Delano, California

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Delano, California
City of Delano
Main Street in downtown Delano
Main Street in downtown Delano
Official seal of Delano, California
Location of Delano in Kern County, California.
Location of Delano in Kern County, California.
Delano is located in California
Location in the United States
Delano is located in the United States
Delano (the United States)
Coordinates: 35°46′08″N 119°14′49″W / 35.76889°N 119.24694°W / 35.76889; -119.24694Coordinates: 35°46′08″N 119°14′49″W / 35.76889°N 119.24694°W / 35.76889; -119.24694[1]
Country United States
State California
IncorporatedApril 13, 1915[2]
 • City Council
  • Mayor Bryan Osorio
  • Mayor Pro Tem Veronica Vasquez
  • Joe L. Alindajao
  • Liz Morris
  • Salvador Solorio-Ruiz
 • State SenatorMelissa Hurtado (D)[4]
 • State AssemblyRudy Salas (D)[5]
 • U. S. CongressDavid Valadao (R)[6]
 • Total14.77 sq mi (38.25 km2)
 • Land14.72 sq mi (38.11 km2)
 • Water0.05 sq mi (0.14 km2)  0.35%
Elevation315 ft (96 m)
 • Total51,428
 • Density3,494.70/sq mi (1,349.29/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
93215, 93216
Area code(s)661
FIPS code06-18394
GNIS feature IDs1652697, 2410317

Delano (/dəˈln/ də-LAY-noh) is a city in Kern County, California, United States. Delano is located 31 miles (50 km) north-northwest of Bakersfield[8] at an elevation of 315 feet (96 m).[1] The population was 53,041 in 2010, up from 38,824 in 2000. It is Kern County's second-largest city after Bakersfield.

Agriculture is Delano's major industry. The area is particularly well known as a center for the growing of table grapes.[9] Delano is also home to two California state prisons, North Kern State Prison and Kern Valley State Prison. The Voice of America once operated one of its largest, most powerful shortwave broadcast facilities at a station outside Delano at 35°45′15″N 119°17′7″W / 35.75417°N 119.28528°W / 35.75417; -119.28528. The Voice of America ceased broadcasts in October 2007, citing a changing political mission, reduced budgets, and changes in technology.[10]

Delano's two school districts currently operate eight elementary schools, three middle schools, three comprehensive high schools and two alternative high schools. The city has its own police department and contracts with the Kern County Fire Department for fire services, EMS services are privately provided by local company, Delano Ambulance Service.


Delano was founded on July 14, 1869,[11][12] as a railroad town, not because the railroad passed through the town but because the railroad coming south from San Francisco terminated at Delano. The name was officially given by the Southern Pacific Railroad in honor of Columbus Delano,[13] at the time the Secretary of the Interior (1870-1875)[14] for the United States. The first post office opened in 1874.[8] Delano incorporated in 1913.[8]

The town started with a boom. With Delano as the southern terminus of the railroad, it became the headquarters for hundreds of workmen who were building the railroad into town, and who eventually built the railroad into Bakersfield the following year. Meanwhile, the merchandise that formerly was trucked south from Visalia to Bakersfield and then to Walker Pass, or perhaps Tejon Pass, en route to Los Angeles, now coming via freight from the south, east and west, was likewise trucked in by ox or mule team. Great loads of bullion were delivered here from the mines in the mountains. Delano became the northern terminus for the passenger stages that ran south to Bakersfield and Los Angeles. The fare from Bakersfield to Delano was $7.00.

César Chávez at a United Farmworkers rally in Delano, 1972

Delano was a major hub of farm worker organization efforts and Chicano political movements. Filipino immigrants Philip Vera Cruz and Larry Dulay Itliong were instrumental in shaping the direction of farm worker movement in the 1950s.

[15] On September 8, 1965, Larry Itliong and other Filipino leaders led the predominantly Filipino Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) in a "walk off" from table grape farms, now known as the Delano grape strike. The strikers' goal was to improve farm workers' wages and working conditions. The National Farm Workers' Association (NFWA), a largely Hispanic union led by Cesar Chavez, joined the strike within a week. During the strike, the two groups joined forces and formed the United Farm Workers of America (UFW). By 1970, the UFW won a contract with major grape growers across California.


Major farm employers in Delano include Wonderful Citrus, Columbine Vineyards, Munger Farms, Lucich Farms, and Hronis. Other major employers include Delano Regional Medical Center, Walmart, The Home Depot, Sears (distribution only; no retail), Vallarta Supermarkets, Delano Joint Union High School District, Delano Union Elementary School District, and the North Kern-South Tulare Hospital District.[16]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.4 square miles (37 km2); over 99% of which is land.

Delano, California
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: (temperature),[17] Western Regional Climate Center (precipitation)[18]


Delano's climate is typical of the San Joaquin Valley. It is located within a desert climatic zone with Mediterranean features. The city receives 7.51 in (191 mm) of rainfall annually, mainly in the winter.[18] The weather is hot and dry during the summer and cool and damp in winter.[19] Frequent winter ground fog known regionally as tule fog can obscure vision. Record temperatures range between 115 °F (46 °C) (2006) and 14 °F (−10 °C) (1990).[citation needed]



At the 2010 census Delano had a population of 53,041. The population density was 3,694.9 people per square mile (1,426.6/km2). The racial makeup of Delano was 19,304 (36.4%) White, 4,191 (7.9%) African American, 501 (0.9%) Native American, 6,757 (12.7%) Asian, 30 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 20,307 (38.3%) from other races, and 1,951 (3.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 37,913 persons (71.5%).[20]

The census reported that 42,144 people (79.5% of the population) lived in households, 178 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 10,719 (20.2%) were institutionalized.

There were 10,260 households, 6,535 (63.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 5,968 (58.2%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,089 (20.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 894 (8.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 833 (8.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 61 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 990 households (9.6%) were one person and 424 (4.1%) had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 4.11. There were 8,951 families (87.2% of households); the average family size was 4.31.

The age distribution was 15,089 people (28.4%) under the age of 18, 7,813 people (14.7%) aged 18 to 24, 17,248 people (32.5%) aged 25 to 44, 9,644 people (18.2%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,247 people (6.1%) who were 65 or older. The median age was 28.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 149.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 172.3 males.

There were 10,713 housing units at an average density of 746.3 per square mile, of the occupied units 5,764 (56.2%) were owner-occupied and 4,496 (43.8%) were rented. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.6%; the rental vacancy rate was 3.5%. 24,363 people (45.9% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 17,781 people (33.5%) lived in rental housing units.


At the 2000 census there were 38,824 people in 8,409 households, including 7,248 families, in the city. The population density was 3,842.1 inhabitants per square mile (1,484.2/km2). There were 8,830 housing units at an average density of 873.8 per square mile (337.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 26.16% White, 5.45% Black or African American, 0.91% Native American, 15.88% Asian (primarily Filipino), 0.06% Pacific Islander, 47.07% from other races, and 4.47% from two or more races. 68.47% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[21] Of the 8,409 households 56.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.3% were married couples living together, 18.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 13.8% were non-families. 10.8% of households were one person and 5.4% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 4.02 and the average family size was 4.27.

The age distribution was 32.5% under the age of 18, 12.4% from 18 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 14.9% from 45 to 64, and 7.5% 65 or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females, there were 129.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 143.1 males.

Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[22]

The median household income was $28,143 and the median family income was $29,026. Males had a median income of $38,511 versus $21,509 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,068. About 25.7% of families and 28.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.3% of those under age 18 and 20.7% of those age 65 or over.


The Delano Union School District operates eight elementary schools and three middle schools. The Delano Joint Union High School District provides three comprehensive high schools, a continuation high school,[23] and an adult education center.[23]

Elementary schools[edit]

  • Albany Park Elementary School
  • Del Vista Math and Science Academy
  • Fremont Elementary School
  • Harvest Elementary School
  • Morningside Elementary School
  • Nueva Vista Language Academy
  • Pioneer School
  • Princeton Street Elementary School
  • Terrace Elementary School[24]

Middle schools[edit]

  • Almond Tree Middle School
  • Cecil Avenue Math and Science Academy
  • La Vina Middle School[24]

High schools[edit]

  • Delano High School
  • Cesar E. Chavez High School
  • Robert F. Kennedy High School
  • Wonderful College Prep Academy
  • Valley High School[23]
  • Delano Adult School


Bakersfield College, a community college, serves the community of Delano and the rural communities of northern Kern and southern Tulare counties with a satellite campus at the Delano Center, approximately 35 miles north of the main campus in Bakersfield, California.


Bus services[edit]

The Delano Area Rapid Transit (DART) provides fixed route bus service on four routes and demand responsive public transportation service (Dial-A- Ride) to the residents of Delano and the immediate county area surrounding the city within the boundaries of State Route 43 to the west, County Line Road to the north, Pond Road to the south, and Kyte Avenue to the east.[25]


The Delano Municipal Airport is an uncontrolled airfield with a 5,651 foot runway and light aviation services, and is open to the public. There is no scheduled airline service, but the airport serves a variety of other significant users. Many military, air charter, air ambulance, and other flying services operate from the airport on a regular basis.[26]


The Cinco De Mayo Fiesta celebrates Mexican culture with live entertainment and a carnival at Memorial Park. This four-day celebrations commemorates Cinco de Mayo.[27]

Delano is home to the Annual Philippine Weekend festival which celebrates Filipino Culture through performing arts and cultural activities. The festival aims to continue the preservation of the art and history of the Philippines.[28] The festival includes a pork adobo cook-off, grand parade, barrio fiesta, basketball tournament, cultural entertainment, live performance, dance and singing contest, and bingo.

September 16 Celebration

Harvest Holidays off with a golf tournament, softball tournament and 10k run. The Grand Marshal and Queen barbecue is held on Saturday after the Kiddie Parade. Furthermore, the city of Delano, in addition to the Delano Union Elementary School District, host the Harvest Holidays Kiddie Parade, which allows the young ones to be the stars for a day as they wave to the crowds down Main Street. The four day event ends with carnival rides, games, food, and music at Memorial Park.[27]

Christmas Parade [27]


The nearby Sequoia National Forest includes a vast number of Giant Sequoia groves, impressive granite monoliths, scenic canyons and meadows. The Tule Elk State Reserve provides protection to the Tule elk which in the past were in danger of extinction. Lake Woollomes is a popular location. The Kern National Wildlife Refuge is nearby. The Shirley Meadows Ski Area, located on Green Horn Mountain provides skiing opportunities. The nearby Kern River and Isabella Lake are popular during the summer.[29]

Community parks[edit]

The city of Delano has twelve parks for families and children to enjoy.[30]

  • Albany Park
  • Cecil Park
  • Cesar Chavez Park
  • Delano Soccer Park
  • Delano Skate Park
  • Jefferson Park
  • Kalibo Park
  • Morningside Park
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Park
  • Veneto Park
  • Heritage Park
  • Memorial Park

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Delano has four sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Delano". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date". California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Archived from the original (Word) on 3 November 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  3. ^ "City Council". City of Delano, California. Delano, California. Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  4. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  6. ^ "California's 21st Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  7. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 1025. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
  9. ^ "Profile". Delano Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. Retrieved 2009-07-12.
  10. ^ "Broadcasting Board of Governors Strategic Spectrum Plan". Broadcasting Board of Governors. 2007-11-30. p. 9. Retrieved 2009-07-12.
  11. ^ Gudde, Erwin G. (1969). California Place Names. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 86.
  12. ^ "City History". Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  13. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 103.
  14. ^ Gudde 1969, p. 86.
  15. ^ Salomon, Larry R. (2003). Roots of Justice. Josey-Bass. p. 10.
  16. ^ Search Results - Delano, California - ReferenceUSA Current Businesses
  17. ^ Delano Climate Graph, Temperature Graph, Climate Table—
  18. ^ a b Delano, California Climate Summary: NCDC 1981-2010 Monthly Normals—Western Regional Climate Center
  19. ^ "Delano, California Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase. Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  20. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Delano city". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  21. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  22. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  23. ^ a b c "School Directory Search Results (CA Dept of Education)". Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  24. ^ a b "School Directory Search Results (CA Dept of Education)". Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  25. ^ "Delano, CA - Official Website - Delano Area Rapid Transit (DART)". Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  26. ^ "Delano, CA - Official Website - Delano Municipal Airport". Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  27. ^ a b c "Culture & Entertainment | Delano Chamber of Commerce". Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Delano, California - City Information, Fast Facts, Schools, Colleges, and More". Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  30. ^ "Delano, CA - Official Website - Parks & Reservations". Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  31. ^ "Delano, CA - Official Website - City History". Retrieved 2018-02-13.

External links[edit]