BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — New attractions are top of mind for Kern County Fair organizers, and they say you should be excited too.
For the next two weeks, the fair will be home to 23-foot-long snakes and lorikeets — a parrot species found in Australia — that have no intention of hiding how thrilled they are about the fair. Seriously, their bird calls can be heard throughout the fairgrounds.
If you go to this Lorikeets Encounter booth on Grand Avenue, you can feed nectar to a parrot species found in Australia — the Rainbow Lorikeet.
You may get lucky and even have a bird perch on top of your head, just like 17’s Jenny Huh did.
With the fair’s 2023 theme of treating yourself, it’s fair to say there are more than a generous number of options to do just that.
“Treat yourself with carnival rides, with some fun food, with some free entertainment, there are plenty of ways to treat yourself out here,” said Chelsey Roberts, the fair’s marketing specialist.
The fair opened its doors Wednesday, featuring the oldies but goodies, like funnel cakes and petting zoos, but also introducing debutantes like the Lorikeets Encounter.
“You go in with a cup of nectar, it’s about five dollars per person that enters,” said Angeline Tran, exotic bird and snake handler. “When you enter, you get bombarded with lorikeets. They go all over your shoulders, your arms, your head, anywhere they possibly can just to get ahold of that nectar.”
There are over 40 birds, and that cup of nectar makes you the center of attention.
Organizers tell 17 News special attractions like this are so residents can see and try things firsthand.
Huh, for instance, learned lorikeet tongues look like paintbrushes and help them absorb pollen better.
“Fairs themselves are so unique,” said Roberts. “You kind of think of like a fair, circus type of thing, and so we wanna bring those unique things that you’re not gonna see every day… Out on KC Loop, we have some kids pedal tractor pools, we an agricultural magic show over in KC’s Farm right next to the petting zoo.”
There’s also a giant snakes educational exhibit, which houses five python species.
“They’re 23 feet long, 263 pounds,” detailed Tran.
This attraction is also located along Grand Avenue, near the 805 Grandstand Arena.
And here are some important location changes: the Bakersfield Police Department, Lost Children’s Area and First Aid will all be in the Harvest Hall Area, at the end of Main Street.
“If you get lost, just follow the duck feet around the fairgrounds, and they’re gonna direct you right to there, said Roberts. “We are looking to have awesome weather, awesome entertainment and a ton of fun.”
Roberts also offered some tips to make your fair visit a little smoother.
“The best thing is if you can get your parking in advance online,” she said. “That way, it kinds of speeds up the lines there. And then if you come to the gate with your tickets ready, you’re going through bag checks with magnetometers, make sure you leave anything you shouldn’t bring at home.”
17 News brought you a detailed look at a few of the fair’s freshman members, but you’ll have to come see for yourselves what more they have in store.