Corona Lemon Festival
For many early years, Corona’s growth came in part through the climatic hospitality and agricultural fame of lemons and other citrus fruits. The height of production was in 1935 where 2,406 acres of lemon groves were harvested, filling 1,138 railroad cars for delivery to market. Corona became part of history as “The Lemon Capital of the World.”
Naturally, a community gathering evolved to celebrate the “fruits” of Corona's labors, and the resulting Lemon Festival grew into an annual three-day event with parades, pageants, dances and carnivals. It eventually came to an end in 1948 as the reign of the Lemon Capital fell to other parts. But as a new century began to unfold, so to did a resurrection of the memories that helped build Corona. October 3, 1999, marked the revival of the Corona Lemon Festival on the lawn in front of the city’s Historic Civic Center located at 815 West Sixth Street.
The event was been organized by the Corona Heritage Foundation to help in the development of a heritage park interpretive of Corona's history. The reinvention of this historic event celebrated the past flavor of the 30’s and 40’s while offering attractions to fit present times. Much of that attraction is entertainment from that era, repopularized today – big band music, swing performances and dance competitions.
The festival reintroduced the “Miss Lemon Festival” pageant which became a stand-alone event held in May. The October festival included a local fine art exhibition and allowed crafters to show-off their work, and an old-fashioned “bake-off,” with lemon related recipes as the obvious theme, was a real hit. Other attractions included a “Best Dressed Pets” contest, and “Restaurant Row,” for sampling of Corona’s local cuisine. The last event occurred in October of 2007 as this event became a casualty, at least temporarily, of the area’s economic downturn.