Haggard BoxCar Music Festival

History of Haggard’s Boxcar

Saturday, May 11th, the Kern County Museum will be presenting the 3rd Annual Haggard Boxcar Festival! The Festival is named after the childhood home of Merle Haggard, and of course, in honor of Haggard and all he contributed to Bakersfield and country music!

The history of the boxcar starts in 1935 when the Haggard’s moved to Bakersfield from Oklahoma . They purchased the boxcar as temporary living, until they built a permanent structure on their land. In 1937, Merle Haggard was born and then brought home to the now famous boxcar. In the late1950s they left the boxcar for their new home on the same property.

Over the decades the house became worn and fell into disrepair. In recent years ,a group called, “Citizens Preserving History” raised awareness and money with a “Save Hag’s Boxcar” campaign to move the boxcar here to the Kern County Museum. We give special thanks to the Cynthia Lake Charitable Trust for her generous endowment. Without her and Historical architect George Taylor Louden, we would not be able to enjoy “Hag’s Boxcar” and honor the Country Legend.

Haggard himself, chose the location of his home on the museum’s property, he chose a spot across from the steam engine and Santa Fe caboose. The boxcar was completely reconstructed and renovated with the original wood and opened to the public for tours in April 2016.  The very first Haggard Boxcar Music festival was held in honor of Merle, exactly one year from the legendary country singers’ death.  

It is truly an honor to have Merle’s childhood home on our property. We will continue to honor him, along with his son’s, Ben and Noel Haggard, year after year by showcasing talented country singers from across the country and, of course, right here in Bakersfield.

This year we have Noel and Ben Haggard headlining with a special line up to include; up and coming country music star, Mo Pitney and Susan Raye along with local favorites Truxton Mile and The Nightlife Band.

Get ready for a heck of a time!! You’re not gonna want to miss this line-up!!

Event Details

Saturday, May 11th, Doors open at 3pm

Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. They can be purchased online HERE or at the Kern County Museum and The Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame.

Special thanks to Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame. We enjoy our partnership with them and the great talent they bring the Haggard Boxcar Festival.

Bring your lawn chairs!


  • No weapons
  • No outside food or drink
  • no blankets or umbrellas
  • no smoking
  • All guests will be subject to screening and/or inspection

Purchase Tickets HERE

Festival Lineup:

Become a Sponsor

Get the VIP treatment! Meet the bands, get the best seats in the house, and get the swag along with many other perks. Click below to find out more!

Hall Ambulance
Varner Bros., Inc.
StateFarm Agent Elizabeth Lehr
Temblor Brewing Company
Bakersfield Limosine & Transportation
Barry’s RV Outlet
Nicole Bolinger Photographer & Marketing
Tejon Ranch
Central Valley Events & Entertainment
The Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame
Love Sweet Lulu
Grapevine MSP
Seneca Resources
Strata Credit Union
Michelob Ultra
MD Concrete Cutting & Demolition

Become a Vendor

The Kern County Museum is seeking craft and merchandise vendors for the Haggard Boxcar Festival on Saturday, May 11th, 2019. The cost for a 10 x 10 vendor space is $75.00 and admits two staff members. Extra booth staff must purchase an event ticket. Click below or email Brenna at be