Central Beauty: Kern County Fair, Emporium Western Store

Co-written by Julie Tortorici

Episode 2 of Central Beauty is all about getting ready for The Kern County Fair. I dare you to try to be bored at this festival. It’s impossible! It’s got everything from concerts, to carnival rides, to rodeos, and even livestock events. The Kern County Fair is one of the reasons I was inspired to make Central Beauty, because events like this one should not go unnoticed!

A celebration of generations of agricultural and livestock farming annually at the Kern County Fair!

Before heading to the fair, I pay a visit to the Emporium Western Store. I’ve been excited to visit this family-owned business since creating the show. Founded in 1909, it’s been operated by the same family for three generations. Stepping foot in this store, you can’t help but feel the history and significance of this shop. I like to go in and imagine what it was like back in the early 1900s. Just thinking about the changes and challenges this business had to live through and survive is awe-inspiring.

Store front of the Emporium Western Store! Located at 1031 19th Street in Downtown Bakersfield
Full Video on Shaping the Hat available on IGTV and YouTube! https://youtu.be/KBKpZTObJZc

I met with Stephen Goldwater, one of the current owners of the store, who had a great sense of humor! Rhonda, who has been working at the Emporium for 9 years, also treated me to a tutorial on how to fit a cowboy hat using a steamer machine. Each hat is shaped by hand and is custom made to your liking. How about that for some Old West cred!

That’s the Beauty in Bakersfield!

Click HERE to watch the full video on YouTube!

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