This large community with a population nearing 400,000 is located in the southern horseshoe end of the San Joaquin valley. It relies primarily on agriculture, oil extraction and the oil refining industry. It has a very semi-arid and dry climate and receives only about 6 ½ inches of rain per year. Although it is one of the sunniest cities in the U. S. winter can be marked by tule fog trapped on the floor of the valley for days on end. State Highway 99, a north-south freeway runs through town and Highways 58 and 178 run east-west. The Santa Ana winds blow through every year bringing a heat wave in late October.
Country music had a big influence in Bakersfield with artists like Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and Wynn Stewart and of course Dwight Yokum inspiring the Bakersfield sound. NASCAR drivers Kevin Harvick and Casey Mears are from Bakersfield.
Night life in Bakersfield resembles but does not nearly match that of LA.