Chamber revives Whitewater Wednesday, discusses other promotions

President of the Kernville Chamber, Orion Sanders discusses Whitewater Wednesday and other promotions. Photo by Catherine Stachowiak

By Catherine Stachowiak

The Kernville Chamber of Commerce members discussed, Monday March 25, the revival of a faded event they call Whitewater Wednesday, which some valley residents may recall that the chamber held annually.  

Member of the Kernville Chamber of Commerce board Gary Ananian assumes the event would be some time before July 4, and most probably in May or June this year. 

Ananian, who is organizing the event, said he thought the last Whitewater Wednesday event was in 2019.  

President of the chamber, Orion Sanders said the Whitewater Wednesday is a chamber fundraiser providing discounted rafting tours.  “We haven’t had White Water Wednesday for several years, I think, since COVID happened,” he said.

The outfitters and Forest Service met regarding the matter and have to get more information from US Army Corps of Engineers and Southern California Edison to calculate their season. 

Sanders told the chamber board that during Whitewater Wednesday the outfitters’ rafting companies donate rafting trips for the day, in order to help raise money for the chamber, to spend on tourism and promotion advertisement.

The chamber also discussed other options for events beyond rafting promotions; due to the fact there are many other options in the valley for recreation.

Photo Courtesy of Kernville Chamber of Commerce

“Next on the agenda is looking at different ways to promote all of our different pieces of recreation,” said Sanders. “The more we can promote our recreation of all types, the better. “

Examples of other options for recreation are Mountain Biking Tours, Mountain Climbing, and hiking among others.

Ananian said, having been thrown into Biblical water year, businesses were most interested in whitewater rafting.  “There’s a lot of leads up here for recreation besides rafting and biking,” he said. However he thinks that a lot depends on the permits the Forest Service is willing to permit. 

Sanders said, “We should be promoting all these other types of recreation. There’s great trails up here.”  

In addition the chamber also discussed the fact that the Kern Fire Safe Council would be holding a May 4, Wild Fire Preparedness Day. This will be the same day as a car-show with Smokey the Bear at Circle Park

It is a free event with a walk through, with the Fire Department, and some freebees. Sanders, said the chamber was helping with permits and electricity and hoping to put a banner up.

The car show is also May 4, from 8am to 2pm. Entering a car in the show costs $60.