Old Town Kern gets new mural

A mural in the Old Town Kern portion of Bakersfield, Calif., is seen Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Old Town Kern has a lot of great history.

The community takes pride in its many diverse cultural restaurants. But the run-down area could use some color.

That's where muralist Sara Drennan comes in. She's painting a photograph of Luigi's storefront taken in 1909.

"To be able to bring it back to a really vibrant kind of busy bustling area is great for everyone who lives here, but also good for tourists who come from all over the world sometimes," said Drennan.

The mural is the latest project of the Old Town Kern Beautification Committee, comprised of volunteers operating on donated funds. They're renewing the area to its glory.

"We want to give back, we have so many great memories here in this area of town," said committee chairwoman Jenifer Pitcher.

The mural is part of many projects to improve Old Town Kern.

"Adding trash cans throughout with maintenance, then hopefully getting additional trees and shade to the area," said Pitcher. "Then hopefully work to find funding for the city for lighting and sidewalks."

Luigi's owner, Gino Valpredo, is excited for the new mural on his restaurant.

"Joe and Emelia, so that's my great-great-grandmother and my great-great-grandfather, so it's kind of crazy," said Valpredo.

He's proud of the display not only because it shows the founders of Luigi's dating back decades, but because it brings some hope and spirit to an area that's been kicked around.

"Old Town Kern kind of gets beat up," he said. "It's old. We need as much help in this neighborhood as we can get."

Old Town Kern Beautification is hoping to get at least seven more murals up in Old Town Kern. You can learn more about getting involved by visiting the project's Facebook page.

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