Chamber discusses monster trucks at arena, marathon, and pickleball courts 

Photos and story by Catherine Stachowiak

The Kernville Chamber of Commerce held its general meeting, Monday, June 25 wherein president of the chamber Orion Sanders reported that he was considering allowing Monster Trucks at the local arena, which would attract tourism. 

Sanders said, “What happened was we had a company approach us about doing monster trucks in our arena.  And believe it or not, they do fit. We actually had a date on the schedule.”  

However the monster truck group found out that they had a competing date on the schedule in Bakersfield. The chamber had dates for other things on the schedule, which didn’t allow for the monster vehicle group to come yet.  Sanders was hoping monster cars would come in fall, though it may not happen before spring. “I think we would all agree that bringing something new and exciting is great. It attracts people and it brings visitors and it brings business. So I want to see monster trucks at the arena,” he said.

There would be noise constraints regarding the monster vehicles.  Sanders said that the monster car company was planning to bring filtered dirt, which would benefit the arena by helping to raise the dirt level on the south end of the arena that is low, therefore leveling the dirt at the arena.

Vice president of the chamber, Gary Ananian announced that the chamber was hosting an upcoming marathon called the Sequoia Challenge, the first Saturday in November, which would start at Kernville, in Riverside Park and run up Hwy 99, then route back to the park.  Cal Trails would be the group supplying everything.  The group would have a doctor on stand by, and coordinate CHP to pace the runners and the road closures going on during the event.  Therefore Ananian said he would not have to coordinate volunteers for the marathon.

Sanders announced an upcoming Wine and Dessert tasting event, July 6, at businesses near Circle Park.  To register go to

Ananian gave an update on the future Kernville Happy Tails Dog Park, which entailed a lot of steps before recently attaining approval from the Kern County Board of Supervisors. Contractors would soon be bidding on the project.

Sanders told the chamber board that youth from Camp Erwin Owen would be volunteering to help clean and maintain the Kernville Bike Park. 

Members of the group called Kern River Valley Pickleball Club provided the chamber a presentation regarding a proposal to bring six pickleball courts to Kernville, which the club believes it could raise the funds to construct.  The club plans to pursue county, state and federal grants.  Members of group think it would take 12 to 16 months to complete the project.  

Sanders told the chamber board that the chamber of commerce owns the property where the pickleball courts would be located.  The chamber would make decisions regarding contractors after the club raises funds.  Ultimately the chamber board would decide whether to do the project.  

Beyond the initial fundraising and Kernville Chamber of Commerce approval, the county must approve such projects before initial construction.  Sanders said it took the county supervisors over a year to approve the Kernville Happy Tails Dog Park.  Ananian, who now plays pickleball, pointed out that the project would be different than a dog park and therefore the timing for approval could differ at the county level.  

During reports, Tara Overall gave an office report that the chamber had three new memberships this June.