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The Black Heartstrings are entertaining at Glow Night at Petroglyph Park. Left to Right are Kenneth Ramone, Lalo Flores, Noah Blackman, Brett Hiatt, and Sasha Hamaker. / Laura Austin Photo

Glow Night in Ridgecrest set to return Saturday, April 20

By LAURA QUEZADA News Review Staff Writer–     Glow Night in Ridgecrest returns to Petroglyph Park on Saturday, April 20, from 5 pm to 10 pm. Once again, folks will parade around the park. Walkers and non-motorized wheeled vehicles are asked to decorate their bikes and stuff with anything that lights up.  Meet at the gazebo and follow the leader.

Event organizer Lalo Flores tells us he started this event last year because, at that time, there weren’t very many community events happening. (See News Review September 22, Ridgecrest Glow Night parade set for Saturday, Sept. 29) This year it is again a community event with a few added elements. Flores invited the women’s shelter, Women’s Center-High Desert, Inc. They will be there ready to accept donations of canned food, hygiene items, gift cards, and clothing.

Flores added two contests for added fun. There will be a prize for the best glow-dressed bicycle, scooter, or whatever folks choose to bring. Then there is the Glow Star Contest. These should be based on the rave totem artifacts. EDM World Magazine describes them, “Totems are essentially artistic expressions that people hoist on poles as they rave about at an EDM (electronic dance music) festival. Whether it be the meme sticks, the tribe flags, or the light-up installations, you’ve definitely seen one in the crowd.” In this context, Flores says, “The idea behind it is that it’s going to highlight who’s living here in Ridgecrest; people will be able to show these poles and represent the neighborhood; they’re what they are.” This could be a club affiliation, a small business, or whatever you want to represent.

This is a free-to-the-public event, but Flores has been paying out of pocket for permits and insurance. He is working on having a booth “where we do face painting and stuff like that. And maybe that booth can be where people go and donate money.” He wants to keep this a free event.

Also new this time is live music by Black Heartstrings with sound and lights provided by DJ Paniiq. The Black Heartstrings decided to play at Glow Night because it’s a great community event. They weren’t able to attend the last Glow Night because they had a gig, but they heard from their friends that it was really a great time.

For a band that has only been together for eight months, the Black Heartstrings have accomplished quite a bit, including playing in Apple Valley, the Los Angeles area, and all over Ridgecrest. They will be playing at a festival in Hesperia. They were asked to compose a song for an upcoming horror movie, X Grinder 7. They have recorded two original songs that are available on all streaming platforms. This is a relatively young group of musicians, two of whom are still in high school.

Hamaker is a sophomore at Burroughs and Hiatt is a Junior. They don’t have plans for “when they grow up,” but they both know they want to stay involved in music. Ramone is a Special Education teacher at Sierra Sands and Blackman can only disclose that he works on Base in security.

Kenneth Ramone is the lead singer who loves to “jump around and entertain people,” Brett Hiatt plays drums and loves “working with my bandmates, my crew and getting the job done while having fun, Sasha Hamaker is on bass and loves entertaining people, and Noah Blackman plays electric guitar and likes learning new music. They play a mixture of rock genres: punk, emo, 80’s rock, pop punk, and Irish punk, mixing in a bit of hip-hop rap and their originals. They describe their sound as loud and heavy.

Ramone shared their origin story on Facebook, “While attending a Barstool Saints gig, my friend Brett had asked me to be in his band Zennith, and I was like, ‘Hmmm… I’m quite honored, but let me sit on that man. I got two other bands I’m in right now and I kind of don’t want to mess with what you guys already have going on.’ And then shortly after, Noah tells me at his Token Idiot gig how he feels that we both need to form a band where we can do all the songs we could never do in our other bands. Particularly Emo stuff. Brett says he’s down and invites his friend and bandmate Sasha into the mix. And Bam. BHS was born.”