries open up. Like Bubble Pop Gallery. Which is next to the Fox Theater. They had a showcase called “RISE: An All-Female Artist Showcase.” In celebration of Women’s History Month. All the art that was displayed was from local artists and it could be bought.

Elisa Duran attended First Friday for the first time. Since it was her first time she was skeptical about the whole thing, but it ended up surpassing her expectations.

“I would definitely love to attend it again because seeing that much diversity in a city that’s so conservative is really empowering,” Elisa said.

First Friday always sets up on the first Friday of the month. It is from 5-9pm. This would not have happened if it was not for the Bakersfield Arts District Foundation.

Dunia Cantu
Bakersfield locals enjoying First Friday by taking a peek at what vendors had to sell. Every tent had something different, and you were able to talk to the vendor more about their product.