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By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Launch of Colours Festival approaches


January 23, 2020 | View PDF

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Stephen Penner and the Shafter Symphony will take you on a cinematic journey.

Shafter will be celebrating its annual Colours Festival Feb. 20-23 with a variety of events to showcase talent in the community.

The festival will kick off with the annual Spaghetti Dinner put on by the Shafter Community Chest. The event includes a full spaghetti dinner and entertainment throughout the evening. Takeout meals will also be available.

Also opening on Thursday night are the Silent Movies. The movies will feature Charlie Chaplin in A Night in the Show and Buster Keaton in Sherlock Jr. The movies will be accompanied by professional organist Bill Campbell.

Larry Starrh will debut his new play The Big Secret on Thursday night, the first of four consecutive nights. The play will be performed at the Ford Theater at 7:30 p.m. each night except Sunday, which will begin at 2 p.m. The production was written by Starrh and will be directed by Brent Starrh.

Featuring a cast of local players, the play deals with a poor farmer who takes on the weather, the rigors of farming life and raising a daughter. He tries to balance work and family, and decides to embark on a secret project with a local farrier. The show is full of toe-tapping music and will pull at your heart strings, as well as the musical ones.

Friday night will be the Live Music Night. This year, it will be held at Giovanni's from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The event will feature David, from the popular band Hate Drugs, which performed at one of the first Colours festivals. The night also features Matt Adona, Art Machuca & Co., and Amanda Caslin & Co.

Saturday features a full day of activities, starting at 9 a.m. with the Colours Fun Run, open to any who would like to run, jog or walk their way through a course full of color. It starts at the Shafter Recreation Office.

The Chili Cook-off and Tasting will be at Mannel Park from 4 to 5 p.m., with local competitors vying for bragging rights at several levels of heat in the competition. During the cook-off, attendees will be entertained by the Shafter High and Richland Junior High jazz bands in Music at the Park. Also at Mannel Park will be the Car Show in the Park from 1 to 5:30 p.m.

Those who want a more cerebral event can head to the Shafter Learning Center at 11:30 a.m. and meet author Jennifer Gardiner, who will be discussing her children's book, A Trip Around the Pond. Gardiner's passion for telling stories inspired her to try her hand at writing and illustrating her own book.

Also for the children, Randek McGee and Groark will be at the Church of Christ on Saturday from 3 to 4 p.m. McGee has performed at several Colours Festivals and has a very popular show of ventriloquism, puppetry and story telling.

Local artist Angie Nelson will be working with kids to create their own works of art at the Children's Art Workshop and Gallery, which will be held at the Shafter Youth Center on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

All of the museums in town will be open on Saturday for the public to tour. The Minter Field Air Museum, Shafter Depot Museum and the Green Hotel will all be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There also will be a historic tour of Shafter, which will feature the museums being offered beginning at the Tin Cup. The tours will be taking place from 10:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

While at the Depot Museum, check out the Cans d'Arte competition that will be held on Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, 1 to 3 p.m. This competition is a unique event that allows local artists to construct architectural structures or designs using cans and boxes of food, which will be donated to the Gleaners of Shafter after the event.

One of the main draws to the festival is the Art Gallery, featuring local artists. Mediums include paintings, sculptures, photography and florals. Participating artists include Charlotte White, Becky Aguilar, Colleen Diltz, LaCretia Ogle, Kharece Davies, Deanna Nelson, Sasha Saldana, Marisela Oropezo and Greg Bergen.

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

The Colours Fun Run is a great time for the young and old.

The gallery will be open on Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m., Saturday noon to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Shafter Veterans Hall. If you would like to meet the artists, you can attend the Wine Tasting and Meet the Artists event on Sunday at the Shafter Veterans Hall from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

The group Voces Veracruzanas will be performing on Sunday at the Shafter High School Auditorium from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in a night of colorful music and dancing.

The festival concludes on Saturday, Feb. 29, with the Shafter Symphony, conducted by Stephen Penner, performing a variety of music from the silver screen, including numbers from Close Encounters,Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Shafter High Auditorium.

For more information on showtimes and prices, visit


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