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Tehachapi starts Fourth of July with 5K and pancake breakfast

A day full of festivities begins with 5K race and pancake breakfast in Tehachapi
Posted at 7:24 PM, Jul 04, 2024

TEHACHAPI, Calif. (KERO) — Over 300 runners participate in All-American 5K in Tehachapi, making it the largest turnout in its history.

  • Ryan Lucker, a P.E. teacher at Jacobsen Middle School, wins the All-American 5K in 17 minutes, 18 seconds in Tehachapi.
  • Celebrations in Tehachapi includes rodeo, music and fireworks show.
  • Dennis Smith and his wife, Barbara, were runners for many years and now they enjoy supporting runners in Tehachapi.


The fitness community raced on the Fourth, starting their day with the All-American 5K in Tehachapi. I'm Steve Virgen, your neighborhood reporter. More than 300 runners made the event the largest in its history for the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District.

Virgen: “What do you do when the runners go by?”

Dennis Smith, longtime Tehachapi resident: I do this: (rings his cow bell)...

Hundreds of runners at the All-American 5K makes for an exciting event in Tehachapi. It’s just as thrilling for Dennis Smith and his wife of 56 years, Barbara. They enjoy cheering for those running.

Virgen: “Dennis, why do you still come?”

Dennis: “I come to support the community. My gosh we have such a great community here and they do so much for everybody. And it’s just fun to get out and support them.”

Virgen: (To Barbara) What’s it like for you when you see the runners?

“Oh, it just makes my heart really beat. I love that.

The All-American 5K benefits the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District. The event kicks off a day of celebration of music, rodeo and fireworks.

City officials and Kern County Fire say the fireworks show is a go, a day after the Orchard Fire started nearby.

Jon Drucker, KCFD PIO

“Those fireworks shows are pre-planned. Those are in an area that has been looked at thoroughly. Doesn’t have fire hazards. It’s done in a very safe controlled manner. We have fire personnel on standby, making sure everything goes smoothly.”

After the 5K the runners were treated to a pancake breakfast. The money raised goes to the Tehachapi High School Football program with the Warriors serving up the pancakes.

“It’s great to have them out and have them involved with community events but it’s really nice when you have patrons come up after the fact and give you compliments about how polite they were and how helpful they were. That’s better than seeing them work," says Kris Krempien, the Tehachapi High football coach.

The food was well deserved for Miguel Brenes and his two daughters, Olivia and Mia. They won in their age groups.

Virgen: “What do you have to say about Dennis and supporting the racers today.”

Miguel: “Just cheering us on and that’s the American way to support each other, love each other and encourage each other on Independence Day.”

The celebration continues in Tehachapi with music, food and fireworks. I’m Steve Virgen, your neighborhood reporter.

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