Apple Gleaning

Come hear stories gleaned from Santa Cruz County's food and agricultural history tonight at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History! The Curated Feast will be co-presenting on our forthcoming book on local food and agricultural history. Learn more about this project through the Santa Cruz Heritage Food Project

Just as a teaser, here is a little slice of a great big story: the Apple Annual was held in Watsonville, California from 1910 to 1913. The festival, marketed as “An Apple Show Where Apples Grow,” was a four-day apple extravaganza featuring parades, dances, vaudeville acts, and many apples —2,350,000 apples in 1910, to be exact. 

Tens of thousands of visitors came from half the states to enjoy the festivities. The exhibits at the fair were spectacular. In 1910, the program chairman of the Annual presented the Governor of California, James N. Gillett, with a three-foot wide apple pie. And in 1912, high school students designed the Panama Canal out of dried apples. In 1914, the Annual moved to San Francisco, and in 1915, it was part of the World’s Fair. 

The Annual event faded because of the impacts of World War I, but in 1979 there was a mini-revival of the old Apple Annual called the Apple Harvest Festival. The event offered throwbacks to the Annual of more than 65 years before with a parade and crowning of an apple queen.

Liz PearComment