Paradise was once an important apple growing region, and there is still one surviving grower as well as an apple festival in this northern California Sierra foothills town.
Since 1921 the Noble Orchards have been producing apples. It's still family run, and is the last of such farms on the Ridge. A variety of apples are harvested from the now 30 acres, and 20 acres of peaches. The orchard has seedlings from as far back as the 1870's. Many of the pies at the Johnny Appleseed Days festival will be made from the Jonathan variety. The Noble Orchards are located at 7050 Pentz Road and is open to the public. For more information call (530) 877-4784.
Johnny Appleseed Days Festival
Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Bureau
The second largest event on the Paradise Ridge is just around the corner. The annual Johnny Appleseed Days festival, recognizing the early 19th Century American folk (known as John Chapman) hero who traveled for decades across the Midwest planting apple seeds and encouraging settlers to plant apple orchards.
The first such celebration was in 1880 and was called the Harvest Home Festival. In October 1937 it was changed to the Paradise Fair and Apple Show, and lasted 5 days. A pyramid consisting of 15,000 apples was constructed in the middle of the Memorial Hall dance floor. An event causing great excitement was the unannounced arrival of the cast of The Adventures of Robin Hood which was being filmed in Chico's Bidwell Park.
The festival was discontinued during WW11 and resumed in 1951 as the Paradise Arts & Crafts Show. Then in 1968 it was designated Johnny Appleseed Day.