The annual Tehachapi Mountain Festival turns 50 this year, marking a long string of memories and good times in the community.
Festivities expected by the droves of visitors include the Professional Rodeo and Cowboy Association Rodeo, the carnival, Thunder on the Mountain car and truck show, live music, dancing and parades.
The festival kicks-off Thursday evening, Aug. 15, at 6 p.m. with the Pet Parade in the ballpark next to West Park, 490 W. "D" St. Sign-ups are at 5:30 p.m. and leashed animals of all types are welcome.
Friday, Aug. 16, the fun continues with the opening of the Festival Carnival at 6 p.m. The carnival is also open on Saturday from noon until 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 8 p.m. Discounted tickets for the carnival must be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, 209 E. Tehachapi Blvd., by noon on Thursday.
Bucking bulls and flying cowboys will rile up crowds at the PRCA Rodeo Friday beginning at 7 p.m. at the Rodeo Grounds. Gates open at 5 p.m. The rodeo will go for round two on Saturday at 6 p.m.; gates open then at 4 p.m.
Run off some energy at the Mountain Festival Summer Fun Run sponsored by the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Parks District on Saturday, Aug. 17. Registration begins at 6 a.m. and runners take off at 7 a.m.
Veterans groups will hold events both Friday and Saturday. The VFW Dinner and Dance in the post located at 221 W. Tehachapi Blvd. will be at 6 p.m. both nights. The American Legion Post 221 will host a Royal Rangers Pancake Breakfast inside the Veterans Hall Saturday morning from 7 until 9.
After the pancakes comes the Mountain Festival Parade. Local celebrities, fun floats, the Warrior Band, horses, clowns and many other worth-while sights march down "F" Street at 10 a.m.
Meanwhile, the Arts and Crafts Fair and Park Festival opens in Central Park. While live music plays, visitors can meander through vendor booths, chow down on traditional fair food, pop in to the beer garden, visit the Chamber of Commerce information tent for an official Mountain Festival T-shirt, and more. Activities end at 5 p.m., but re-commence Sunday at 10 a.m. and close for the weekend at 5 p.m.
Although not officially a part of the Festival, a number of other events are planned during the weekend. These include handicraft show and sale sponsored by the Tehachapi Valley Arts Association on Saturday and Sunday in Railroad Park and the Gandy Dancers square dance "Dance Under the Stars" event on Saturday night (Centennial Plaza from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. Fee for the dance and light supper is $10.)
Donate to the Small Miracles Foundation, a non-profit that helps children diagnosed with cancer, by attending the Small Miracles Dance on the Rodeo Gounds Saturday at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $10 and all proceeds will be given to the foundation.
Sunday, Aug. 18 is another full day beginning at 9 a.m. with the Thunder on the Mountain Car and Truck Show in Downtown Tehachapi. Entries cost $35 each and can begin lining up at 6 a.m.
Official programs for the 50th Tehachapi Mountain Festival can be picked up at the Chamber of Commerce office before the event or at the information tent during the festival.