BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Kern County Fair Board originally postponed the annual fair to next year, but recently that decision was reversed, causing a limited staff to work around the clock. The planning usually takes a full year, but with only 3 months this time, organizers are running into new issues.
Board member Blodgie Rodriguez says, “They've had to pivot on a dime. They- meaning our staff of 7, previously 23. They're really just having to put their nose to the grindstone to make this event happen.”
Chelsey Roberts with the Kern County Fair says, “everything has changed so fast, but I think everything so far is pointing toward a pretty open normal fair.”
Roberts says this includes rides, games, live entertainment, and much more. However, they’ve had issues booking some of these companies and acts on such a short notice.
Roberts says, “not just in California, but across the U.S. Everyone wants these same entertainers at their events. You’re pushing a whole years worth of entertainment into just 4 months. So we're all kind of competing for those same acts.”
This includes Frank Thurston, whose been at the Kern County Fair for nearly 3 decades. However, he's usually books with them at least 8 months in advance, forcing him to look elsewhere when the board made their original decision.
Thurston says, “then I get a call saying oh! We are going to have a fair! Are you still available? Fortunately, I was available for the first 6 days, but not for the entire run.”
For Phillip Delahoyde, The owner and operator of some of the fairs concessionaires. He says he will be returning with 6 concession stands, as he says it takes a team to make it all happen.
“You have a staff of 20 or 30 and then a staff of 3. So anything we can do as vendors or the carnivals can do as the fair partner, they're going do it to try and get the events going. I know in Kern County they had to lay off a lot of help and they're doing rock star work getting the fair going.”