BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – County festival-goers tend to devote most of their attention to food, rides, livestock, and music. but just off the beaten track, just a bit, is the Beaux-Arts building, where you will find, in addition to the fine arts, one of the most unusual parts of the fair.
The participants in the various show competitions often worked all year round in preparation for these 10 days of the show. What do they collect? This is where the eccentric comes in.
In a covered patio adjacent to the Beaux-Arts building, near the end of the fairground promenade carnival, you’ll find collections of miniature school buses, Pink Floyd memorabilia, handcrafted miniature buildings, rubber ducks, thimbles, lip balm (that’s right – lip balm – new and unopened luckily} and enough classic car replicas in scale 1-24 to create a major traffic jam on a miniature suburban bridge.
James Vickers, Bakersfield electrician and collector of replica cars. is the man behind this entry.
He started his collection over 30 years ago, when his family started gifting him two or three cars for every birthday, Christmas and Father’s Day.
“When my sons wanted to display their Hot Wheels cars here at the fair, I thought to myself: How do I display my cars? So I got the idea to build a bridge on which to display the cars, ”said Vickers.
Traffic on the bridge is bumper to bumper.
“You don’t mind sitting in a pink Cadillac,” he said.
Charles Golnick, 22, builds all kinds of things: model ships and planes, big trucks, miniature buildings. And he collects skulls. Yes, skulls.
“Each person has their own vision of what they (appreciate),” he said in explanation.
The judges must have given this guy a blue ribbon: he’s been collecting memorabilia from and on the Kern County Fair itself for many years. Aaron Eaton himself won some of these ribbons, others he bought.
“I love to collect the history of the fair so that today’s children can come and see the history,” he said.
Why do people feel the need to collect things, anyway? Does this respond to some sort of overriding urge to stock up for the long, hard winter? Nope.
“People identify with the things they collect, you know,” Vickers said. “I love cars, boats and planes since I was a kid.”
This is not the only reason people like to collect items.
“It’s fun,” Eaton said.
If you’re still too stunned by the Tilt-a-Whirl to go get that corn dog you had thought of earlier, the Collectibles Exhibit, the first building south of the carnival area, could be a good place to find your way.