By Joshua Rivera
Every first Friday of the month, Bakersfield hosts their very own First Friday festival. Founded by the Bakersfield Art Council in 2007, this event that brings the Kern County Community together is located at the intersection of 19th Street and Eye Street, Bakersfield’s Art District.
The Art Walk at First Friday Bakersfield helps local artists in Kern County dispaly and sell their art to the community. The Art Walk crosses both Bakersfield Art Association’s Art Center, and Metro Galleries, where local artists are also able to show their work. The Art Center has been showcasing local artists’ work for more than sixty years, and has been involved with First Friday since the beginning; it also has been very involved with the community by showcasing art at several different locations, having several workshops for children and adults, and it gives out scholarships for artists in high school and college. Metro Galleries follows a different theme every First Friday. September’s theme supported local Latino artists by working with the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce by supporting Latin8tion, and Hispanic Heritage Month.
Dagny’s Coffee supports local literary artists by hosting an Open Mic, free to the public, where artists perform original poetry, spoken word, and music. Hosted by Portia Choi-Chang, the Open Mic has been involved with First Friday for over two years, encouraging and promoting local artists to share their work. Open Mic also frequently hosts featured artists. September’s featured artist was Fidel A. Martinez, a local defense attorney that shared poetry from three of his books, and also new poems that he hopes to get published. Alexander Victoria and Liz Greynolds represented Taft College by also sharing their poetry this past First Friday, encouraging other Cougars to share their work as well.
Alexander Victoria of Taft College
First Friday Bakersfield is the first Friday of every month, and is open to the public. All of the Kern County Community is encouraged to join the festivities, and support out local artists.
Winding Up for the Last Pitch
By Alberto Muro
The Bakersfield Blaze played their last home game at Sam Lynn Ballpark on August 28. The Sunday evening weather comforted the 1,745 fans in attendance ready to say goodbye to a team that kept baseball culture alive since 1941.
The Bakersfield Blaze organization announced in early August that they would cease operations after the completion of the 2016 season. Although Blaze fans were disappointed about the news, that did not prevent them from enjoying their last weekend at Sam Lynn Ballpark.
For 75 years, The Bakersfield Blaze endured an abundance of transitions. From changing team affiliates to producing quality players, the people of Bakersfield stood behind the team’s decisions.
Prior to the first inning, Assistant General Manager & Director of Broadcasting Dan Besbris walked onto the field and gave thanks on behalf of the organization to everyone for years of attendance and creating memories with the team.
The final game at Sam Lynn ballpark concluded with Bakersfield defeating Stockton 8-11. The Bakersfield Blaze will finish their remaining seven games in Northern California. Sam Lynn ballpark will remain open for playoffs as the Blaze have secured as spot allowing them one last championship run.