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The Story of Whiskey Flat

Whiskey Flat began as a place for those seeking their fortunes in the Big Blue Gold Mine in the Southern Sierra Nevada on the Kern River in 1860. Alcohol was not allowed at the mine site, so an industrious fellow threw a plank across a couple of whiskey barrels down on the flat south of the mine and so named it Whiskey Flat.

A few years later in 1864 the name was changed by the people of the growing town to the less wild and woolly name of Kernville. Named after the artist Edward M. Kern who had accompanied Captain Joseph Walker in the expedition in 1843. Families were moving in and it was no longer fitting to have the name associated with "demon rum," as the ladies of the town called it.

Old Kernville now lies at the bottom of the Isabella Reservoir that was created by a dam on the Kern River. The reservoir was built between 1948 and 1953, leaving nothing of the once thriving community behind. Most of the residents of the Kern Valley were in shock when they were told their homes were in the way of a new lake and they had to find a new home and make new roots.

Whiskey Flat Days is one of the most popular Festivals in all of Southern California. Just a short 3 hour drive from Los Angeles, you will find the quaint town of Kernville, home to Whiskey Flat Days (50 miles east of Bakersfield on Hwy 178).


Whiskey Flat Days is held every Presidents Day Weekend. It is a leap back to the good ol' Wild West Days when the area was settled by gold miners, cattle ranchers and trappers. Join us when Kernville reverts to its old name "Whiskey Flat" for four nostalgic days of fun for the entire family.


Parade, Wild West Daze Rodeo, Wild West Encampment, Carnival Rides, Whiskey Flat Mayor Contest, Food & Craft Booths, Costume & Whiskerino Contests, Pet Parade, Blue Grass & Country Western Music, Gunfighter Skits, much more!

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