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5437National Orange Show Memorabilia

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  • thecitrusbelt
    Feb 6, 2014

      For ninety-eight years the National Orange Show in San Bernardino has hosted an annual Festival to celebrate the region’s citrus heritage. In its heyday, the National Orange Show drew over 300,000 visitors each year. Here are a few artifacts from past shows on this link by “Trader Chris”:




      This narrative is from the National Orange Show website:


      “In 1889, the very first “Orange Show” was staged in San Bernardino. This premier show was scheduled to run a week, but the promoters were doubtful as to whether or not the show would last that long. Each day, a brief message appeared in the Courier (the forerunner of San Bernardino’s newspaper, The Sun) urging committee members to obtain exhibitors. When the show opened, fifteen county communities were represented in the citrus exhibits. Other county products also on display included raisins, walnuts, lemons, limes, grapes, apples, and Cucamonga wines and brandies. The show opened with the City of San Bernardino band playing from a Van Dorin Building balcony on Third Street. The event cost $744.25 to produce, with $1,180.25 in revenue. Since financial success was apparent and the show was so well received by the community, the event was extended to an eleven-day run.


      The “Orange Show” went “National” in 1911 with tents pitched at Fourth and “D” Streets in San Bernardino. By that time, the impact of the citrus industry on San Bernardino economics had escalated. For example, the 7,511 orange trees in 1872 had grown to 1,347,911 by 1900; the 15,000 boxes of oranges shipped in 1881 stood at 1,562,108 boxes by 1902-03; and the cash value of the orange crop had grown from $2,450 in 1860 to $1,634,783 in 1900. This introduction provided the setting and circumstances for the genesis of the National Orange Show, which has taken place every year since its inception in 1911, with the exception of four years during World War II.”


      Bob Chaparro