Jazzy Mabel decides to bring the pride to Bakersfield for a third year

Jocelynn Landon, Photo & Art Director

Poster for Jazzy Mabel’s third annual Pride Fair on June 2, 2023. Flyer screenshot from @jazzymabel on Instagram.

When it comes to LGBTQ+ representation and safe spaces, Bakersfield is lacking, according to Jazzy, a small business owner from Bakersfield. For a third year, Jazzy decided to open up her backyard, describing it as a “big, gay, summer party,” and a time and space for people in the queer community to feel safe in the city they grew up in. 

Kate Coughlin, who goes by Jazzy, is hosting the Third Annual Jazzy Mabel Pride Fair in Bakersfield, California on June 3 from 12 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at 3311 Chester Ln. Bakersfield, CA.  

In 2020, Jazzy started a small business creating art by upcycling clothing that she already had on hand. She would spend time selling her creations at craft markets and other pop-up shops in Bakersfield.  

One day, Jazzy came home and decided that she wanted to have a hand in the creation of the pop-ups while holding space where the LGBTQ+ community can have a place to come together.  

Jazzy’s mom and dad were in total support of her idea, leading to the launch of the first Jazzy Mabel Pride Fair on June 6, 2021.  

Although Jazzy moved to Long Beach, California beginning last year, she has continued to keep this event in Bakersfield.  

“Long Beach doesn’t need it,” said Jazzy, as she believes it is already an accepting and progressive environment for the LGBTQ+ community. 

This year there will be over 40 vendors, with the majority of them being a part of the LGBTQ+ community. There will also be food vendors and a queer musician lineup. 

Jazzy Coughlin poses with her mom and dad at last years pride fair on June 5, 2022. Jazzy said that her parents were a big support system for this event’s success. Photo provided by Jazzy Coughlin.

Norman Skidmore, a close friend of Jazzy, and her right hand at the event, has been involved with the fair since the start. Nine years ago, they got involved in the music industry through the creation of Hate Drugs, the band that Skidmore is a part of.  

When Skidmore got involved with the fair, they quickly realized that there was a lack of audio equipment available.  

“Hate Drugs, however, had recently purchased a full live audio system… so we offered to set up our gear,” said Skidmore.  

Skidmore went on to run the music aspect of the pride fair as the artist manger. He is in charge of scheduling, selecting and organizing the artists, and setting up the equipment.  

Skidmore said that music is a way to express yourself and influence people. He also said that “the queer community is in desperate need of love… audio and music is where my talent is so that’s how I choose to love people.”  

Cherie Barrow is a first-year vendor at this year’s fair that will be selling mystery date with books. 

Barrow said she is excited to experience the positivity and love that she witnessed from previously attending.  

“It was just a really good crowd… friendly, open, warm, positive group of people,” said Barrow. 

Barrow also said that with everything going on in the world with the political environment towards the LGBTQ+ community, events like these are important to show that they are loved and supported by the community and allies.  

“We have protests which are important and vital… but with the fair… It’s just to celebrate yourself, loved ones, or friends who are part of the community,” Barrow said.  

Jill Fowler, a third-year vendor, is an artist who sells acrylic paintings. Fowler said that the pride fair is one of her favorite days of the year and looks forward to it.  

“This is my most successful event as a vendor,” said Fowler. 

 Fowler almost stopped creating art, but because of the support that she received from this event, she gained the motivation to keep going. 

Emily Parks, a previous attendee, shows her support by showing up for the community and spreading the word all around Bakersfield. One of her children is gay and when he was in town, he didn’t see his people here, said Parks.  

Parks described the feeling of longing for acceptance and how people can truly be themselves at Jazzy’s event.  

Some vendor highlights of this year are gender affirming haircuts from Raven (@hairbyraven on Instagram). Jazzy said that people will have an opportunity to walk out of the event feeling new and more comfortable. 

Cherry Apparel, created by Isiah Lara, will be joining in for their first ever pop-up shop. They will be launching two exclusive lines at the fair that people can enjoy.  

Lastly, attendees can expect to walk out with a new manicure from @songbirdstiletos on Instagram.  

Every year, Jazzy said she realizes that Bakersfield doesn’t see how many LGBTQ+ community members are in town. She will continue to create a space where the whole family is welcomed to swim, shop, communicate and celebrate with the community here in town.  

For more information, check out @jazzymabel on Instagram for the official vendor, music and food line up.