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Culture and Entertainment

From one-of-a-kind museums to much-anticipated communitywide events, there is always something exciting happening in the Tulare area.

CULTURE – Glimpse into the history of Tulare at one of the community’s unique museums. The Tulare Historical Museum presents various permanent displays that reflect the city’s ear°©ly days, along with rotating art exhibits. Among the notable features at the museum is a collection of military uniforms and artifacts, and tributes to hometown Olympic Gold Medalist Bob Mathias, Sim Iness and other famous locals.

The local agricultural industry is highlighted at the International Agri-Center’s Heritage Complex. Included in the complex is the Antique Farm Equipment Museum, which pays tribute to past generations of farmers and dairymen and the technology and equipment they used. Another popular attraction of the complex includes AgVentures!, an interactive children’s learning center dedicated to educating students and families on agriculture in this California region.

The city hosts its own performing arts troupe, the Encore Theatre Company, which presents several highly entertaining plays and musicals each year in its theatre at 324 S. N Street. The group also offers Encore Kids, a song and dance group that provides pre-show entertainment for all Encore Theatre productions and can be seen at various community events.

The arts can also be felt throughout town, thanks to the efforts of the Tulare Cultural Arts Foundation. The group commissions and maintains a number of beautiful murals and statues throughout the community depicting various important events from Tulare’s past, including the importance of the Rankin Aeronautical Academy during WWII, the contributions of local Olympic heroes Bob Mathias and Sim Iness, and the life of original Native American inhabitants.

ENTERTAINMENT & EVENTS – Spectator sports are abundant in the Tulare area. Fans fill the seats at the newly renovated Recreation Park to cheer on their Visalia Rawhide – an Advanced-A, California League affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Rawhide draw support from fans throughout the region who enjoy rooting on their hometown team during 140 regular season games.

At home, Tulare’s Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway, located on the Tulare County Fairgrounds, hosts a number of exciting regional and national motorsports events on its “lightning fast” 1/3-mile clay oval. The fairgrounds also house the Jockey Club, an 8,000-square-foot satellite wagering facility, and the annual Tulare County Fair. Held every September, the Tulare County Fair features grandstand entertainment, carnival rides and games, food and concessions, competitions and concerts on the Budweiser Stage.

The County Fair isn’t the only exciting event held in Tulare. The International Agri-Center hosts a year-round calendar of agricultural and community activities. Its most well-known event is the World Ag Expo, the largest farm equipment show in the world with 1,600 exhibitors on 2.5 million square feet of exhibit space. Held in February, the expo features free seminars covering a variety of topics, cooking demonstrations and daily agricultural tours of local dairies, citrus groves, wineries and cold storage facilities. The International Agri-Center also presents the California Antique Farm Equipment Show each April. The show is comprised of more than 900 exhibits displaying a selection of antique farm equipment, along with an antique tractor pull, daily auctions, a BBQ steak dinner and concert.

In addition to these large-scale events, Tulare also offers the Concerts in the Park series at the John Phillip Sousa Memorial Bandstand in Zumwalt Park, holiday celebrations, the annual Cars on K Car Show, the Buy Tulare First Community Expo and many others.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS – The surrounding area also hosts a collection of cultural and entertainment outlets. In neighboring Visalia, Tulare residents and visitors have access to the Tulare County Museum, the Enchanted Playhouse Theatre Company, the Fox Theatre (home to the Tulare County Symphony), the Ice House Theatre (home to the Visalia Community Players) and the ImagineU Interactive Children’s Museum. Also within a short distance is the Porterville Historical Museum, Allensworth State Historic Park (Earlimart), the Three Rivers Historical Museum and, for gamers, the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, located approximately 35 miles northwest of Tulare in Lemoore.

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