Assistant News Editor
Upland held its annual Lemon Festival in celebration of the area’s former ripe citrus industry last Friday through Sunday.
Held at the intersection of Second Avenue and Ninth Street in the historic downtown section of Upland, the festival featured crafts, music, vendors, food and rides fit for the whole family.
“It’s a very festive feeling,” volunteer Sally Olsen said.
Olsen and Kim Brewer, Fairplex volunteers, both donated their time to the festival to help kids make crafts, which included butterflies, dragonflies and bugs made of pipe cleaners and pony beads.
“It’s been busy and I can tell that the people are having a good time,” Olsen said.
The two volunteered beside the Butterfly Adventures exhibit where festival visitors could pay to walk through an enclosed butterfly habitat.
The Citrus Grove Stage on Ninth Street was also in full swing and featured music performances from groups like Paper Orphans, Jonny Come Lately, The Dogs, Mick Rhodes and the Hard Eight and Led Zepagain.
The stage also featured the Lemon Idols, a contest where kids and adults could show off their skills and talents as they competed for the Lemon Idol title.
The streets were lined with vendors, including numerous food stands selling hot dogs, lemon meringue pies, gyros and frozen lemonade.
The local businesses on the street were open in hopes of discovering new customers.
“(The festival) brings in new customers,” Irene Sanchez, the owner of Garden of Beaden on Second Avenue, said.
Garden of Beaden, a beads and crafts store, prepared for the festival by creating extra items to sell to festival attendees, including pre-packaged jewelry projects that were easy enough to do in less then 30 minutes.
“I’ve been here 15 years so I know that you have to adjust to the festival,” Sanchez said. “Like it’s not our regular Saturday crowd or weekend crowd because there’s no parking for our regulars. It’s just a lot of new people so I feel like during this time there’s a lot of education going on – telling people what we do and telling them about our classes, so it’s very geared to new people.”
Sanchez and her staff celebrated the festival with earrings that used long ear wire with a simple handmade glass lemon at the end.
“I’m not usually open on Sundays, but I’m going to stretch my hours and be here tomorrow,” Sanchez said. “I just had to adjust my business so it works for us.”
Amanda Larsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.