Festivals, Music, and More…All Along the Kern

Humans need gatherings.
It only takes a good festival, party, concert, or celebration to resuscitate your senses and send you home recharged. Here’s an ever-growing list of celebrations happening along the Kern River throughout the year. In most cases, you can click on the event title to learn more. If your looking for a Kern River event, check back as this list will get updated periodically!

SUMMER

JUNE

Annual Whitewater Wednesday:

  • This is an awesome way to raft the Kern for a reasonable price and a good cause. Five commercial rafting outfitters collaborate to support the Kernville Chamber of Commerce. Two trip types are offered on class III or IV whitewater. Depending on which adventure you choose, tickets are $30 or $55 per person and include a BBQ lunch. All proceeds from this Kern River event go to the Kernville Chamber of Commerce.

JULY

Annual Fireworks Display:

  • Always on the Saturday night before the 4th of July over Lake Isabella. Celebrate Independence Day with a display of  fireworks seen from all around the lake area. Come early and play in the inflatable water park as part of the Stars and Stripes Independence Day festival. For more information, please call KRV Chamber of Commerce at 760-379-5236.

AUGUST

Kern River Conservancy 5th Birthday Bash!: August 11. 2018

  • KRC Founder, Gary Ananian, knows how to throw a good party. Costumes are essential and the best are awarded. This year’s fundraising birthday bash will include epic whitewater trips down the Kern, exceptionally awesome beer from Kern River Brewing, Fireball Whiskey, and of course, a BBQ. Check out their Facebook page for more information on this Kern River event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2171431342884456/

31st Annual Rubber Ducky Race – August 25, 2018, 10 am – 3 pm, Riverside Park

  • Pure fun. The race begins as the ducks get dumped into the river from the bridge. Cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and last place ducks. Vendors, BBQ, face painting, and more. Always a good time! For more information on this Kern River event, please call 760-379-7785 or 760-379-6440.

River Rhythms Live Music Series: every Friday in August, 5:30 pm, Riverside Park 

  • Book your Saturday rafting trip and come to Kernville Friday night for music and sweet summer evenings next to the river. For more information, contact Charlie Busch of Kern River Radio at (760) 376-4500

AUTUMN

SEPTEMBER

Bud Light Kern River Rock and Blues Fest: September 27 – 30, Frandy Campground

  • Book a place to stay and prepare to shake your bootie all weekend long. With this many bands, you can’t go wrong.

OCTOBER

Kernville Kampout: October 5 – 7, Frandy Campground

  • A weekend for motorcycle riding and the website for the Kampout sums it up nicely: “Biltwell rents out the entire campground, hires a band or two, a couple food trucks, and buys a ton of libations from Sailor Jerry and 805 Beer. There are no vendors selling trinkets you don’t need and there will be no crappy $20 corn dogs. Camping is first come, first served and everyone is encouranged to share the same space. Town is easy walking distance from camp so there’s no reason to drink and ride.”

Rockin’ River Beer and Music, October 20, 1 – 5 pm, 14001 Sierra Way

  • What could be better? A beer tasting event with plenty to sample, a beautiful grassy field near the river, autumn, two good live bands, and food. Gary Ananian and the Kern River Conservancy know how to please. Trust me…go buy your tickets now, before they’re gone. Proceeds from this Kern River event go to the Kern River Conservancy.

Annual Kernville Mountain Bike Festival, “Shuttle Fest”: October 19 – 21, 2018, Kernville

  • Mountain bikers of all abilities come to spend the weekend on the Kern River’s epic trails while being shuttled by Mountain River Adventures. Choose 1, 2, or 3 days of riding and reserve your site at MRA’s campground. For information, call 800- 861-6553 or log on to www.mtnriver.com to download a registration form and obtain specific trail ride information.

Kernville Fall Festival: October 27 & 28, 2018, Riverside Park

  • This one has it all… and MORE! Dachsund Racing? Yes. Lawn Mower Racing? You bet. Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest, Pumpkin Patch, Chili Cook Off, Live Music, 5K Trick or Trot, petting farm, and vendors? Of course.

Outlaw West Weekend, A Kern River Tribute to Merle Haggard: The Saloon in Kernville – Stay tuned for details

  • For information, call 661-340- 0026, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kernville-Saloon-185002471557497/

NOVEMBER

Cork N Fork Wine & Food Festival: Stay tuned for dates and information

  • Eat, Drink and Be Merry for a GOOD CAUSE! Contact Starlite Lounge at 760-376-1895 for tickets and more information or visit starliteloungewinebar.com

Annual Christmas Parade: Lake Isabella – stay tuned for dates and information

  • Thanksgiving weekend. KRV Chamber of Commerce. For more information, please call 760-379-5236

WINTER

DECEMBER

Christmas in Kernville, 2018

  • The Christmas season gets a little more meaningful and inspiring in a small river town like Kernville. From Thanksgiving until Christmas, annual rituals and events abound, all connected to the Christmas theme. Check out the website for the schedule or call for more information: 760-376- 2629

JANUARY

Forks Trip Planning Time

  • National Geographic  has called the Forks of the Kern one of the 100 best American adventure trips. This is the peak whitewater experience in Southern California. Now is the time to consider this coveted trip and make your reservation. Water flows typically make Forks trips possible in May, but each year is different. To learn more, call or email the Kern River Outfitters office: 760-376-3370 / office@kernrafting.com

FEBRUARY

Whiskey Flats Days – President’s Day Weekend

  • Kernville was once known as the town of Whiskey Flats. Each year, thousands of people flock to the area and spend their days reenacting times of old. The festival includes a wild west encampment, rodeo, frog jumping contest, parade, carnival, blue grass and country music, gunfighters, kids activities, and more!

SPRING

APRIL

Isabella Lake Fishing Derby: April 13 – 15, 2019 

  • Enter & cast your line for a chance at over $10,000 for the longest trout! Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lakeisabellafishingderby/

Annual Kern River Whitewater Festival:

  • Since 1963, this festival has attracted world class boaters, vendors, beer and fun. Held at locations along the Kern and in Riverside Park, Kernville. Whitewater races (slalom, downriver, raft, SUP) and Triathlon. Brush Creek Extreme. Vendors, food, live music, and a lot of fun.
    For more info on this Kern River event, visit Facebook page: Kern River Festival or Kern River Council

Lake Isabella Kids Fishing Derby:

  • Kids, ages 4 years to 15 years, are invited to participate in the derby and win prizes. Participants must register to be eligible for prizes. For more information, please call the Kern River Valley Elks Office at 760-376-6564

Annual Trout Fest:

  • This fundraiser for the Kern River Hatchery introduces people to the sport of fishing and responsible angling. No knowledge of fishing required! Hands-on activities include how to clean and cook a fish and educational demonstrations. All activities are free and all gear is provided for those 15 years and under only. For more information, visit Facebook page: Friends of the Hatchery

MAY

Annual Sirretta Street Swap Meet & Sale:

  • Southern California’s yard sale to end all yard sales. Come to find cool stuff or just be awed by the size of the crowds lining the street at 6 am. Over six blocks of door to door treasures. You’ll find visitors from Santa Barbara to San Diego and beyond. This sale just gets more famous with each passing year. Mark your calendars. Don’t miss this. For more information, please call Kernville Chamber of Commerce at 760-376-2629
By | 2018-07-09T17:51:18+00:00 July 9th, 2018|Categories: Kern River|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Festivals, Music, and More…All Along the Kern

About the Author:

Kelley is a Colorado native who learned to boat on the mighty Deschutes River in Central Oregon. She backpacked and rafted throughout the West for many years until she and a Texas hippie fell in love with each other while rafting on the Kern River. They now call Kernville home along with their new son, Finley Kern.