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UCR Citrus Booth Seeks Volunteers

UC Riverside Seeks Volunteers for its Citrus Tasting Booth, One of the Most Popular Attractions at the Riverside Orange Blossom Festival

(April 13, 2004)

Blood Valencia

Blood Valencia

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- — Volunteers are needed for one of the most popular booths at the annual Riverside Orange Blossom Festival, the UC Riverside citrus display and fruit-tasting booth, which exhibits UCR's renowned Citrus Variety Collection. This year the festival takes place on April 17 and 18, in downtown Riverside. The UC Riverside booth will be located in the Breezeway in front of City Hall. If you would like to volunteer to help with UCR's display this weekend, contact Jessica Darin at (909) 787- 4799 or send an email to

Volunteers are still needed to staff shifts for Sunday, April 18, 2004. They include:

  • Morning: 8:30 a.m. — 11:00 a.m.

  • Mid Morning/Early Afternoon: 10:00 a.m. — 1:00 p.m.

  • Noon to Mid-Afternoon: 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

  • Mid Afternoon to Early Evening: 3:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Each year, thousands of visitors file past the fruit-tasting booth for the opportunity to sample approximately 40 varieties from the UCR Citrus Variety Collection and learn about new citrus varieties. UC Master Gardeners will also be available to answer questions about how to plant and care for citrus trees. Included in the exhibits will also be an entomology exhibit and information about other research areas at UCR.

Because of its enormous popularity, the UC Riverside fruit-tasting booth is a favorite with volunteers at the festival. The success of the UC Riverside booth depends on a tremendous amount of volunteer power, according to Tracy Kahn, senior 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. All volunteers at the booth receive an official festival T-shirt and an opportunity to taste the citrus themselves.

To make this display possible, nearly 250 volunteers participate in the preparations and to staff the UC Riverside fruit-tasting booth each year. While some volunteers have already picked and washed fruit from the UCR Citrus Variety Collection. At the festival, most will hand out free samples to visitors and answer questions, others will cut fruit for those samples.

The Citrus Experiment Station and its Citrus Variety Collection were established in Riverside in the early 1900s to support the needs of the developing citrus industry in Southern California. Over the years, the world-renowned Citrus Experiment Station became the foundation of the Riverside campus of the University of California and has remained at the forefront of agricultural research, and especially citrus research.

Today UC Riverside has expertise in many disciplines, yet the Citrus Variety Collection, consisting of two trees each of more than 900 different citrus types, remains one of the premier citrus germplasm collections in the world and a valuable university resource.

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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