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Weather heats up, and so does Murray Family Farms

The Bakersfield CalifornianMarch 27, 2013
By Ashley Fischer

Looking for an excuse to hop on over to Murray Family Farms? Easter weekend ushers in a long season of family activities at the homegrown operation east of Bakersfield.

First up will be the master of gift-basket assembling himself, the Easter Bunny, who will stop by the farm on Saturday to oversee the third annual Easter egg hunt.

Starting at 10 a.m., children will be divided up according to age and then let loose to scramble and collect as many eggs as their baskets can carry. After the hunt, the Easter Bunny will accept their plastic, pastel-colored bounty (no matter how many, or few, they manage to grab) in exchange for a bag of Easter goodies.

A popular spot for locals and travelers is Murray Family Farms, east of Bakersfield on General Beale Road. Photo from: Casey Christie/The Californian

A popular spot for locals and travelers is Murray Family Farms, east of Bakersfield on General Beale Road. Photo from: Casey Christie/The Californian

“In years past, there was a sort of a ‘release the hounds’ feeling when we let the kids out into our orchard to find the eggs,” joked Jennifer Smith, media coordinator for the farm. “But this year, it should be slightly more controlled chaos. That’s what we’re going for. We want all the kids to have fun.”

In addition to the hunts, which will take place on the hour until 4 p.m., kids can catch their breath and color one of the 1,500 eggs the farm ordered or decorate their own custom Easter basket. The farm will provide kids with this egg-hunting necessity.

Providing entertainment throughout the day will be the talented and musically inclined members of the Murray Family Farms staff, and … you, if you’re brave enough. For the first time, coinciding with the Easter egg hunt will be a “team talent show,” and anyone is welcome to participate.

So, if you have talent — juggling, dancing, singing, etc. — you’ll have two chances to show it off. The first show takes place at 11 a.m. and the second at 2 p.m. No early registration is necessary, so for those who wish to participate, “just come along and let us know,” Smith said.

All of the traditional Murray Family Farm activities will also be available during the event, including the petting zoo, jumping pillow and hay rides. The “Cal-Okie Kitchen” will be open and serving up fresh fry pies and, for dessert, fresh strawberries will be ready for picking and purchase through the farm’s “U-Pick” program.

“It’s really an all-around good family day out,” Smith said. “There are not a lot of big Easter egg hunts that are happening in Bakersfield, and we’re happy to provide that for the community, so people can come out with their family, and just have lots of fun out here on the farm.”

Coming up in April (along with crops of strawberries and asparagus), is the second annual “Americana Music Festival,” a joint venture between Murray Farms and the Bakersfield Center for Spiritual Living .

This daylong show will feature four foot-stomp-worthy local artists, including, In the Nick of Time, Slideways, Banshee in the Kitchen and The Roustabouts. Tickets will be on sale soon, available for purchase at World Records and California Keyboards.

“Last year, the show was a really big success,” Smith said, “so we really wanted to do it again. The bands play outside under our cool red barn, and it’s really just a lot of fun.”

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