A decades-long family tradition for Victorville resident Letty Garcia is attending the National Orange Fair in San Bernardino.
“My parents started taking me and my siblings in the early 1980s,” said Garcia, 41, who will attend this year’s fair with her husband and two children. “We have missed a few shows due to COVID-19, but we plan to go this year.”
Celebrating its 105th year, the five-day NOS kicks off Wednesday at the NOS Event Center located at 690 South Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino.
This fair includes rides, live entertainment, food vendors, fireworks, a rodeo, a drag race, a petting zoo, pony rides and nearly 30 Butler Amusement rides.
“I’m addicted to anything 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 Lorikeet Encounter, where visitors can meet rainbow-colored birds known for their comical antics and friendly personalities.
The popular Mind Works hands-on attraction will include STEM/STEAM-based elements involving 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.
Visitors to Mind Works can build with magnets, giant foam blocks, and wooden blocks, or challenge their minds with chunky wooden puzzles, metal tavern puzzles, or giant brain teasers.
The San Bernardino Pacesetters Drill Crew and Drum Squad are scheduled to perform in conjunction with the Flying Royals Trapeze Show, a company of multi-generational student and flying trapeze artists.
Exhibits include the SBCUSD Art Show, the Barton Elementary School Student Art Show, and the NOS All California Juried Art Show
Wednesday’s live musical acts include Akrasia performing contemporary hits and ’80s tunes followed by the Limonite Band performing classic hits.
A private military appreciation dinner is scheduled for Thursday night, which will include a BBQ by Cowboy Drake, non-alcoholic beverages and entertainment from the Lindy sisters.
Following dinner, country music singer-songwriter Darryl Worley will perform on the NOS Main Stage. For more information about 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 with Vilma Díaz, Dinámicos del norte, Cadetes de linares and Amos de la kumbia.
Fair hours and admission
Fair hours are 5 to 11 pm Wednesday through Friday and noon to 11 pm on Friday and Saturday.
Admission to the fair on Wednesday is free. Thursday and Friday $2 with children under 4 years old are free. Thursday is free admission with a military ID. Saturday and Sunday $5, children under 4 years old are free.
Parking is $10 in lots at 690 S. Arrowhead Avenue. Use doors 8 and 9 to enter.
All live entertainment is included with admission to the fair. Carnival rides and games are an additional charge.
Single day unlimited travel wristbands are $33 on Wednesday and Thursday, $35 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and $1 for individual tickets.
For hours, rules, regulations and more information, visit nosevents.com.
In 1910, a group of civic entrepreneurs from San Bernardino created the first NOS as a means to encourage citrus cultivation and promote the distribution of the “exotic crop” throughout the world, according to the City of San Bernardino.
For six days in March 1911, the first small citrus fair included displays in two canvas tents, approximately 8,000 square feet in total, on a vacant lot at Fourth and E streets in San Bernardino.
Despite the fact that the rain fell continuously during the event, more than 3,000 people attended. In subsequent years, the fair was renamed “California’s Greatest Winter Event.”
A permanent site was located at Mill and E Streets. At its peak, the NOS drew more than 300,000 visitors each year.
Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz can be reached at 760-951-6227 or RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz