Kingsburg, California

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Nickname(s): The Village
Motto: Past, Present and Future: Celebrating Kingsburg
Location in the state of California
Location in the state of California
Coordinates: 36°30′50″N 119°33′14″W / 36.51389°N 119.55389°W / 36.51389; -119.55389Coordinates: 36°30′50″N 119°33′14″W / 36.51389°N 119.55389°W / 36.51389; -119.55389
Country  United States
State  California
County Fresno
Incorporated May 29, 1908[1]
 • Mayor Chet Reilly[2]
 • Mayor Pro Tem Michelle Roman[2]
 • State Senate Anthony Cannella (R)[3]
 • State Assembly Henry T. Perea (D)[4]
 • U. S. Congress David Valadao (R)[5]
 • Total 2.828 sq mi (7.325 km2)
 • Land 2.828 sq mi (7.325 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation[7] 302 ft (92 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 11,382
 • Density 4,000/sq mi (1,600/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 93631
Area code(s) 559

Kingsburg (formerly, Kings River Switch, Wheatville, Kingsbury, Drapersville, Farleyville, and Kingsburgh)[7] is a city in Fresno County, California. Kingsburg is located 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Selma at an elevation of 302 feet (92 m),[7] on the banks of the Kings River. The city is half an hour away from Fresno, and two hours away from the California Central Coast and Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The population was 11,382 at the 2010 census.


Kingsburg was established as a railroad town, its site set by the Central Pacific Railroad when it completed the Valley Line in 1873. In the early 1870s, Swedish natives settled in a railroad town called "Kings River Switch". Kingsburg started out as a flag stop on the Central Pacific Railroad called Kings River Switch. In 1874 Kingsburg was called Wheatville and had a post office, later that year they changed the name to Kingsbury. During this time period, Josiah Draper and Andrew Farley each owned a quarter section, about 160 acres, Draper on the east side of the railroad tracks and Farley on the west side of the tracks. So it was suggested that the east side be called Drapersville and the west side called Farleyville. Two years after that it became Kingsburgh and it January 1894 took on its present spelling, "Kingsburg", which was finally established as a town in 1908. By 1921, ninety-four percent of the population within a three-mile radius of Kingsburg was Swedish-American, giving the community the nickname of "Little Sweden". To keep up with the town's Swedish history they have most retail businesses designed in Swedish architecture.


For much of the town's history the fields around Kingsburg were mostly grape vineyards which produce mainly raisin and table grapes; however in 2002 a large surplus of raisins and grapes drove the price for these commodities down to an all time low. Subsequently, farmers were forced to replant the fields with stone fruit, or (particularly on the west side of town) sell their land to developers to help cope with the rising population. Kingsburg is the headquarters of Sun-Maid Growers of California, a producer of raisins and other dried fruits. Kingsburg is home to the world's largest box of raisins,[8] built by students at California State University, Fresno.

Swedish Festival[edit]

One of the unique landmarks in the community is the Kingsburg water tower, which is shaped like an antique Swedish coffee pot. The Swedish immigrant heritage of the community is principally preserved with festivals. Kingsburg Swedish Festival, which is the biggest and most known festivals that bring people in from all over the country, is held annually during the third weekend in May. Activities include a Swedish pancake breakfast, a parade and the coronation of the Swedish Festival Queen. Many booths, rides and activities are set up all along the side of Downtown Kingsburg's Draper Street. This festival, which has traditionally been held on Friday, Saturday,and Sunday, was demoted to only Saturday and Sunday in 2009 after the town's centennial due to the suffering economy.But, in 2011 they added Thursday activities to the festival.[9][10]


Kingsburg is located at 36°30′50″N 119°33′14″W / 36.51389°N 119.55389°W / 36.51389; -119.55389.[7] Kingsburg is located in the central portion of the Central Valley of California. The town is two hours away from The Sierra Nevadas Mountain range and the coast. It is about 3–4 hours away from L.A., San Francisco, and Sacramento. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2), all of it land.



The 2010 United States Census[11] reported that Kingsburg had a population of 11,382. The population density was 4,024.3 people per square mile (1,553.8/km²). The racial makeup of Kingsburg was 8,576 (75.3%) White, 62 (0.5%) African American, 146 (1.3%) Native American, 383 (3.4%) Asian, 21 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 1,706 (15.0%) from other races, and 488 (4.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4,883 persons (42.9%).

The Census reported that 11,300 people (99.3% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 82 (0.7%) were institutionalized.

There were 3,822 households, out of which 1,671 (43.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 2,287 (59.8%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 474 (12.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 176 (4.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 186 (4.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 19 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 770 households (20.1%) were made up of individuals and 398 (10.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.96. There were 2,937 families (76.8% of all households); the average family size was 3.41.

The population was spread out with 3,368 people (29.6%) under the age of 18, 1,043 people (9.2%) aged 18 to 24, 2,899 people (25.5%) aged 25 to 44, 2,618 people (23.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 1,454 people (12.8%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.7 years. For every 100 females there were 92.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.1 males.

There were 4,069 housing units at an average density of 1,438.7 per square mile (555.5/km²), of which 2,536 (66.4%) were owner-occupied, and 1,286 (33.6%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.5%. 7,518 people (66.1% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 3,782 people (33.2%) lived in rental housing units.


As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 9,199 people, 3,226 households, and 2,458 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,933.4 people per square mile (1,517.8/km²). There were 3,358 housing units at an average density of 1,435.8 per square mile (554.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.93% White, 0.45% Black or African American, 0.67% Native American, 2.74% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 9.61% from other races, and 4.46% from two or more races. 34.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 21.7% were of German, 28.6% Swedish, 9.7% English and 5.4% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 3,226 households out of which 40.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.4% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.8% were non-families. 21.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.29.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.0% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,490, and the median income for a family was $44,737. Males had a median income of $35,452 versus $23,409 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,137. About 10.4% of families and 11.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.6% of those under age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.

The town's population increased to 12,567 during the 2011 year.


The local weekly newspaper is The Kingsburg Recorder.[13] Residents are served by the daily Fresno Bee and by Fresno-based television and radio stations. KVPW (Power 106.3), a Top 40/Rhythmic music station, is licensed to Kingsburg.

School system[edit]

Kingsburg Elementary schools operate on a charter school system. Kingsburg's elementary school system is unique in that all students in Kindergarten through 8th grades will all go to the same schools together. The school year starts during the later weeks of August. Washington Elementary serves as a Kindergarten only school. First grade is at Roosevelt Elementary. Second and Third grades are at Lincoln Elementary. Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth grades are at Ronald Reagan Elementary. Seventh and Eighth grades are at Rafer Johnson Junior High School. Kingsburg High School serves as the community high school, and its district is separate from that of the elementary school system. The elementary school district also operates Central Valley Home School which serves as a supplement to traditional Home Schooling.

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Retrieved April 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "City Council". City of Kingsburg. Retrieved April 6, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved April 6, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved April 6, 2013. 
  5. ^ "California's 21st Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved April 6, 2013. 
  6. ^ U.S. Census
  7. ^ a b c d "Kingsburg". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 
  8. ^ World's Largest Box of Raisins
  9. ^ Kingsburg, CA Page(Nordic Way)
  10. ^ Kingsburg's Swedish Village and Historical Park (California Travel & Tourism Commission)
  11. ^ All data are derived from the United States Census Bureau reports from the 2010 United States Census, and are accessible on-line here. The data on unmarried partnerships and same-sex married couples are from the Census report DEC_10_SF1_PCT15. All other housing and population data are from Census report DEC_10_DP_DPDP1. Both reports are viewable online or downloadable in a zip file containing a comma-delimited data file. The area data, from which densities are calculated, are available on-line here. Percentage totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. The Census Bureau defines families as a household containing one or more people related to the householder by birth, opposite-sex marriage, or adoption. People living in group quarters are tabulated by the Census Bureau as neither owners nor renters. For further details, see the text files accompanying the data files containing the Census reports mentioned above.
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  13. ^ Kingsburg Recorder

External links[edit]