BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - It's the first Friday of April, and locals know what that means for downtown Bakersfield.
Dozens of nearby business and restaurant owners look forward to the first Friday of every month because they say the event brings in around 2,000 people.
Bakersfield's First Friday started six years ago with less than 100 attendees. The monthly event now brings thousands of people downtown and helps to showcase local artists.
An exhibit at Metro Galleries featuring Linda Brown, a teacher at Liberty High School, opens up tonight.
"People that aren't familiar, or have time with their families to come, it's nice," said Shawna Haddad Byers, owner of Muertos restaurant.
Business owners say that First Friday has also helped to change the image of downtown Bakersfield.
"10 or 12 years ago, when there were issues, violence, shootings going on, those places are gone now," said Don Martin, owner of Metro Galleries.
In place of those old bars are a diverse variety of unique restaurants, including Muertos, Mama Roomba, Wall Street Cafe, Chef's Noodle Bar, and The Mark to name a few.
When people think of downtown they get concerned about parking, but store owners want to remind people about the eight-story parking garage at 18th and Eye that is free to park in.
BPD officer David Nelson laid to rest
Fallen Bakersfield Police officer David Nelson was laid to rest just after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday during a service held at Forest Lawn Memorial…
Deputies searching for missing 13-year old
The Kern County Sheriff's Office is searching for a missing at-risk 13 year old.
82-year-old takes first place
A local musician is adding another trophy to his collection after winning a national fiddler's competition.
Suspect in Officer Death Admits Involvement
The man suspected of driving the vehicle that was being pursued by a Bakersfield Police Officer who crashed and died during the pursuit…