The Los Angeles County Fair is a highly anticipated—and hugely attended—event each year. However, you might be surprised to find that the fair isn’t held in L.A. itself, but 30 miles east in Pomona. The Fairplex hosts a myriad of “Los Angeles” festivals throughout the year, including the Los Angeles County Irish Fair & Music Festival each St. Patrick’s Day.
2. You’ll Being Living Near 20,000 Broncos
Source: Cal Poly Pomona via Facebook
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (or just Cal Poly Pomona to those in the know) is on the edge of the city, with more than 20,000 students learning, working, and living under the reared up legs of their beloved Broncos mascot. But it’s not all about parties at this school: Cal Poly Pomona is currently ranked #6 among the Best Public Schools in the West by U.S. News and World Report.
3. But Don’t Bother Looking For Pomona College
Source: Flickr user Dave & Margie Hill/Kleerup
Though Pomona is home to two large educational institutions, what it surprisingly isn’t home to is Pomona College. It was founded here in 1887 but moved to Claremont (four miles away) a mere two years later.
4. Pomona Takes The Crazy Out Of Coachella
Source: Flickr user Thomas Hawk
If you’re a fan of the musicians who play at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, but not of spending hot, sweaty, crowded, and expensive days in the middle of the desert, Pomona is your oasis.
Artists playing during the at festival often make a dash here (usually at the Glass House or the Fox Theatre, and often last-minute or unannounced) for a mellower set and some air-conditioning.
5. Skiing In SoCal? You Better Believe It
Source: Flickr user dsearls
Though Pomona is firmly situated in the middle of Southern California, it’s actually only 16 miles from Mt. Baldy and an ice-cold weekend getaway. Situated in the San Antonio Canyon of Angeles National Forest, the mountain range also provides excellent hiking when the snow isn’t in season.
6. Fresh Produce Is Just About Everywhere
Source: Cal Poly Pomona Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch via Facebook
Pomona Valley Farmers’ Market takes place every Saturday all year round and the Downtown Pomona Certified Farmers Market is held the second Saturday of every month. If you don’t want to give up your Saturday just to get some fresh fruit, you’ll find fantastic produce every day at the Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch—where Cal Poly Pomona sells produce fresh from its own farm.
7. It’s The Ranch Versus The Rest
Source: Wikimedia user Bmamlyuk
A planned community dating back to the '60s, Phillips Ranch is within Pomona’s city’s limits and has a Pomona zip code, but most of its residents use “Phillips Ranch, CA” as their return address—and the U.S. Postal Service lets them.
This community differentiates itself from the rest of Pomona (and vice versa) due to its relative wealth and elevated social stratification. It’s a polarizing part of town, and how you feel about this place simply depends upon whether you live here or not.
8. Beware Of The City’s Twitter
Source: Flickr user Aaron Escobar
The City of Pomona joined Twitter in order to share “important Disaster, Public Safety, and other City Department Updates” in a timely manner, which sounds really important. But its roughly 1,200 followers typically get daily reminders about benefits of natural fertilizer and tips on keeping up your yard. You were warned.
9. Pomona Is A Classic Car Buff’s Dream Come True
Source: Pomona Swap Meet via Facebook
If you have a classic car you want to brag about—or a classic car you want to get rid of—the Pomona Swap Meet and Classic Car Show is the place to make it happen. Seven times a year, huge crowds of enthusiasts gather as early as 5AM to scope out and buy cars and parts, sell cars and parts, or just ogle those who are doing the bragging and swapping.
10. Donahoo’s Makes KFC Taste Like Garbage
Don’t even mention the Colonel, because Donahoo’s Golden Chicken is the fried poultry ruler in these parts. Those who don’t fear cholesterol praise their enormous and well-spiced chicken strips. Those who don’t fear carbohydrates say missing out on the biscuits is basically a crime.
11. Pomona Thinks You Deserve A Night Out
Source: Flickr user Master Data Management
Downtown Pomona has been revitalized with its commitment to Pomona Night Out. One Saturday night each month, the city celebrates with live music and entertainment out on its streets, with plenty of food to sample and arts and crafts to peruse.
12. Your Neighbors Will Try To Educate Or Heal You
Source: Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center via Facebook
Pomona is a city of citizens who serve their own. According to its 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s largest employers are Pomona Unified School District, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and Lanterman Developmental Center.
13. Pomona Will Drag You Through The Racing Season
Source: Flickr user Scott cutler
The Auto Club Raceway at Pomona is the oldest venue on the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Full Throttle Drag Racing Series circuit. It’s been home to NHRA’s season opener (the Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals) since 1961, and to the season closer (the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals) since 1984. And with seats for 40,000 spectators—including luxury boxes—it packs them in each time the engines rev.
14. The Birthplace Of “Honey”
Source: Flickr user Themeplus
Before Jessica Alba danced her way into saving the community center and earned herself a spot on Maxim’s “Hot 100,” she was just another kid in Pomona. Alba was born here in 1981 while her father was stationed with the U.S. Air Force.
15. Who Says Antiques Have To Be Boring?
Source: Flickr user Ryan Basilio
Not in Pomona, at least. Five times a year Pomona hosts the Collectors Street Faire along Antique Row, and treasure hunters from near and far explore, barter, buy, and sell.
16. The Whole Place Is Crawling With Artists
Source: Flickr user Chris Manacop
Downtown Pomona is home to the Arts Colony, a collection of galleries, shops, and artist lofts. The neighborhood itself is also a big of a canvas, with murals and sculptures shown off in public spaces. The mural “Pomona Envisions The Future” is a centerpiece, a collaboration of many local artists commissioned by the city.
17. Guasalmex Is The Best Of Three Worlds
Source: Flickr user René Mayorga
Guasalmex is hands-down the most beloved, highly rated restaurant in Pomona. If it’s name confuses you, let’s break it down: It’s “Gua” for Guatemalan, “sal” for Salvadoran, and “mex” for Mexican. It serves all three nation’s cuisines, with Salvadoran pupusas getting an extra special rave from the restaurant’s many fans.
18. You Can Feel The History
Source: Wikimedia user Los Angeles
The Pomona Historical Society has taken great care to restore and maintain its 20 historic landmarks, and most of them are open to the public. Adobe de Palomares and La Casa Primera are amongst the oldest adobe homes ever built, and provide particular insight into Pomona’s former way of life.
19. People In Pomona Chalk It Up
Source: Flickr user victoriabernal
This year will mark Pomona’s 7th Annual Chalk Art Festival. On the first Saturday in November, students, families and professional artists join together to transform dull gray concrete into impermanent works of art. But since the average annual rainfall in Pomona is only 17 inches, it might stick around here longer than it would in other cities.
20. You Can Be Guinea Pigs For The Perfect Restaurant
Source: The Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch via Facebook
The Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch is chic, romantic, bucolic, and serves up a rotating menu that’s always fresh, locally sourced, and delicious. And bonus: It’s also operated and managed by Cal Poly Pomona students enrolled in The Collins College of Hospitality Management, so you never know what might be on the menu.
21. Pomona Puts Christmas On Parade
Source: Pomona Christmas Parade via Facebook
There's no question about it: Pomona's got some major holiday spirit. One of its biggest community events is an annual Christmas Parade, which—despite the pervasive sunshine and general lack of snow—brings Yuletide cheer through the downtown streets.
What do you love about living in Pomona? Let us know in the comments below.
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