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 Capitol 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 Capitol fell to other parts. But as a new century prepares 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.
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 celebrates 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 is now a stand-alone event held each May. The October festival includes a local fine art exhibition and crafters to show-off their work, and an old-fashioned “bake-off,” with lemons as the obvious theme. Other attractions will include a “Best Dressed Pets” contest, and “Restaurant Row,” which will is a sampling of Corona’s local cuisine.
Admission and parking is free, and anyone with memorabilia of the citrus industry or other historic exhibits is encouraged to participate. Also, the festival is an excellent promotional opportunity for local commercial businesses, vendors, restaurants, crafters and non-profit organizations.