BAKERSFIELD — Illuminaria were lit around Bakersfield’s downtown on Saturday to show appreciation for businesses and services supporting townspeople through the pandemic.

The event was organized by Euan Bear and Sarah Jo Willey Marcotte in recognition of the Bakersfield General Store and Deli, the post office, library, school, town offices, fire department, church, historical society, J & A Auto Repair, and the Northwest Solid Waste District’s (NWSWD) Bakersifeld site.

NWSWD site, Bear said, “They’re just much frontline workers as anybody else.”

Bakersfield post office

Luminaria at the U.S. Post Office in Bakersfield spell the word “connect.”

Each location had a word or two illuminated in front of it. For J&A Auto, that word was “drive.”

“If you can’t do anything else, you can get in your car and drive, if there is someone who can fix your car,” Bear said.

There were two volunteers at each luminaria site. One person from each site came to the park to sing a version of “This Little Light of Mine” with the words altered to “This little light’s a sign of how you help us shine.”

Bakersfield general store

Courtesy of SARAH JO MARCOTTE The revised words to “This Little Light of Mine” hang from the porch of the Bakersfield General Store on Saturday. The song was sung as part of the Bakersfield Illuminated event.

“Everybody had masks on. Everybody was socially distanced,” Bear said. “It was a nice event.”

People at those businesses and organizations “felt appreciated, which was the whole point,” she said.

There were close to two dozen volunteers and plenty of townspeople who drove slowly past to look at the lights, according to Bear.

“People liked connecting in a purposeful way and showing appreciation for the people who keep us going,” Bear said.

Bakersfield town green

The words "food" and "news" were lit in the village green across from the Bakersfield General Store in honor of the store and its owners.

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