Street Fairs

Information Regarding the International Street Fair

For all inquiries about the Orange International Street Fair, please contact the International Street Fair Committee at (714) 532-6260. There may be some recorded information. For more information, leave a message and be patient for their reply.


The International Street Fair started in 1973 as a centennial celebration for Orange. Inspired by the 1910 Street Fair, it has been held annually since then in the Plaza area over Labor Day weekend, from Friday evening to Sunday evening. It provides an opportunity for various groups in the community to present and raise funds for their programs and enterprises. Many different ethnic groups participate in the Street Fair every year. They provide food, drink, entertainment and crafts to the visitors, often presenting themselves in ethnic costume. The Street Fair has become known for the variety of food reflecting cuisine from around the world.
The 27th Street Fair in 2000 had an attendance of 800,000 visitors. 15 streets were each themed with a different nation. The judges choose the best each year, based on authenticity, food, music, decorations and costumes. While the visitors select their own personal favorites, the judges were impressed with Danish Street at the 27th. Norwegian Street placed second, American Street third, Italian Street fourth, and Ginza Street was noted with an honorable mention.

1910 Street Fair Article

Orange Street Fair a Success

Attendance between 4,000 and 5,000 every day is estimated.

The Orange Way

This term has no similarity with that of the Midway or the Great White Way and refers to the way the people of Orange have of entering their guests at the street fair, which opened there Thursday and which continued until Saturday night.

The fair was practically the first street fair ever held in the county and Orange has done herself proud. The exhibits and arrangement was not only a credit to the city but to the county. For a block on Chapman and Glassell streets on either side of the Plaza were booths gaily decorated in orange and white, with here and there a booth that added a little color scheme to break the monotony. The booths in front of the stores were mostly occupied by the merchants exhibiting their different lines, with soda, lemonade, ice cream and other small lines sandwiched in at convenient points. The real center of interest, as far as display of products of the county is concerned, was centered on the booths surrounding the park. While the exhibits were not extensive, they were choice, only the very best of products being shown. They were a credit to the surrounding county and abundant evidence that Orange is in the center of as fine an agricultural section as will be found in the state.

Poultry Exhibit

Santa Ana chicken raisers were well represented in the exhibit of poultry and G. H. Randall of that city captured the citizens cup offered for the best display of seven classes. He exhibited four varieties, being the largest exhibitor. The cup is a beautiful piece of silver and is valued at $25.

Between 300 and 400 birds were on display, some of the principal Orange exhibitors being J. R. Schooley, Plymouth Rock; Willard South, White Leghorn; Smith and Cannon, Leghorns and other varieties. Among those from Santa Ana showing birds were Geo. H. Randall, L. F. Holbrook, Frank Greenleaf, and O. M. Robbins. James Fullerton, the veteran newspaper man and chicken fancier was in charge of the exhibit. A. C. Goodacre of Compton acted as judge and his judging was generally satisfactory.

Agriculture and Horticulture

Pumpkins raised without irrigation, likewise apples, were the pride of those in charge of these departments. In the irrigated fruits and vegetables, displays of peaches, beets, grapes, persimmons, corn, melons, oranges and lemons were shown of unusual size and weight. Eleven varieties of pears were on the tables.

Among the exhibitors were J. S Law, W A. Dyer, C. S Catlin, Wm. Bierwagon, C. P. Taft; a cabbage weighing 21 pounds by the Orange Vegetable company; a hill of sweet potatoes with eight well developed potatoes and the whole weighing 36 pounds by L. M. Hartwick. The bellefleur apples grown without irrigation are from the property of A. E Honey.

The Attractions

There were eight side shows of special attractions around the outer edge of the street circling the plaza. The captive balloon was one of the features, and on one trip the gas bag was sent 2275 feet with several passengers. This was an unusual height and was possible because there was little or no wind.

What it Cost

The citizens of orange raised about $2500 for the fair, and with revenue from the concessions amounting, it is expected, to about $1300, the 3 days' carnival will have cost about $5000.

The Rustlers

While every citizen of the town constituted himself a committee of one to rustle for the fair, the real work devolved on a few, the governing committee bearing the most of the work. The committee was composed of k. E Watson, chairman; A. J. Klunk, secretary; F. E Hallman, George C. Woods, G. G. Gearhart. Many subcommittees were appointed to carry out the plans formulated by the governing committee. The committees did their work well, producing a whole that is not only pleasing but entertaining. The result was beyond the expectation of even those who have been working on the project for months, giving their time and attention to the details of the fair.

The Attendance

It is conservatively estimated that between 4,000 and 5,000 people paraded the streets of Orange each day and took in the many things to be seen.

"Mother's Bread"

The booth of the Olive Milling company was particularly attractive to the ladies, for here a contest was on for the best bread, cakes and other things good to eat made from the Olive Milling company's flour. Mother's bread and cakes were brought in by women eager to show what they could do with the fine product of the mills and some choice loaves and cakes were seen on exhibition.

The Opening

A formal opening was brief and consisted principally of an address of welcome by Mayor Dittmer and Hon. Clyde Bishop. The keys of the city were given into the hands of the people, and they accepted them and took charge of the town.

A Peaceable Crowd

It may be said, and with credit to the town, that the crowd was well behaved, and there was absolutely no rowdyism, either day or night, and there was not an accident to mar the pleasures of a single individual.

At Night

Hundreds of citizens of Santa Ana were in attendance during the day and hundreds more at night. The road from Santa Ana to Orange was a "hot path," automobiles, bicycles, motorcycles and rigs making an almost continuous line. Some went over on the car but the service was far from satisfactory, the loads being too much for the "dummy" on the other end and passengers were forced at times to get off and push the car.

The streets were ablaze with electric lights, and the Long Beach band rendered a concert that was enjoyed by hundreds who thronged the plaza and streets. The side shows did a lively business in the evenings.

Not Found Wanting

Orange has made her initial [attempt as] an entertainer and exhibitor of products, and it can be said that she has not been found wanting.

This article was originally published in the
Orange County Tribune (Fullerton)
Wednesday September 28, 1910