Riverside Metropolitan Museum Announces “Celebrating Citrus Families,” A Citrus Heritage Day on Feb. 2

Published: 01/07/2019



Press Contact:          Brenda Buller Focht, Museum Curator




Riverside Metropolitan Museum Announces

“Celebrating Citrus Families,” A Citrus Heritage Day

RIVERSIDE, California (January 7, 2019) – The Riverside Metropolitan Museum will commemorate Riverside’s citrus heritage with a special community event, “Celebrating Citrus Families,” at the Riverside Arlington Library on Saturday, February 2, from noon to 4 p.m.

This family-friendly event is an opportunity to share with the community a chapter in Riverside’s rich citrus heritage, Activities will include citrus tasting, creating a citrus label, citrus-themed crafts, painting oranges, citrus story time, and a presentation on growing your own oranges.

Event participants include California Citrus State Historic Park, Blue Banner Company, Inc., Gless Ranch, MacArthur Ranch, University of California Cooperative Extension, Riverside Art Museum, Mission Inn Museum, Riverside Museum Associates, Arlington Library, and City of Riverside Arts and Culture Division.

Citrus history will be displayed in the Library lobby with memorabilia from the citrus growing operations of prominent citrus families, including Gless Ranch, MacArthur Ranch, and Blue Banner Company, Inc.  The community exhibit will remain on view at the Arlington Library through June 2019.

The City of Riverside and the Washington navel orange industry grew up together.  In the 1870s, local resident Eliza Tibbets received a Washington navel orange tree from Washington D.C.  The oranges from these trees were seedless, delicious, and easy to peel.  The Washington navel quickly became popular, and local farmers planted this variety of orange tree across many acres.  Riversiders worked in the groves and packing houses processing the fruit for shipping across the United States and abroad.  Today approximately 3,000 acres of navel oranges grow from Riverside east to Redlands.  Riverside’s Washington navels are still packed locally at the Corona-College Heights Packing House.