In March 2002, after working for the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, I set aside a few days to visit Riverside in sunny California.
Riverside is built on the wealth produced by the early citrus groves. Its inhabitants have a nostalgic attraction for the days when the rows of sunlit oranges trees stretched to distant horizons of snow-capped mountains. Nowadays, the pressures of urban and commercial development have decimated those groves. But, every year the citizens still hold their Orange Blossom Festival, and just outside the town, at the University of California's Riverside campus, is the World's greatest collection of different citrus varieties.
This huge tiled mural is the image that greets travellers arriving at Ontario Airport close to Riverside.
There is also a series of tableaux depicting the history of Californian citrus growing, and the art of the citrus box labels.
The Mission Inn is the outstanding building of downtown Riverside. Founded in 1876, it is now an up-market hotel. Guests have included presidents, kings, queens and countless celebrities.
As well as the attractive centre of downtown Riverside, I divided my time between three citrus sites - the developing Citrus State Historic Park, the single remaining Parent Washington Navel tree and the University of California's Riverside Citrus Variety Collection. Click the buttons below.
page created 9 March 2002, re-built 17Dec2016