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The National Orange Show Event Center

In the heart of California’s San Bernardino County lies a sprawling venue with a rich history, the National Orange Show Event Center. What began as a grand vision in the late 1940s suffered a devastating setback but emerged stronger than ever, now standing as a testament to the region’s vibrant past and promising future.

The National Orange Show Event Center’s journey began with the construction of its first permanent exhibition hall in the late 1940s. With an impressive 100,000 square feet of floor space, it was a beacon of progress and prosperity. However, a cruel twist of fate struck in July 1949, when a fierce fire reduced the structure to ashes. Yet, undeterred by the disaster, the show’s dedicated directors and governors rallied their spirits to rebuild.

By March of 1950, a brand-new, larger exhibition building emerged from the ashes, rising triumphantly against all odds. The team did not stop there, as they soon erected two additional buildings, one for commercial and industrial exhibits and another for feature exhibits and trade shows. These ambitious endeavors transformed the National Orange Show into a symbol of growth and innovation.

A Hub of Activity

Over the years, the National Orange Show grounds evolved into a hub of activity, welcoming more and more buildings to its premises. From administrative structures to an auditorium and a dining center, each addition catered to the diverse needs of its growing community.

The enterprising spirit of the National Orange Show led its directors to explore year-round activity. By 1977, the fairgrounds were bustling with more than a million visitors during the off-season. From swap meets and trailer rallies to picnics and fire and police training exercises, the venue embraced diverse events that endeared it to the local population.

In 1979, the National Orange Show’s destiny took another thrilling turn. As San Bernardino Valley College withdrew its football games from the Stadium, the opportunity arose to expand the auto race schedule, transforming it into a permanent feature of the venue. The high-octane races added an exhilarating energy to the already vibrant atmosphere.

Embracing Change

In 1987, the National Orange Show Event Center welcomed yet another change, embracing off-track betting with the opening of a state-of-the-art satellite wagering center. This addition drew over 1,600 bettors per day, further solidifying the center’s status as a go-to entertainment destination.

As the years passed, the center’s management recognized the need for an identity that better reflected its diverse offerings. In the 1990s, they rebranded as the National Orange Show Event Center, aiming to promote year-round recreational and cultural activities. The new name proved more descriptive and inviting, showcasing the center’s commitment to education and family entertainment.

Today, the National Orange Show Event Center stands tall, spanning over 120 acres and boasting 150,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space. With a quarter-mile speedway, it continues to thrill racing enthusiasts. Accommodating more than 40,000 attendees and providing parking for approximately 8,000 cars, the center has become a beacon of entertainment in the inland empire. 

Community at Heart

Beyond its vibrant entertainment offerings, the National Orange Show Event Center remains steadfast in its commitment to the community. It diligently promotes and preserves the citrus industry, extends support through charitable programs and scholarships, and actively engages in community initiatives.

The National Orange Show Event Center has risen from the ashes of tragedy to become a dynamic cornerstone of California’s cultural and entertainment landscape. With its storied past and ambitious future, it continues to enthrall visitors, offering a tapestry of events that celebrate community, education, and the joy of family entertainment. The National Orange Show Event Center stands not only as a symbol of growth but as a testament to the unwavering spirit of those who shaped its legacy.

Lockout Studios

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If you are serious about your music, and you are looking for a space to practice and rehearse before you perform in front of an audience, Lockout Music Studios may be the solution you have been looking for.

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