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Reedley, California
City of Reedley
Official seal of Reedley, California
"The World's Fruit Basket"
Location in Fresno County and the state of California
Location in Fresno County and the state of California
Reedley, California is located in the United States
Reedley, California
Reedley, California
Location in the United States
Country United States
State California
County Fresno
Incorporated February 18, 1913
Named for Thomas Law Reed
 • Total 5.49 sq mi (14.21 km2)
 • Land 5.41 sq mi (14.02 km2)
 • Water 0.07 sq mi (0.19 km2)  1.39%
348 ft (106 m)
 • Total 24,194
 • Estimate 
 • Density 4,725.16/sq mi (1,824.34/km2)
Demonym(s) Reedleyite
Time zone UTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 559
FIPS code 06-60242
GNIS feature IDs 1659495, 2410920

Reedley is a city in Fresno County, California, United States. It is located in the San Joaquin Valley, 22 miles (35 km) east-southeast of Fresno, at an elevation of 348 feet (106 m). The population at the 2010 census was 24,194. Its chief economic source is agriculture, particularly fruit and vegetable cultivation and has thus dubbed itself "The World's Fruit Basket". Reedley is situated along the Kings River, downstream from Centerville.

Reedley hosts several cultural festivals, including but not limited to the Reedley Fiesta, and the Electrical Farm Equipment Parade.

Reedley is named for Thomas Law Reed, a Civil War veteran who gave half of his holdings to the township in 1888.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.2 square miles (13 km2), of which, 5.1 square miles (13 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (1.39%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 2,447
1930 2,589 5.8%
1940 3,170 22.4%
1950 4,135 30.4%
1960 5,850 41.5%
1970 8,131 39.0%
1980 11,071 36.2%
1990 15,791 42.6%
2000 20,756 31.4%
2010 24,194 16.6%
2019 (est.) 25,658 6.1%
U.S. Decennial Census


At the 2010 census Reedley had a population of 24,194. The population density was 4,693.2 people per square mile (1,800/km2). The racial makeup of Reedley was 14,105 (58.3%) White, 169 (0.7%) African American, 267 (1.1%) Native American, 797 (3.3%) Asian, 8 (0.03%) Pacific Islander, 7,850 (32.4%) from other races, and 998 (4.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18,455 persons (76.3%).

The census reported that 23,945 people (99% of the population) lived in households, 119 (0.5%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 130 (0.5%) were institutionalized.

There were 6,569 households, out of which 3,544 (54%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 3,988 (60.7%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 946 (14.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 521 (7.9%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 440 (6.7%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 39 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 886 households (13.5%) were one person and 471 (7.2%) had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 3.65. There were 5,455 families (83% of all households); the average family size was 3.94.

The age distribution was 7,869 people (32.5%) under the age of 18, 2,797 people (11.6%) aged 18 to 24, 6,594 people (27.3%) aged 25 to 44, 4,627 people (19.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 2,307 people (9.5%) who were 65 or older. The median age was 29.1 years. For every 100 females, there were 104.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.7 males.

There were 6,867 housing units at an average density of 1,332.1 per square mile (500/km2), of which 6,569 were occupied, of which 3,881 (59.1%) were owner-occupied, and 2,688 (40.9%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 3.7%. 13,704 people (56.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 10,241 people (42.3%) lived in rental housing units.


At the 2000 census there were 20,756 people, 5,761 households, and 4,643 families in the city. The population density was 4,700.1 people per square mile (1,800/km2). There were 5,972 housing units at an average density of 1,352.3 per square mile (540/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, 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 households were one person and 8.5% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 3.53 and the average family size was 3.87.

The age distribution was 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% 65 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 US$34,682, and the median family income was $37 thousand. Males had a median income of $30 thousand versus $25.5 thousand for females. The per capita income for the city was $12.1 thousand. 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 San Joaquin 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. In 1913 the land was developed with cement sidewalks, sewer systems, as well as the construction of the first steel water tower. 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 multicultural 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 multicultural heritage, and the 75th anniversary of incorporation. It is also noted for being the location of the opening and monster truck scenes in the movie Roadhouse starring Patrick Swayze in 1989.

Downtown Reedley

The Reedley National Bank building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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 retail stores with many collectibles such as David's and 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 Wakehouse Bar and Grill and Mainstreet Cafe. Reedley's downtown is also the home of Traffic Magazine, and also Reedley's local newspaper The 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.

Opera House

Reedley Opera House Complex.

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.


Kings Canyon Unified School District is a public school system headquartered in Reedley, but also has schools located in the nearby city of Orange Cove, the towns of Dunlap, Miramonte, and the mountain communities. Reedley also offers private educational institutions such as St. La Salle School (Roman Catholic Private K-8) and Immanuel Schools (Mennonite Private K-12). The local community college, Reedley College, offers undergraduate higher education up to an associate degree as well as various certification courses.

Educational institutions in Reedley:


  • Alta Elementary School
  • Jefferson Elementary School
  • Great Western Elementary School
  • Washington Elementary School
  • Lincoln Elementary School
  • Immanuel Elementary School

K-8 schools

  • Thomas Law Reed K-8 School
  • Riverview K-8 School
  • Silas Bartsch K-8 School
  • St. La Salle Catholic School

Middle schools

  • General Grant Middle School
  • Navelencia Middle School
  • Immanuel Junior High School

High schools

  • Reedley High School
  • Immanuel High School
  • Reedley Middle College High School
Reedley College in 2009

Alternative education

  • Kings Canyon High School
  • Mountain View Independent School

Community college

  • Reedley College

Notable people

  • Charles B. Garrigus, Poet Laureate and state legislator; former professor at Reedley College and Reedley resident
  • Kris Holmes, type designer and president of Bigelow & Holmes Inc.
  • Lacy Barnes Mileham, Atlanta 1996 Olympics athlete in discus; psychology professor at Reedley College
  • Ed Kezirian, UCLA football coach, attended and coached at Reedley College
  • Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, author of Cheaper By the Dozen, lived in Reedley
  • Paul Hurst, actor, appeared in Gone With the Wind
  • Vic Lombardi, Major League Baseball player who pitched for the Pirates and Dodgers; born in Reedley
  • Rick Besoyan, singer, actor, playwright, composer, and director of musicals such as Little Mary Sunshine
  • Silas Bartsch, former administrator and interim president of Fresno Pacific University, a K-8 public school in southeast Reedley is named in his honor.
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