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Bakersfield California

Bakersfield is the county seat of Kern County, California. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 247,057. The city's economy thrives on agriculture, petroleum extraction, and refining. It is one of the fastest growing of the larger cities of the United States. As of 2006 the population is estimated near 300,000 according to local municipal sources. It is California's third largest inland city after Fresno and Sacramento.

Bakersfield is home to California State University, Bakersfield and Bakersfield College. The Kern County Museum, which boasts an extensive collection of regional artifacts, is located on Chester Avenue, just north of Downtown Bakersfield. Bakersfield is also home to the Bakersfield Blaze, a minor league baseball affiliate of the Texas Rangers, who play at the historical Sam Lynn Ballpark. In downtown Bakersfield there is the major civic center, the Rabobank Arena. This arena hosts a symphony orchestra, an af2 team, the Bakersfield Blitz, and an ECHL hockey team, the Bakersfield Condors. Rabobank Arena also hosts the men's and women's basketball teams of CSU Bakersfield, who compete in the California Collegiate Athletic Association in Division II of the NCAA. The city is also home to the Premier Development League soccer team the Bakersfield Brigade who play at BCHS Stadium. Also downtown is Jerry's Pizza, which is known across the country for supporting the underground music scene much like the influential CBGB. Bakersfield's main airport is Meadows Field Airport, which just opened a new terminal, replacing the long outdated one. The increasing number of metropolitan amenities is due to the city's fast paced growth.

In the 1950s, local country musicians such as Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and Wynn Stewart helped invent a rock and roll-influenced country music style called the Bakersfield sound. Their influence was so great that Bakersfield is second only to Nashville, Tennessee, in country music fame. Bakersfield continues to produce famous country music artists. Despite its country music fame, Bakersfield has also turned out its fair share of hard rock, most notably Korn, Burning Image and Adema.

Off-road recreation is one of the more popular recreational activities among residents. Bakersfield has always been home to a large population of Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts. The California Department of Motor Vehicles reports as of May 2001, there are over 18,000 OHVs registered in Kern County. On May 26, 2005, the City of Bakersfield and the State of California Parks department obtained an assignable option using a grant from the OHV Trust funds to purchase a prospective 11,000 acre (45 km²) site for an OHV park.

Things to do in Bakersfield:

The Kern County Museum
The oil experience

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