23ABC Community Connection


VillageFest prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary

Posted at 10:53 AM, Sep 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-06 13:53:10-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — It's one of the biggest parties every year in Bakersfield -- VillageFest. And this weekend VillageFest will be celebrating a quarter-century.

Frugatti's owner Ralph Fruguglietti's passion for kids has been on display for a quarter of a century through one of the county's favorite outdoor parties.

"Here we are 25 years later, it's stronger than ever. People love it. People look forward to it every year. People ask us why we don't do it twice a year and I don't think they know how much work does into it," said Fruguglietti.

Fruguglietti says VillageFest combines his love of beer and wine and a call to serve Kern County's most vulnerable. One-hundred-percent of the funds raised this weekend benefit the Children's Advocates Resource Endowment or CARE. The local non-profit raises money for local children's charities.

"By coming to the event, you're supporting kids. Not just in general, not all over the world, not all over the country, but here in Kern County. We've given things to the homeless shelter, Bakersfield Police Activities League, Sheriff's activities league."

Mike Ramsey has been a part of VillageFest for 23-years, 22 of those as the "mayor."

"We turn the little sleepy Kern County Museum into Disneyland for one night. Pretty much take care of all the set up and logistics here at the museum, all the equipment, generators, all the stages."

The event will house 5 different stages throughout the museum grounds with 15 bands each bringing their unique sounds and genres from blues to island tunes.

As Fruguglietti reflects on 25-years of the festival he's grateful it's made a difference.

"It's really neat to be able to see what it's become and what it means to the community and what it means to these kids."

Fruguglietti says he expects 5,000 people to attend the event. It's on Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets range from $70 - $80 but includes all drinks and food samples. You can purchase tickets online.