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Card players gather for Magic: The Gathering

15 Jun

Russo’s Bookstore is known to hold an array of events to attract more business by giving the community a place to bond over a common interest.

This Friday I watched over the guys and girls as they engaged countless hours of mental dexterity.

Click here to see The Gathering!


Can’t beat the heat? Escape it!

14 Jun

One of the best ways to beat the heat in Bakersfield is to escape it. That does not mean you have to plan elaborate three day trip as far away for Kern County as humanely possible. However, a little alone time is always beneficial to one’s psyche.

Bakersfield is surrounded by quaint towns that are home to many historical pieces within its respective community.

Allensworth is a historical town located roughly 30 minutes North of Bakersfield. This town was originally founded by former slaves on Aug 03, 1908 by Colonel Allen Allensworth.

courtesy of:

courtesy of:

This town is now the location of Colonel Allensworth’s State Historic Park. The park has a visiting center that holds tours. Visitors can also camp out on the grounds. Special events are held throughout the year to raise awareness about one of the first all-black communities.

In celebration of Juneteenth, the earliest form of celebration for freeing the slaves, the Allensworth State Historic Park holds an annual event where participants can ride bikes and engage in other activities including entertainment, guest speakers and free tours.

Their annual rededication event will take place on Oct. 12.

According to the park’s website, this event seeks to “renew our commitment to the park and its symbolic representation of self determination for all African-Americans in the areas of education and economic development.”

The City of Tehachapi, though plagued by obscurity,  can be a place for great entertainment when it’s found. After the City Council teamed up with the Tehachapi Mountain Rodeo Association (TMRA) in 2012, the groups improved and began operating the Tehachapi Event Center Rodeo Grounds.

On July 4th, the rodeo grounds will be hosting their annual Bad Bulls Tour. Guest are encouraged to go out and support a cool day and a show filled with clever clowns, raging bulls and the fearless cowboys who ride them. A Patriotic Fireworks Finale will follow the show to honor those served in the military.

courtesy of:

courtesy of:

Ticket prices for this event are: $15- at the gate. Special discounts are applicable.


Volunteers make the world go ’round

14 Jun

Volunteering is a past time that never gets old. Many people who are unfamiliar with volunteering may view it as a daunting, time-consuming task that offers no benefits. That idea is misguided.

American Red Cross Disaster Relief group Kern County-

American Red Cross Disaster Relief group
Kern County-

Former California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) student Leah Foster said, “Originally, I started volunteering as a part of my community service class for CSUB, but I liked it so much that I kept going back, even after CSUB kicked me out.”

Contrary to what some pessimists may believe, volunteering can yield many rewards. The best part about getting involved in your community is the sense of togetherness that can be established. Volunteering just once a week is enough to make a difference in the lives of people who are crave companionship.

A personal favorite of mine would have to be the American Red Cross. They offer many fields for potential volunteers to choose from. Bakersfield residents interested in this non-profit organization can contact their local Red Cross chapter to learn about positions in Disaster Relief through Case Management.

Another way to get involved is by donating time at the Boy’s and Girls’ Club of Kern County.

 CSU Bakersfield Athletic Communications The CSUB Baseball team and the CSUB Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) have teamed up with Terrio Fitness, The Boys and Girls Club of Kern County and Frosty's Forest for the Roadrunner Holiday Challenge.

CSU Bakersfield Athletic Communications The CSUB Baseball team and the CSUB Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) have teamed up with Terrio Fitness, The Boys and Girls Club of Kern County and Frosty’s Forest for the Roadrunner Holiday Challenge.

This is a great place to try to volunteer at. Like the Red Cross, the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Kern County has an array of ideas that would positively develop the youth of this community.

The Boys’ and Girls’ Club can also double as a “baby-sitter” for children during the times when parents wish to regain their sanity.  Parents can bring their kids to a fun environment where they can socialize freely with other children, as long as they are within the rules and regulations of the organization.

Some suggested ways to give back to the community were listed on the official website. Volunteers can: offer assistance in homework, teach a teen a new hobby or craft, join outings as a Field Trip Assistant, or coach a sports team.

Not only does volunteering present the chance to make another person feel good; but it also leads to invaluable life lessons,  real-world experience and the chance to leave your stamp on the world.

Kern County goes nuts!

13 Jun

  This Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Kern County will be holding its first annual Nut Festival.  This event was created and hosted by the Kern County Museum to help bring together Kern County residents and educate them about the tasty and healthy benefits of the various nuts grown locally.

Banner promoting the upcoming Nut Festival

Banner promoting the upcoming Nut Festival

This nut festival is a great way for friends and families of all ages to have some fun. June 14th, there will be a special VIP event just for adults. The next day, adults can bring their youth back to the museum to enjoy more family-friendly activities.

 Bakersfield resident and Nut Festival attendant Maci Atkins said, “I enjoy the Nut Fest every year, and I’ve been going for the past five years and I can’t for this weekend.”

  Events to take place include a “Run with Nuts,” where participants run a mile and back down Kern River Parkway Bike trail. Festival goers can also look forward to stage performances, art exhibitions, and culinary instructions taught by celebrity chefs. 

The nut festival also benefits organizations that seek to promote their cause as well as give back to the community. Though, most of the revenue will go to the Kern County Museum Foundation, non-profit organizations can gain revenue through volunteering or vending.

Not only can families grow closer, but they can work together to serve the less fortunate.

  Chair of the Kern County Museum Foundation Bob Lerude said in a Nut Festival promotion, “We are so excited about the Kern County Nut Festival and the impact it will have on our community; Not only will it be a fun, entertaining community event, but it will enable local non-profits to benefit as well, all the while supporting the educational efforts of the Kern County Museum.”

By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

Besides the Kern County Museum, other organizations and corporations participating during the upcoming weekend include: the Bakersfield Police Department, Kern Community Foundation, Bakersfield Museum of Art (which I didn’t know existed), Memorial Hospital, and Kern County Environmental Health.

  The Kern County Museum is located on Chester Ave. Pre-sale tickets are $10 for adults, five dollars for kids (5- 12), and free for kids under four. At the gate ticket prices increase  by two dollars.

For more information about the Kern County Nut Festival or sponsorship information, contact Sheryl Barbich at
661.301.6763 or Beth Pandol 661.302.8171.


Girls’ Night Out

13 May

Girls Night Out

Women today have a lot more on their plates than ever before. With an abundance of responsibilities such as: work, school, and family, ladies have less time for socializing and even less time for relaxing. A girls’ night is a simple way to kill two birds with one stone. girls’ night out, or ladies’ night, can be described as a social gathering for a small group of girlfriends. The friends spend quality time together to catch up with one another. They engage in activities that are of interest to everyone. You can’t go wrong with the three basics: food, fun, and drinks! Also, despite popular belief, girls’ night out doesn’t have to start after sunset. There are plenty of day-time activities fof ladies to participate in.

Client receives facial treatment at Skinsations Medical Spa

Client receives facial treatment at Skinsations Medical Spa

Spa: One of the most common forms of quality girl timewould have to be going to the spa. Bakersfield is home to many options, Skinsation medical spa and EuroTan Spa are two of the more established spas within the city. Both establishments have made regular appearances in Bakersfield Life. A massage is one of the best ways to wind down.  Skinsation goes above and beyond by offering body wraps, body scrubs,  facials, and minimal medical procedures. EuroTan Spa, a subsidery of  Europhoria Spa & Solarium, provides massages along with tanning services, specialty facials, and waxing treatments. Many spas today offer hair and nail treatments to better serve customers. Planning ahead and researching various spas and any accompanying deals make preperation and execution easier, especially with groups of women.

Image provided by

Image provided by

Shop: There is no need to shop ’til you drop, but a little retail therapy never hurt. Even if it’s just a pair of gold hoop earrings, buying a gift for oneself is sometimes necessary. It can be viewed as a small token of self-appreciation for all of the hard work that only you know you do. Valley Plaza Mall is home to an ecletic mix of shops. However, the area can become very crowded and cause ones’ patience to dwindle. This defeats the purpose of having a girls’ night (or day). A more relaxing place to shop, or window shop, would be the Marketplace. The stores are more “high-end,” but there is more elbow room. Also, everybody seems to move at a slower pace. For the budget-minded, try to plan ladies’ night around sale days or shop from the clearance rack to catch a steal.

Dinner & Drinks: You can indulge in both or just stick to one. The possibilities are endless for where to eat. Different people have different taste buds. Sushi is enjoyed by many. Ichibans off of Gosford offers quality sushi dishes with affordable prices. Chilli’s, Olive Garden, and the Elephant Bar, all located within Bakersfield, give residents a range of restaurants and eateries to choose from. For a more energetic atmosphere, try Hooters, it gives you a reason to leave the kids at home. Hooters, like many eating establishments have bars installed for guest to wait or watch television. For those who find this less than desireable, downtown Bakersfield has an activ street life which makes bar-hopping a breeze. The Padre Hotel gets positive feedback for its ability to create a club-like mood. Que Pasa, though it caters to a different demographic, can be a blast with events like Happy Hour and Taco Tuesday. $2 tacos and half-priced drinks, need I say more?

Hooters waitresses serve up smiles in the form of chicken and beer.

Hooters waitresses serve up smiles in the form of chicken and beer.

Fro’ Yo’ is Fun for all!!

29 Apr

Yogurt bars have become an instant attraction for Bakersfield residents. Eating healthy foods is often misguidedly associated with boring foods that lack color and taste. Frozen yogurt is now offered throughout Bakersfield as a healthy and scrumptious alternative to ice cream. Within the past three years, at least three yogurt bars have been opened on the southwest side of Bakersfield. Over a dozen yogurt places are currently open across the city. These comfortable bars are filled with vibrant colors, translucent spotlighting, and strategic seating which enables customers to spend a fun time together for under ten dollars.

Tutti Frutti

Tutti Frutti in Stockdale Shopping Center

Tutti Frutti in Town & Country Shopping Center

  •   Tutti Frutti is a great place to grab a frozen treat. Tutti Frutti is located in the Town and Country Shopping Center down the street from CSUB. This is a convenience for students who desire a cold creamy dessert during the summer. No car? Not a problem, Tutti Frutti is less than a mile from the campus. According to the company’s website, Tutti Frutti has locations in various countries across the country from Australia to Vietnam. Their mission is to make high quality frozen yogurt for people to enjoy all around the world. Customers can enjoy a cup of fro’ yo from 11am – 10 pm, Sunday through Thursday and 11 am – 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

    First- time customer Nathan Sanchez

    First- time customer Nathan Sanchez overloads on mango & pineapple soft serves

Nathan Sanchez, a first-time customer described his experience as “delicious, affordable, and mind blowing.”


Two cheerful customers enjoy a yummy snack from Yogurtland

Two cheerful customers enjoy a yummy snack from Yogurtland

  •   Yogurtland is another frozen yogurt bar that is also located on Stockdale Highway. This place can be found a few blocks down from the Riverwalk Park. The location is excellent for relaxing on a bench and feeling the pre-summer breeze while enjoying a savory serving of frozen yogurt. This yogurt bar offers a wide variety of flavors including: Salted Caramel Pecan, Dragon Passion Fruit Tart, and Matcha Green Tea. The store is open from 11 am- 11 pm Monday through Thursday, and Sunday. Yogurtland stays open an extra hour on Friday and Saturday.


The latest yogurt bar, Yogurtzone, offers variety, coloful designs, and fun for all!

The latest yogurt bar, Yogurtzone, offers a variety of flavors, colorful designs, and fun for all!

  • Another edition to the frozen yogurt  fad is the newly opened Yogurtzone. Yogurtzone can be found placed discreetly between two shops at the Marketplace. Yogurtzone employees emphasize the importance of quality customer service. The bar stands out by providing more space, a chic decor, a backdrop for customers to take photos, and a television that plays a slideshow of previous customers. Like Tutti Frutti, the location of Yogurtzone is close enough for CSUB students to walk to the destination. Unlike some of the surrounding shops in The Marketplace, Yogurtzone is affordable, so customers with varying budgets can enjoy a cup of fun!

Downtown Thrifting

29 Apr

Thrift Store: In Your Wildest Dreams
April 24th @ Downtown Bakersfield

Two young customers swap second-hand bags after class.
Two young customers swap second-hand bags after class.

Elise Cotton peruses through shirts during her lunch break.

Elise Cotton peruses through shirts during her lunch break.

Rebecca Iao tries on vintage bracelets

Rebecca Iao tries on vintage bracelets

An Antique cash register for sale at In Your Wildest Dreams.

An Antique cash register for sale at In Your Wildest Dreams.