Ash Wednesday for Catholics is a time of cleansing, marking the beginning of Lent.
Locals lined up waiting to be blessed and have an ash marking placed on their forehead. Some said they came to the Emmanuel Lutheran Church gathering near the Kern County Court House because it was an easy way to honor the day.
A Chevron employee, Matthew Fesko, said he was on his way to work and brought his mother's caretaker so they could get ashes.
Mother of two, Fabiola, stopped on her way to drop off her son at school.
"It means the beginning of a new chance, that we get actually everyday. It's just wonderful to be able to wake up every day and get that from God," Fabiola said.
While Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, it is also another day closer to the Pope's visit to Mexico. Pope Francis will stay for six days and will be on the U.S./Mexico border.
Locals are excited to see what he will say.
"The new pope has really transformed the catholic church quite a bit," Fesko said.
Francis will arrive Friday.