A decades-long family tradition for Victorville resident Letty Garcia is attending the National Orange Show Fair in San Bernardino.
“My parents started taking me and my brothers back in the early 1980s,” said Garcia, 41, who will attend this year’s fair with her husband and two children. “We’ve missed a few shows because of COVID-19, but we plan on going this year.”
Celebrating its 105th year, the five-day NOS begins Wednesday at the NOS Event Center located at 690 South Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino.
This fair includes attractions, live entertainment, food vendors, fireworks, a rodeo, a speedway race, a petting zoo, pony rides and nearly 30 carnival rides by Butler Amusement.
“I’m addicted to anything deep-fried, so fair food is my thing,” Garcia said. “Fried cheese curds and Snickers are the best.”
Events and attractions
This year’s fair will bring All Alaskan Racing Pigs to the Inland Empire along with Brad’s World of Reptiles, Butterfly Adventures and the Lorikeet Encounter, where visitors can meet the rainbow-colored birds known for their comical antics and friendly personalities.
The popular hands-on Mind Works attraction will include STEM/STEAM-based elements that involve critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork.
The attraction will include giant boards such as chess, checkers, Connect Four, Battleship, Simon Says, Scrabble, Jenga and Operation.
Mind Works visitors can build with magnets, giant foam blocks and wood blocks, or challenge their minds with chunky wood puzzles, metal tavern puzzles, or jumbo jigsaw puzzles.
The San Bernardino Pacesetters Drill Team & Drum Squad are scheduled to perform along with the Flying Royals Trapeze Show, a troupe of multi-generational flying trapeze artists and students.
Exhibits include the SBCUSD Art Showcase Exhibition, Barton Elementary School Student Art Display and the NOS All California Juried Art Exhibition
Live musical acts on Wednesday include Akrasia performing contemporary hits and 80’s tunes followed by the Limonite Band playing classic hits.
A private Military Appreciation Dinner is scheduled on Thursday night, which will include Cowboy Drake’s barbecue, non-alcoholic drinks and entertainment by the Lindy Sisters.
After the dinner, country music singer-songwriter Darryl Worley will perform on the NOS main stage. For more information on the dinner event call 909-381-8101.
On “Funky Friday,” Bruno and the Hooligans Tribute Band will perform followed by Soul Pointe.
The San Bernardino Teen Music Workshop on Saturday will include performances by the Richardson Jazz Band, Cajon Rock Group, Akrasia, Nojac, Zach the Hero and Jimmie Bishop.
Also on Saturday, Fuentez Entertainment will present Sonora dinamita con Vilma Díaz, Dinámicos del norte, Cadetes de linares and Amos de la kumbia.
Fair times and admission
Fair times are 5 to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Admission to the fair on Wednesday is free. Thursday and Friday $2 with children 4 and younger are free. Thursday is free admission with a military ID. Saturday and Sunday $5, children 4 and younger are free.
Parking is $10 in parking lots on 690 S. Arrowhead Avenue. Use gates 8 and 9 to enter.
All live entertainment is included with fair admission. Carnival rides and games are an additional charge.
Single Day unlimited ride wristbands are $33 on Wednesday and Thursday, $35 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and $1 for individual tickets.
For showtimes, rules, regulations and more information, visit nosevents.com.
In 1910, the first NOS was created by a group of civic-minded San Bernardino businessmen as a means of encouraging the culture of citrus fruits and promoting the distribution of the “exotic crop” throughout the world, according to the City of San Bernardino.
For six days in March 1911, the first tiny citrus fair included exhibits in two canvas tents, about 8,000 square feet total, on a vacant lot at Fourth and E streets in San Bernardino.
Despite rain falling continuously during the event, more than 3,000 people were in attendance. In the following years, the fair came to be called “California’s Greatest Midwinter Event.”
A permanent site was located at Mill and E streets. In its heyday, the NOS drew over 300,000 visitors each year.
Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227 or RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz