Calico Pitchin'

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Calico Pitchin', Cookin', and Spittin' Hullabaloo

March-April; Palm Sunday weekend
This event is a celebration highlighting a tobacco-spitting contest and recalling the 19th-century heyday of Calico, a silver-mining ghost town in southern California about 10 miles north of Barstow. The contest for World Tobacco Spitting Champion began in 1977 and has led to two mentions in the Guinness Book of World Records for distance in juice-spitting: Randy Ober of Arkansas spat a record 44' 6" in 1980 and then topped that record the next year with 47' 10". Other contest categories are accuracy in juice-spitting and distance in wad-spitting (wads are required to be at least half an inch in diameter). Contestants have come not only from the United States but also from Great Britain, Germany, and Japan.
The hullabaloo also features a stew cook-off and flapjack racing, plus more standard fare such as a horseshoe-pitching contest, egg-tossing, greased-pole climbing, and bluegrass music.
The date of the event recalls the time of year in 1881 when the miners arrived and named the town Calico because they thought the reds, greens, and yellows of the rock formations looked like a calico skirt. It was the location of one of the largest silver strikes in California, producing about $86 million in silver during the 20 years it flourished. When silver prices sank, so did Calico. In San Bernardino County, Calico is visited by tourists year-round.
San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau
1955 Hunts Lane, Ste. 102
San Bernardino, CA 92408
909-891-1151; fax: 909-888-5998
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