Tehachapi Mountain Festival kicked off its three-day run Friday night under the lights and stars.

Before the sun set, the carnival opened at 6 p.m. With its many rides and games of chance, kids of all ages β€” and thrill levels β€” enjoyed the fun. Many also enjoyed the 6 p.m. dinner and dancing under the stars at the VFW Post on Tehachapi Boulevard, a quieter evening entertainment choice.

At 7 p.m. over at the Rodeo Grounds, the first of two Tehachapi Mountain Rodeo Association-hosted PRCA Professional Rodeos took place. The rodeo entertainment opened first with Mini Bull Riding by school-age local cowboys, then went on to Ranch Bronc Riding using only local working ranch cowboys as riders.

These local ranch cowboys work daily around the ranches of Kern County and at rodeo time put on a show every bit as tough as the PRCA performers seen later in the evening.

These same ranch cowboys, along with the PRCA Professional Cowboys, will again appear Saturday night starting at 5 p.m. The rodeo events will include Bull Riding, Bronc Riding, Barrel racing and Steer wrestling, along with the action-packed world class Rodeo Act of Bobby Kerr, β€œThe Mustang Man."

If you have never seen a mustang horse riding in the back seat of a Cadillac automobil, then you are in for a treat if you attend Saturday night's rodeo.

Those visitors with enough energy left went over to the carnival grounds and under a cavalcade of flashing colored lights and spinning rides continued their thrill-seeking evening under the stars with nearly a full moon watching over the Tehachapi night.