Palo Cedro’s Honey Bee Festival started in 1980 when Lois Park, a local honeybee business owner, and her husband Homer decided to start an event to raise money for a park. She got together with family and friends to start a Honey Bee Festival to showcase the Shasta County bee industry and raise money for a park. There was a Bee Costume Contest and the first event included a pie baking contest, which Pat Stewart won with her banana cream pie. Homer watered and mowed the area around the Grange for the event for years. Each year there was a Drone and Queen Costume Contest and whoever won was designated King and Queen.
The idea of the craft fair was started then with the requirement that all ware’s sold must be handcrafted, not manufactured. That tradition carried through for many years. It was put on by the local chapter of the Rebekahs and the International Order of Odd Fellows, the local beekeepers and the Palo Cedro Chamber of Commerc. It was held at the Grange each year. The original Honey Bee Festival continued at the Grange for over 20 years, at which time Lois stepped down as the leader of the event. After a few years of the Chamber running the event, Emilie Reedy stepped in and took over.
In the early 2000’s the event moved to Bishop Francis Quinn Catholic Campus and over the years the Honey Bee Festival continues to grow in popularity. It has often been called the best craft fair and largest attended in Shasta County with annual visitor count of between 6-8000 for the two day event. Volunteers include a Boy Scout troop to help run the event, along with the Antique Tractor Association, local residents, Pioneer High School and student volunteers.
Recently the Palo Cedro Park has taken ownership of the Honey Bee Festival to help boost the park and continue growing with many local projects. These projects included the fence around the property, the front gate water to the park trails and the playground. Emilie worked hard to make sure that the proceeds of the HoneyBee Festival were used to help complete the Palo Cedro Park which was Lois Parks original dream. And it did happen!