Kern County Fair features Nelly on opening night

Andrea Rabago, Feature Writer

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Jared Mann/Runner File Photo, Group of attendees gather near a ride at the Kern County Fairgrounds.

Fall is upon us, and so the countdown begins to the return of the Kern County Fair.

  The Kern County Fair is a tradition for many families here in Bakersfield. It is a place where families go to enjoy an abundance of live music, food, and ride attractions. The fair starts start Sep. 18 and runs through Sep. 29. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. There will be additional security screenings at the entrance gate.   Metal detectors will be put in place, along with handheld wand detectors to ensure a safe and secure event for everyone.

  Tickets are available online at, where fairgoers can also find discounted tickets, wristbands, and parking at local supermarkets and businesses. Discounted parking can be found at multiple O’Reilly Auto Parts in Bakersfield. Discounted tickets and wristbands can be found online or at various Vallarta Supermarkets. Prices at the gate for adult admission start at $12 while discounted tickets are $10. Admission for children at the gate is $5 while discounted is $4. Wristbands at the fair will cost $35, and discounted will be $28 or higher until Sep. 18.

  There is so much more to enjoy at the fair than just rides. There will also be live performances, livestock, various food vendors, a monster truck show, and a rodeo. All live performances, the monster truck show, and the rodeo will require a separate ticket which must be purchased online.

  Some of the artists and bands that will be performing at the fair this year include Nelly, KC & The Sunshine Band, Tracy Byrd, and Mariachi San Marcos. Hundreds of people are expected to come see the live performances and other entertainment shows. A few students talked about their fair experiences, and Jansen Mamauag, a kinesiology major, mentioned how he enjoyed going to the fair for some of the live performances.

  Mamauag attended the Kern County Fair for the first time last year, and enjoyed watching both Ashanti and the Beach Boys perform. He became overwhelmed with joy at the sight of the atmosphere and excitement around him when attending both shows. Mamauag said this was the highlight of his first visit to the Kern County Fair.

  Jesus Garcia, another kinesiology major, has attended the fair in Bakersfield numerous times throughout the years. Garcia says he enjoys the variety of activities that the fair has to offer, such as fun and exciting rides, including his favorite, the tall carousel swings. Garcia also enjoys the different foods sold at the fair. He believes some items are a bit overpriced, but very well worth it. Out of all the food offered, Garcia says he enjoys a classic funnel cake, sometimes just with powdered sugar, and other times with seasonal fruit toppings and a whole lot of ice cream.

  Both students encourage any Runner who has never been to the fair to get out there this year.