At certain times of year, travelers to Pomona can’t miss the bright shining lights of the ferris wheel, hear the sounds of livestock and smell the aroma of cotton candy for a simple reason: The city has long been the home of the L.A. County Fair.
Located in the Pomona Valley, this city of about 149,000 wasn’t named after the Roman goddess of fruit for no reason. For much of the 19th century, in fact, the city of Pomona’s rich, agricultural fields yielded an enormous bounty–vineyards, raisins, olives and citrus – which established it as a leading supplier of produce in the region. That agricultural legacy has mostly passed, and today Pomona’s economy – as well as its demographics—are much more diverse.
Fully incorporated in 1888, the seventh largest city in L.A. County, Pomona is situated about 27 miles east of Los Angeles, and it sits among several main freeway arteries –among them are the 10, 60, 210 and 57 freeways. The Metrolink commuter rail also runs through Pomona, connecting the city with downtown Los Angeles and Riverside.
Since the 1980s, Pomona has enjoyed rapid growth, developing new neighborhoods like Phillips Ranch along with its older residential ones. Today, the hilly areas between Pomona’s downtown and the city of Diamond Bar have been developed as well, while gentrification is clearly evident in Northern Pomona’s neighborhoods.
Families with small children are served by the Pomona Unified School District and also by Claremont Unified School District. In the more affluent area of Phillips Ranch, Diamond Ranch High School is an option for many students. The city is also within easy reach of a number of public and private universities, including Pomona College, Cal Poly Pomona and Mt. San Antonio College.
The county fair isn’t the only major attraction: The Auto Club Raceway dates to the 1960s and features a quarter-mile dragstrip that has tested many drivers’ mettle, while the Glass House, a music club, brings exciting performances by popular bands to a small, intimate venue.
The city’s historic district includes many Craftsman-style and Victorian-style houses that still stand today. These homes, which in many cases are still private residences, are more than just a picturesque part of the neighborhoods: They’re a reminder of Pomona’s exciting, historic past.