unWired Community Spotlight: Tulare, CA
unWired Community Spotlight is a series highlighting the communities that make Central California a great place to live. unWired is proud to provide fast and reliable Internet to homes and businesses in Tulare and the surrounding areas.
Located in the southern San Joaquin Valley, Tulare is named after Tulare Lake, what used to be the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. Tulare officially became a town in 1872 when it became the San Joaquin Valley headquarters of the Southern Pacific Railroad. The headquarters relocated to Bakersfield in 1891 after a series of fires burned down the town, forcing it to be rebuilt three different times.
After the Southern Pacific Railroad moved to Bakersfield, residents turned to agriculture, which remains the heartbeat of the area, with dairy and cattle being their top exports. In fact, the nation’s largest dairy complex, operated by Land O’ Lakes, is located in Tulare. A large part of the dairy production in the Tulare is due in part to its Portuguese community, comprised of families that immigrated from the Azores to start farms and dairies in the area.
Tulare’s biggest claim to fame is that it is the home to the World’s largest agricultural exposition, the World Ag Expo. Kicking off on the second Tuesday in February, this event attracts over 100,000 attendees and 1,400 exhibitors annually from around the globe. The World Ag Expo originally started at the Tulare County fairgrounds as the California Farm Equipment Show and International Exposition, but moved to the newly-built International Agri-Center® in 1982. Positioned on Highway 99, the International Agri-Center® has continued to expand its facilities throughout the years.