The World Ag Expo was started in Tulare, California in 1968 at the Tulare County Fair. The show was started with an idea of a few local farmers sitting around in a garage one day having a few adult beverages according to Charlie Pitigliano, past Roma Lodge President and WAE show chairman in 2016. The original show was called the Tulare Field and Row Crop Equipment Show. Each year the show grew in attendance and facilitated the move to the current site in 1982. The name was changed to the World Ag Expo, now with over 2 million square feet of show space, 1,200 volunteers and numerous permanent buildings with plenty of exhibitor space for indoor and outdoor displays. Attended by over 100,000 people and 1,200 exhibitors the show is the biggest in the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the WAE going to a virtual show this year. With Tulare County having numerous cases and deaths resulting from the virus the WAE Board decided months ago to cancel the show and go online to keep the 53rd show somewhat viable. Like many other local lodges in California the cancelation of the show has a huge impact on one of Roma Lodge’s major fundraisers for the year. The lodge has been at the show for the past 52 years and is one of the few 32 non-profit organization food booths who have been at every show since in started in 1968.
We can see many other lodges throughout the state have had to cancel their participation in local community events, held annually for many, many, years. It takes a lot of effort of local lodges to convince members to participate in these fundraising activities. It is a credit to the Roma Lodge members who have kept this fundraiser going for 52-years. Many have held the role of chairperson for the event and some of those for several years in a row. Although, we know the show has been canceled for this year we hope to renew our fundraising efforts in 2022 with our Italian Sausage Booth at the WAE!
5051 Mission Street
San Francisco CA 94112-3473
Phone: (415) 586-1316