Kickoff barbecue coming next month at West Kern Oil Museum

It’s time to start thinking about Taft’s next big birthday bash.

And the Board of Directors of Oildorado Inc. is doing just that by planning a kickoff event that will be held the evening of Oct. 9 at the West Kern Oil Museum.

“We always have some type of event to formally announce a year in advance that Taft Oildorado Days is coming,” said 2015 Oildorado President Paul Linder.

He said the executive board has been meeting regularly to develop a blueprint for the once-every-five-years celebration.

“We want to make Rails to Trails the focal point of next year’s event,” Linder said, “Because that was such a huge success when we celebrated the city’s 100th anniversary in 2010.”

He said the plan is to have a barbecue – probably burgers and hot dogs – for anyone interested in participating in Oildorado Days and then convene the celebration’s general board of directors for a meeting in the Museum’s Buena Vista Room.

The area surrounding the Oil Worker Monument at Sixth and Supply Row will once again be transformed into the Oildorado Midway.

He also dropped a few hints about some of the events being planned Thursday evening at a meeting of the Taft Chamber of Commerce's Downtown Business Committee.

He said the committee is working to make the 2015 another major event like the 2010 100th year party.

“We don't see any reason it can't be as big and as fun as it was four years ago,” he said.

The big street concert featuring Eddie Money was a success, and something similar may be coming next year. He said organizing that event may take more than just the Oildorado committee, and there have been contacts with representatives for entertainers.

He also reassured business owners that they are working to ensure there won't be serious affects on business for the big downtown events.

The location of the popular store and headquarters is still up in the air at this time, Linder said, but planners are hoping it will be in the old Pioneer Mercantile building again.

All the traditional activities are being planned, including the civic luncheon, grand parade, queen pageant, oil field skills contests, carnival, melodrama, car show, and concerts.

The Sheriff’s Posse and Wooden Nickel Gang will be on hand trying to upstage each other and a variety of entertainment will be on the schedule of events.

There's going to be a new Oildorado Sheriff in 2015, however.

Linder announced that Billy White is hanging up his badge.

Taft College is planning to hold its Petroleum Summit during Oildorado.

Accommodations will be improved because the three-story Best Western Hotel will be completed by then and an RV park is in the works.