Are you ready, Tehachapi?

After months of planning, the Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce and many other organizations are ready to present the 59th Annual Tehachapi Mountain Festival.

The big events are here and chamber President Jeanette Pauer is not only thrilled to be leading her first festival, she’s already planning for next year’s 60th festival.

“This year’s theme, ‘A Mountain Homecoming,’ is a tribute to multiple generations of Tehachapi residents who return home to celebrate this long-standing event with friends and family,” Pauer said. She also thanked sponsors and volunteers, noting that the festival would not be possible without them.

The festival also provides many local organizations with fundraising opportunities that help keep their operations running throughout the year.

Here’s a roundup of events:

Rodeo

One of the many highlights of the festival is the two-day PRCA rodeo hosted by the Tehachapi Mountain Rodeo Association. The association is celebrating 59 years of rodeo in Tehachapi, 37 years as a pro rodeo sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and its 27th year as a Ram Truck sponsored rodeo. 

Evening rodeo performances are planned for 7 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Tehachapi Event Center and Rodeo Grounds, 415 North Dennison Road.

Gates open two hours earlier on both days with food and beverages available, along with a newly-enlarged vendor area.

Each performance will also include the popular dollar dig for kids 8 and under.

Pre-sale tickets can be purchased for a $3 discount prior to the day of the rodeo at the chamber office, Albertsons and Hemme Hay in Tehachapi. They may also be purchased at the Emporium Western Store in Bakersfield and at the Boot Barn in both Bakersfield and Lancaster. Pre-sale tickets are $20 for adults and $17 for seniors 60-plus, past and active military personnel with a military ID and children ages 3-10. Children under the age of 3 are admitted free with a paid adult, but must sit on a lap. Parking will be $10 (cash) and is a fundraiser for local youth groups.

Tickets may also be purchased at the gate on the day of the event or through online ticket sales at tehachapiprorodeo.com. Rodeo fans are asked to bring cash to buy tickets or make purchases as the internet connection at the arena is very weak.

For more information visit tehachapiprorodeo.com

Dances

Dinner and dancing are offered by the Tehachapi VFW on both Friday and Saturday nights.

Dinner will be served beginning at 6 p.m. with dancing to live music to follow. Both events are open to the public.

The VFW is located at 221 W. Tehachapi Blvd. For more information, call 822-7500.

Mountain Gallop 5K

A great way to start out your day on the Saturday of the festival is the Mountain Gallop 5K, sponsored by the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District. And if you’re not participating, you can still join in the fun of the 7 a.m. mass start at the Aspen Builders Activity Center, 410 W. D St., Tehachapi.

Register online at tvrpd.org. Registration fee is $35 pre-registration and $40 race day registration.

The top three overall male and female winners will receive medals as well as the top three in each age division. Medals will be awarded following the race.

For more information call 822-3228.

Pancake breakfast

Also on Saturday morning is the pancake breakfast, sponsored by American Legion Post 21 and prepared by the Christian Life Assembly Kids Life of Tehachapi. Breakfast will be available from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and will include pancakes, sausage, coffee and juice. 

The event will be held at the Veterans Hall, 125 E. F St., Tehachapi.

Saturday parade

One of Saturday’s big events is the festival parade, beginning at 10 a.m. Expect to see local celebrities, floats, equestrian riders, color guards, marching bands, classic cars and more.

Line-up for the parade begins at 8 a.m. at Mountain View Ave. and West E Street (near the former Kmart). The parade will head east on F Street through downtown Tehachapi and end up at Philip Marx Central Park.

Parade awards will be announced at 1:20 p.m. at Central Park.

Sunday worship service

Christian Life Assembly offers “Worship in The Park” from 9 to 10 a.m. on Sunday. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and celebrate Jesus Christ in worship led by the Christian Life Assembly band as well as a message from Pastor Caudle. Free doughnuts and coffee will be served as well. 

For more information visit their website at clatehachapi.com or call 822-3813.

Central Park events

Events at Philip Marx Central Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday will include an arts and crafts fair, live entertainment, food booths and beer garden.

More than 60 vendors will offer handmade arts and crafts. Commercial and nonprofit organizations will be on hand with food booths serving a variety of snacks and meals and the chamber will operate a beer garden in the middle of the park.

Live entertainment begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, continuing until 5 p.m. Entertainers include the Black Gold Cloggers and bands New Vinyl, Overdrive and Fistful of Nickels.

Entertainment on Sunday begins with students from Calliope Music Studios at 11:45 a.m. and continues until 5 p.m. with the bands Aerial Garden, Blue Mountain Tribe and Metal Shop.

Gem and Mineral Show

The Tehachapi Valley Gem and Mineral Society’s popular gem and mineral show is again held in conjunction with the Tehachapi Mountain Festival.

The show will be held at the Tehachapi Senior Center, 500 E. F St., Tehachapi, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Thunder on the Mountain Car Show

The popular Thunder on the Mountain Car Show returns to downtown Tehachapi from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

The show attracts cars from all over Southern California. Hot rods, classics, customs, muscle cars and more will be displayed on Green Street. 

In addition to an amazing display of cars, this year’s show will include a special guest appearance by Ian Roussel from Full Custom Garage!

At high noon, stand by to hear a little “Thunder on the Mountain” as all 300-plus vehicles and motorcycles are asked to turn the keys in their ignitions at the same time, causing a rumble that spreads from one end of the car show, to the other. Admission is free.

More information

For more information about the 59th Annual Tehachapi Mountain Festival, check out the special section published as part of Tehachapi News on Aug. 10 or go online to tehachapimountainfestival.com.