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Juicy Booth at Orange Blossom Festival

UCR Citrus Variety Collection Display and Tasting Remains One of the Most Popular Attractions at the Riverside Orange Blossom Festival

The festival will also feature the UCR Entomology "critter" display and a fresh orange juice booth sponsored by the UCR woman’s volleyball team

(May 16, 2005)

Fair-goers taste citrus at UCR's tasting booth at the 2004 festival. Photo by Peter PhunEnlarge

Fair-goers taste citrus at UCR's tasting booth at the 2004 festival. Photo by Peter Phun

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — It’s that time of year again. One of the most popular booths at the annual Riverside Orange Blossom Festival, set for Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22, is the UC Riverside citrus-tasting booth. Fair-goers get to taste some of UC Riverside’s renowned Citrus Variety Collection in a booth that will be located between Lemon and Lime streets, on Mission Inn Avenue in front of the Riverside Public Library.

"Literally thousands of people visit the booth each year to taste the fruit,” said Tracy Kahn, principal museum scientist in the department of botany and plant sciences at UC Riverside and one of the driving forces behind the UC Riverside booth at the festival. “The booth is immensely popular with children. We have two walk-in coolers filled from floor to ceiling with fruit, so there'll be plenty of samples to hand out.”

Among the 25 citrus varieties on display this year are Gold Nugget, Oroblanco and a couple of new products of the UCR citrus breeding program that will be available for tasting for the first time. “The Orange Blossom Festival is a homegrown event and we are excited to be providing that crucial citrus flavor,” Kahn said.

The Citrus Variety Collection, consisting of two trees each of approximately 900 different citrus types, remains one of the premier citrus germplasm collections in the world and a valuable university resource. UCR has such an important role in developing citrus that nearly every orange, lemon, tangerine and grapefruit found in a supermarket can be genetically traced back to the university.

Other UC Riverside-related booths will be Department of Entomology’s “critter display” of live insects. And in a different location at the fair, the UCR woman’s volleyball team will sell fresh squeezed orange juice to thirsty festivalgoers as a fund-raiser. The team’s booth will be located on the corner of Mission and Lemon streets in downtown Riverside.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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