Reedley is a city in Fresno County, California, United States. Reedley is located 22 miles (35 km) east-southeast of Fresno, at an elevation of 348 feet (106 m). The population has grown to be about 25,909. Its chief economic source is agriculture, particularly fruit and vegetable cultivation. The city is dubbed as "The World's Fruit Basket". Reedley holds many festivals year round. The city of Reedley hosts the annual Reedley Fiesta in October, the Reedley Electrical Christmas Parade in December, the Reedley Street Faire in May, the Reedley Certified Farmers Market (Wednesday evening, in the summer), the Reedley Taste of the Town in September, and many other festivities to keep the residents and visitors busy and entertained. Reedley is situated along the Kings River and in the summer, many local residents and visitors drive to Cricket Hollow Park and Reedley Beach.
According to the123 United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.5 square miles (11.6 km²), of which, 4.4 square miles (11.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (1.56%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 20,756 people, 5,761 households, and 4,643 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,700.1 people per square mile (1,813.1/km²). There were 5,972 housing units at an average density of 1,352.3/sq mi (521.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 51.76% White, 1.73% Black or African American, 1.21% Native American, 8.83% Asian, 37.72% from other races, and 4.44% from two or more races. 57.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 5,761 households out of which 46.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.5% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.4% were non-families. 15.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.53 and the average family size was 3.87.
In the city the population was spread out with 32.1% under the age of 18, 12.2% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 15.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 105.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,682, and the median income for a family was $37,027. Males had a median income of $30,048 versus $25,495 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,096. About 18.5% of families and 21.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.6% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.
American Civil War hero Thomas Law Reed settled here to provide wheat for Gold Rush miners in the mid 1800s. His donation of land for a railroad station site established the town as the center of the Valley's booming wheat business. Railroad officials commemorated his vision by naming the fledgling City in his honor. When mining fever began to fade, wheat demand slackened. Kings River water was diverted for crop irrigation, and the region began its over 100-year tradition of bountiful field, tree, and vine fruit harvests. With water and railroad services in place, farming families of European immigrants were recruited, and the settlement was incorporated in 1913, with Ordinance No. 1 adopting and prescribing the style of a Common Seal on February 25, 1913. An important element in the early town was a colony of German Mennonites, whose strong traditions and values still shape Reedley's culture. The population today is diverse and multi-cultural and Reedley boasts a current population equal to 20,500. Each of the town's major ethnic groups has shown strong civic leadership, a desire to retain cultural and religious traditions, and the ability to work successfully together for Reedley's betterment. Among the community's 25 churches are Anglican, Catholic, Christian, Armenian, Baptist, Buddhist, Mennonite, and many other congregations. The area's 41 organizations and 12 civic clubs include Filipino community organizations, a Finnish organization, and American Lebanese Women's Club, several Hispanic and Latin American organizations, and a Japanese organization among the many sports, cultural, conservation, charitable, and civic associations. In 1988 Reedley celebrated the first 100 years of its multi-cultural heritage, and the 75th anniversary of incorporation.
Downtown Reedley offers various specialty shops that many visitors and locals enjoy. From dining to shopping, people can view art galleries around downtown and can taste exquisite cuisines from Armenian to Italian and Mexican to Asian. Downtown Reedley houses companies such as highly popularized photography studios like Shinn Photography, and the Blossom Trail Photo Studio. Music schools such as the Reedley School of Music, the Reedley Ballet Studio, and the Premier Dance Studio. Cafes and popular hang out spots such as Kelly's Beach Resort, The Pub, Hotel Burgess Cafe, Mainstreet Cafe, Jadoon's, and Coffee & Candy Co. Reedley's downtown is also the home of Traffic Magazine and Rollo Latino Magazine, and also Reedley's local newspaperThe Reedley Exponent Downtown Reedley offers many interesting things for locals and visitors alike. People can dine and be entertained at local bars or even watch a musical at The Reedley Opera House. The Reedley Museum also offers rich facts of history about Reedley and Central California. There are abundant things to do in downtown Reedley.
The city of Reedley boasts many award-winning schools. The Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD) has 20 schools from kindergarten to grade 12 (new K-8 school open in Fall 2008), including alternative education and programs for adults.
KCUSD has two high schools that parents can choose to send their children to: Reedley High School and Orange Cove High School in Orange Cove and the Dunlap Leadership Academy with its headquarters in Dunlap.
Reedley High School is best-known for its 400 member marching band,"The Big Green Marching Machine". It is unofficially referred to as the largest marching band west of the Mississippi. The school has many co-curricular and extracurricular activities such as clubs, sports, hands-on career experiences, and music programs. The school's mascot is the Pirate. Reedley High School participates in sports as a Division II school in the CIF central section. The sports include:
|Football||Soccer||Track & Field|
|Swimming & Diving|
|Volleyball||Soccer||Track & Field|
|Tennis||Swimming & Diving|
Unlike many surrounding towns, the city of Reedley offers private school opportunities for K-12 students. St. La Salle School is a K-8 private catholic school run by the local diocese. Immanuel Schools (Immanuel Elementary School, Immanuel Jr. High School, Immanuel High School) have a K-6 campus in the historic Windsor School campus south of town, as well as a 7-12 campus in Reedley.
Reedley College is a public community college with 11,878 students (2007). Reedley College focuses mainly on agriculture, animal science, health, child development, automotive, aeronautics, criminology, social science, and liberal arts, but also offers many other areas of emphasis and also contains many diverse clubs and societies. Their mascot is the Tiger. Reedley College won the state football championship in 2002. The college's school colors are white, black and orange.
The building that houses the Opera House Theater was built in 1903, after a fire destroyed two blocks of downtown Reedley. The small theater languished, until being restored in 1986. This historic building currently houses the Reedley's River City Theatre Company. The City of Reedley acquired the building in 2002 by donation. River City Theatre currently leases the space and produces musicals and stage plays year-round. 2009 marks River City's sixth season in the Opera House. They have performed such shows as Big River, The People VS. Mona, Pump Boys & Dinettes, The Odd Couple, Sunshine Boys, The Nerd, The Music Man, Oliver!, Steel Magnolias, Little Shop of Horrors and some local original works written and directed by founder of the company Mark Norwood. Original shows include: Blossoms Up!, Blossoms Up!: Fiona's Revenge, Babes In Toyland: Barnabe's Story, Best Wishes, and Fanny's Up. Outside talent is brought in occasionally: LA Improv and Jeremy "Elvis" Pearce. River City Theatre Company is a non-profit theatre company dedicated to the performing arts and its community.