Get ready to celebrate, Tehachapi. But remember, personal fireworks of any kind aren’t allowed in Kern County’s mountain communities — including the Greater Tehachapi area. The fire risk is just too great and the Kern County Fire Department promises a $1,500 fine for the first offense and cost recovery for damages in case of wildfire.

But don’t worry, there will be a fireworks show and plenty of other ways to celebrate.

The city of Tehachapi’s annual aerial fireworks display will begin at 9 p.m. on Monday, July 4. According to Assistant City Manager Corey Costelloe, the show originates adjacent to the event center near the Tehachapi Municipal Airport.

“This location provides for wonderful viewing opportunities from around the Tehachapi area,” Costelloe noted. “The city has once again contracted the services of Zambelli Fireworks for this patriotic display of freedom with the goal of making the show better each year.”

In past years Coy Burnett Stadium has been opened as a place to watch the fireworks, but Costelloe said the budget had to be trimmed this year so the city won’t be paying the school district to use the stadium. 

Central Park events

In the city, the July 4 celebration will kick off at 7 a.m. with the All American 5K run sponsored by Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Park District. The run begins with a mass start at 7 a.m. at the Steven Shy Activity Center at Central Park. Registration for that event is $45 and includes a T-shirt, finisher’s medal, and a pancake breakfast after the race. Participants can register online at tvrpd.org. The deadline is June 30. 

At 8 a.m. the Ed Grimes Memorial Pancake Breakfast begins at Philip Marx Central Park. The breakfast is a fundraiser for the Tehachapi High School football program and is named in honor of former Tehachapi Mayor Ed Grimes who spearheaded the event for many years.

Breakfast tickets are $8 each. Players and coaches will sell tickets at the Tehachapi Farmer’s Market in Downtown Tehachapi, from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday.

The fun continues at Central Park with food and craft vendors, music and other entertainment beginning at 11 a.m. Scheduled at noon are the mayor’s welcome and national anthem.

Booths organized by the Tehachapi Valley Arts Association will showcase local vendors and small businesses. Also in the park will be the American Legion’s wall of valor sponsored by Tehachapi’s American Legion Family — American Legion Post 221, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 221, The American Legion Riders Chapter 221 and The Sons of the American Legion Squadron 221.

Back by popular demand is an entertainment lineup that includes local artists Averee Napier, Ryan Sillifant and Americana band Muleskinner Revival, Costelloe said.

And the annual beer garden fundraiser sponsored by the Tehachapi Valley Wrestling Club will again be held at the Central Park gazebo starting at noon. 

“We aim to continue to provide a small-town 4th of July Festival and that includes local vendors, local music artists and support from both locals and visitors to our community,” Costelloe said. “These events are important to our culture as Americans, along with our history as residents of Tehachapi. We take these opportunities to greet friends, make a few new ones and enjoy this patriotic celebration together at Central Park.” 

‘Bad Bulls’ rodeo

At the conclusion of the Central Park festivities at 4 p.m., the action shifts to the Tehachapi Rodeo and Event Center for the annual “Bad Bulls” bull riding event presented by the Tehachapi Mountain Rodeo Association. Gates will open at 4 p.m. for the 6 p.m. event that sold out in 2021 with record attendance. 

Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance at www.TehachapiProRodeo.com

Bear Valley Springs

The gated community of Bear Valley Springs has plans for a community celebration complete with hot air balloons and the 30th annual Independence Day Parade. Activities are open to Bear Valley Springs Association members and guests.

Events begin with Moonlight Movies ("Encanto") on Friday night, July 1. 

Saturday, July 2, kicks off with hot air balloons, pancake breakfast and 5K registration at 6:30 a.m. The Firecracker 5K run starts at 7:15 a.m. Tethered balloon rides sponsored by Remax begin at 7:30 a.m. Booths, exhibits, a beer truck and food will be available at Cub Lake from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A host of other activities including paddle board and kayak races on 4-Island Lake, kiddie land petting zoo and pony rides on the north side of the lake, music and a boat parade wrap up Saturday. 

On Sunday, July 3, many of the same activities continue in addition to praise music and a sermon by the lake offered by Bear Valley Church on the main stage and a car show along the Cub Lake walking path by Dog Park. 

On Monday, July 4, hot air balloons and pancake breakfast begin the day followed by the Independence Day Parade, kids games and many more activities, concluding at 3:30 p.m. (Some balloons may be flying on Tuesday, July 5). 

More information is available online at bvsa.org/posts/4th-of-july-weekend-activities.

Other events

Other local holiday events and activities include:

• Tehachapi Crosswinds RC Club will install American flags along Red Apple Avenue on the morning of July 4.

• 5150 Mud Park, presented by 5150 Dieselz, on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Events include mud pits and dirt drag racing as well as a Friday night potluck. Entry is $25 per person for entry with limited camping available. Pay at the gate and receive a wristband good for the entire weekend. Children 12 and under are free. The event will take place at 20363 Sasia Rd., Tehachapi. For more information call Robert Peralta at 661-333-7184.