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Whiskey Flat Days Is Here To Bring Fun and Culture

The large event is held every year in Kernville and celebrates the Kern River Valley's rich history
Posted at 7:40 PM, Feb 16, 2024
  • Video shows sizzling meats, ebullient event goers, crackling fire, a canon firing, horses, moonshine, and merriment.
  • Whiskey Flat Days is a four day event in Kernville that offers food, artisan goods, carnivals games, rides, rodeos, a parade and a portal 150 years into the past.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Whiskey Flat Days is here! It's one of the largest events in the Kern River Valley and it reflects the unique history of this community.

“For me, it's eating,” Gary Ananian, Organizer for Whiskey Flat Days said, talking about his favorite part of the massive event.

“Dozens and dozens of amazing food vendors that are out here and all the kinds of food that you can imagine is available,” Anianian said.

In addition to food, vendors are selling all sorts of goods. Many represent local and handmade items.

“Whiskey Flat Days celebrates the history and culture of Kernville, there are plenty of things to do this weekend,” Ananian said.

Activities include a parade on Saturday, rodeos on Saturday and Sunday, a carnival with games and the reveal of the winner of the Whiskey Flat Mayoral race.

“It's a prideful event, we get to show off our history and culture of old wild west days, of old gold rush days,” Ananian said.

This history is embodied in the Whiskey Flat Encampment.

“It's a really quite unique experience. There's nothing like it in California.”

That's Mike Woodward, producer of the Whiskey Flat Encampment. He’s a reenactor who has helped put together the period accurate encampment since it started 21 years ago.

The encampment transports visitors to 150 years ago when the settlement in Kernville was named Whiskey Flat.

“The Chamber of Commerce asked me to put something together that would be living history talking about how this valley started,” Woodward said.

“Okay, you'd be raising sheep. They did all those kinds of things,” said Woodward speaking to a group of children.

It’s populated by folks who embody those who would have lived in the Kern River Valley, including woodworkers, Native American tribes, blacksmiths, and miners.

“We've got our sheriff here, of Whiskey Flat. We've got gunfights, we've got our fire pit over there.”

Last year the encampment was flooded, debris washed onto it and dirt was washed away. Many work days were needed to get it ready for this year's encampment.

“Up until yesterday, we were actively preparing this for the public,” Woodward said.

Many community members pitched in to help, some residents volunteering time and energy to help on clean-up days.

“You had a lot of companies come to our aid such as 711 Materials, County Parks with heavy equipment, and donations of fill materials. So everybody in this town supported what we were doing. It was amazing.”

The encampment cost money to put on but it's not a commercial endeavor. It's made possible by those who are passionate about preserving the history of the Valley.

“We wanted to teach living history and that's what we've been doing for 21 years now.”

You can find a full schedule of events at officialwhiskeyflatdays.com.


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