Planning continues for the 2022 Citrus Harvest Festival, which will feature one additional contest aimed at inspiring residents of Highland’s Historic District in restoring and preserving their homes. The festival is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26, 2022, on Main Street and Palm Avenue.
The Historic and Cultural Preservation Board, which guides city staff in the organization of the annual event, added a “good neighbor award” contest to the recurring festival contests. While the returning contests – coloring, citrus label designing, poetry, baking and citrus growing – focus on the event’s citrus theme and encourage participation from Highland students and residents, the new contest is specifically for residents of the historic district. It will offer an award in four categories: most improved (for properties that have had recent exterior restoration), most historically accurate, best landscaping and people’s choice.
The contest is open to properties within the historic district, including those that have not been identified as “culturally contributing” to the district’s recognized period of cultural significance, 1891 to 1938.
“The idea is to build a community spirit, a sense of pride in the community. Even though not all the houses are necessarily contributing they’re still part of the community and contribute to the look and feel of the district,” said Historic and Cultural Preservation Board Vice Chair Colin Childs.
“We’re trying to encourage people to sign up for the Mills Act and give incentive to restore and improve their properties,” Childs added, referring to a state tax incentive program for the preservation and restoration of historic properties.
Many of the details for the new contest are still to be decided, such as how contestants will be entered or nominated, how winners will be chosen and what the award will be.
The board also heard a report from Kiwanis Club of Highland President Jeff Staggs who confirmed that the club will again be hosting the festival’s annual car show. According to Staggs, due to a drop of club membership and the growing age of its active members, the club plans to host the show with the assistance of a Redlands Kiwanis Club and the high school students active in the Key Clubs sponsored by the Highland club.
According to the event map, the car show will be held on Main Street west of Palm Avenue with the Model Ts and Model As (which are period appropriate for the Historic District) featured on the southwest corner of the intersection.
The festival’s walking tour of the district will return, led by Childs, with a tour highlighting homes and other structures of historical significance and a second tour visiting Childs’ citrus garden. The garden contains approximately 40 citrus trees and a large variety of citrus fruit.