Highland Citrus Harvest Festival Page
The 17th Annual Citrus Harvest Festival, scheduled for Saturday, March 30, 2013 from 10 AM until 3:30 is Highland's celebration of its rich citrus heritage.
Historical demonstrators will show what life was like over 100 years ago when the area was filled with orange groves and citizens led a more rural lifestyle.
People dressed in vintage clothing will roam the streets. The entire Historic District will be filled with vendors, children's activities and food booths.
A Kid Zone, car show and live entertainment from the main stage will engage families who come out to enjoy the annual event.
The Highland Area Historical Society will have a display at the north East corner of Palm Avenue and Main Street. Dress in a period costume; have your photo taken at their booth and enter the Costume Contest.
A Historical Home Tour will allow guests the opportunity to step inside homes and buildings established in that era. Several homes and churches will be offered for the Home Tour. A price of $2 for adults and $1 for children has been set. Tickets for the Home Tour can be purchased in advance or on Festival day.
Highland residents of all ages are invited to participate in the baking and citrus growing contests. Winners of the baking contest will take home ribbons for first, second and third places in each of the following categories: cookie, pie, cake, bread/muffin, and jams/jellies/marmalade. Judging for the baking contest will take place at City Hall prior to the Festival. Judges will also be looking for the Largest Orange, Best Overall Orange, Largest Lemon, Best Overall Lemon in the Citrus Growing Contest.
For more information about the Citrus Harvest Festival, call Kim Stater Highland Economic Development Specialist who coordinates the city event, at (909) 864-8732.
The Highland Citrus Harvest Festival will be on Palm Avenue from Pacific Street south, and stretching east and west along Main Street.
View of the area of the Highland Citrus Harvest Festival in a Google map.
View Highland Citrus Harvest Festival in a larger map
March is Citrus Harvest Festival Month
|The Rohrer Block on Palm Avenue as it appeared in 1936. Photo courtesy Bill Calvert’s A Pictorial History of Highland.|
Each March Highland celebrates the Citrus Harvest Festival in Highland's Historic District (Old Town) at Main Street and Palm Avenue.
Why the celebration? Highland became famous for growing, packing and shipping citrus fruit between the 1890's and the 1960's when the industry took a sharp decline.
You have all seen the Baker's site and the CVS Pharmacy on the northeast corner of Baseline and Palm Avenue. This is where Highland's story began, with a small business district named Messina that stretched from Palm Avenue to Church Avenue.
The railroad established a depot in 1891 on the northeast corner of Palm Avenue and Pacific Street (property now owned by San Bernardino). The town's people saw the immediate advantage in being closer to the depot, literally took the buildings apart, and moved them to the area south of the depot.
The True Block on the west side of Palm Avenue, built by Alfred A. True, was the first commercial building that included the post office and a drug store. The drug store, managed by Alfred, was at the rear and the post office, managed by Alfred's mother was in the front with the mailboxes about eight feet back.
The building had a second story that provided a meeting hall and offices. The Knights of Pythias held their meetings there from 1899 to 1926.
In 1907 the drug store moved to the northwest corner and the post office occupied the single story building (still standing) to the south.
The building was sold to Charles Rohrer in 1908 and became known as the Rohrer block.
Across the street was the Longmire Block in which were the first plumbing shop, a restaurant and Jimmy Longmire's Barber Shop.
The stores had large awnings that added a handsome touch to the business district.
Two houses are just south of the True/Rohrer Block. The first Brown house, built in 1900, was the home of one of Highland's beloved teachers, Elfreda Brown, and her husband. The second home was the Linville home, built after the death of H.H. Linville in 1915. Mrs. Linville felt that the family home on Boulder Avenue was too far from town.
South of Main Street on the southwest corner stands the remnants of The First Bank of Highland. Damaged by a fire, only the original part of the building stands today.
On the northeast corner of Palm Avenue and Main Street once stood the Panfried, a two-story hotel and boarding house. The newspaper editor of the time had, many a time, called for a hotel in the area to accommodate the passengers arriving on the seven daily trains.
In 1926, the hotel was torn down and the Highland's Woman's Club and Library building was constructed. It was sold in 1963 or 1964 to the Highland Baptist Temple.
North of and along Pacific Avenue was “packing house row”, through which the railroad ran. Packinghouses were built as early as 1898. The Highland Orange Association was the first. This packinghouse was renovated in 1995 for use as the Dry Ice Hockey Arena.
Highland had two churches. The First Methodist-Episcopal, on Pacific, and the Highland Congregational church, on Palm Avenue, both still function as churches, although of different denominations.
This has been just a brief “taste” of the history of the area in which the Citrus Harvest Festival is held each March.
Mark your calendar and make plans to enjoy yourself at the Citrus Harvest Festival.
Stop by the Highland Area Historical Society booth and see our display.
Dress in era costume and enter the Costume Contest there, too. You will receive a souvenir photo.