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Shafter Colours Celebration returns for first time since 2020

Shafter Colours
Posted at 5:32 PM, Feb 22, 2024
  • The Shafter Colours Celebration started in 2010 as a way for the community to bond together and find beauty in their neighborhood. Over the next 10 years, the vent molded into a week-long celebration fit with art, music, and various other forms of artistic expression to help benefit area non-profits and businesses.
  • This year's celebration marks the event's return after it was put on hold due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Organizers noted this year will look different than years past, but they hope to use it as a stepping stone to build the event back up very soon.
  • The full schedule of events can be found on the Shafter Colours' website and Facebook page.


When you think of this city, what comes to mind? Right now, it’s probably the rows and rows of almond trees blossoming. But what about art? If you’ve lived in this community over the last decade, you’ve likely been to part of the Shafter Colours celebration, and starting Thursday for the first time since 2020 it’s returning. And though it will be returning, organizers for the celebration said it’s going to look a little different this year.

“We knew we could never start up where the last 10 years left off, just not possible at this point. So having to say what's realistic? What can we do this first year back, that will appeal to a broad audience of Shafter residents, ages, interests, and with the talent we have to work with?" said Debbe Haley.

The celebration kicked off Thursday afternoon at the Shafter Veteran’s Hall with a spaghetti dinner where residents could swing by, pick up dinner, and have the proceeds go to benefit the Shafter Community Chest, a non-profit that helps families in extreme need as they face struggles.

But there are plenty of others like live music, art installations, and workshops that will go on across the remainder of the weekend. Though the event will change, the organizers are still hoping it pays homage to the original idea behind the event.

“I was on the committee when in the inception, Larry Starrh and Pastor Mike Catrolla were the visionaries of Colours, and it was their feeling that the community needed something to show the art in the community. And not only art that is made by an artist but also by God.”

Through the process of bringing this event back, organizers said they worked to try and find the identity of this event yet again, and they hope that this year is an opportunity to start the process of bringing it back into the limelight for the Shafter community.

“I think it's definitely a stepping stone to growing back to maybe not exactly what it was no two years during that 10-year run wherever exactly the same. But building bigger and better,” said Haley.

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