The 6th Annual Ripe Olive day is to be celebrated Saturday, February 24, 11:30 – 3:00, at the Ehmann Home, 1480 Lincoln Street in Historical Downtown Oroville.
Elizabeth Hughes from Oroville, the only woman from Butte County to serve in the California Legislature, introduced in the California Assembly in Sacramento, a bill proclaiming February 21, 1921 as "California Ripe Olive Day." ( and that was before women had the national right to vote.) It was co-authored in the Senate and passed. The governor then signed the bill and issued a proclamation naming February 2lst as "California Ripe Olive Day".
That day in 1921 on the 21st of February, at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, thousands of diners were served ripe olives by a bevy of beautiful girls from Oroville. Two of those girls were Freda Ehmann's two granddaughters, Marian Ehmann and Helen Bolles. They were chaperoned by the Mayor of Oroville, who so happened to be at that time, Mrs. Ehmann's son, Edwin Ehmann.
At noon, an airplane flew down Market Street dropping tickets, which entitled the finders to a quart of olives. There was also an Olive Day Limerick Contest conducted by the San Francisco Examiner with 7,000 entries This celebration was all to promote the olive industry.
So in addition to the Annual Butte County Olive Festival, to be held the 3rd Saturday in June every year, it was decided to re-establish and celebrate "California Ripe Olive Day "on February 21 every year, in Oroville at the Ehmann Home, "The House that Olives built."
On this day we honor a Olive Grower, a different one every year. This year we are honoring Berkeley Olive Grove. At this event there is a buffet at 12:00 Noon with everything made with olives prepared by the Ehmann Home Olive Girls. Admission is by donation from 11:30 to 3 p.m. Jim Lenhoff, local historian will tell about the Ehmann Home and the virtues of Olives. Alberta Tracy will talk about "California Ripe Olive Day", and Olivia Newsome will talk about her Berkeley Olives.
No reservation is needed. This is not to be confused with the Butte County Olive Festival which will be held the 3rd Saturday in June. Buttecountyhistorical society.org. 530-877-7436 or 530- 533-9418