Chula Vista Lemon Festival expected to bring 40,000 people - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Chula Vista Lemon Festival expected to bring 40,000 people

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CHULA VISTA (CNS) - The 15th annual Lemon Festival is set for Sunday in downtown Chula Vista, celebrating the South Bay city's heritage as the one-time "Lemon Capital of the World."

The event, along Third Avenue between E and G streets, usually attracts around 40,000 people.

Festivities will include live entertainment on three stages, eating contests, crafts and a "Fantasy Hair Contest" at a local salon.

The region became a major area for growing citrus after the completion of the Sweetwater Dam in 1888, and a railroad was built to transport the produce, according to the city, which is celebrating its centennial this year.

As many as eight packing plants were in operation at the time.

Over four years beginning in 1913, growers suffered from a severe freeze and a drought that ended with severe flooding in 1916. The agriculture lands were eventually overtaken by post-World War II residential development.

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