Kern County celebrates Labor Day


Each year since 1882, the first Monday in September is celebrated as Labor Day. It’s a national tribute to the “American worker.” A time to take a break from your normal grind to spend the day off, however you choose.

From spray parks to Hart Park, you celebrated this Labor Day in true Kern County fashion. 

For example, employees at Olive Garden on New Stine Road, spent their Labor Day putting in extra work – in honor of our local first responders. 

“We’ve prepared food not just for the one day, but they’re going to have food for probably a good two or three days to eat on,” said Bridget Parks, the general manager at Olive Garden. 

All of the chain food restaurant’s locations, more than 850 nationwide, participated in the special “thank you.”

“The fire department, they’re so nice,” said Parks. “They’re so welcoming to us and they’re excited when we get there.” Parks has participated in Olive Garden’s Labor Day meal donation for more than 20 years and she says she loves getting to interact with and thank our local first responders each year. 

The restaurant prepared roughly 140 meals for city firefighters and emergency staff at Kern Medical and delivered them to Station 1 in downtown Bakersfield Monday. 

Batt. Chief Scott Standridge with the Bakersfield Fire Department was there to receive the meals. “It’s normal routine business as usual for us so it’s nice to have something special; a good meal for the guys on a day like today. It’s really nice,” Standridge said. 

Meanwhile, across town – 

“I didn’t have this when I left,” Ben Patton, the founder of the Armed Forces Rupport Riders, said. “My friends who are Vietnam vets, they didn’t have it when they left and they certainly didn’t have anything like that when they came home.”

The Armed Forces Support Riders spent their Labor Day doing what they do best: encouraging new recruits with a last minute ride out. 

“I couldn’t be more proud to be here and tell them thank you,” Patton said. 

From giving back to just getting outside, our community took full advantage of this extra day off. 

19-year-old Hector Escobar may have said it best: “It’s good to have a little free time away from our daily routines to bond with the kids and all the family.”

From all of us at 17 News, Happy Labor Day! 

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