West side of marker:An estimated 45,000 visitors
San Leandro's farmers expected a bumper crop of cherries in 1909. Why not celebrate and promote the city and one of its wonderful crops? The first cherry festival took place that spring. The Oakland Enquirer reported that it was the greatest carnival ever attempted in the county, and the host city was "as full of carnival spirit and joy as her orchards were full of cherries." Festivities included a 21-gun salute, a parade, a grand ball, carnival games and booths, and of course lots of cherries.
After the success, the festival became a regular event. Between 1910 and 1912, attendance grew from 45,000 to a remarkable 75,000. In the 1920s the festivals were revived for a decade, and one was held for San Leandro's centennial in 1972. Since then, cherry festivals continue to celebrate the San Leandro community.
Another opportunity to promote San Leandro crops was the Alameda County Day Parade of the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition, the great San Francisco fair to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal. San Leandro stole the show with its parade floats bedecked with San Leandro produce, and Antone Vager's cherry-covered car won first prize.
North side of marker:
attended the 1910 cherry carnival
and they consumed 25 tons of cherrys.
Ten tons were given away
and an additional 15 tons sold.