California Fall Ritual

The New York Times today tells us of a Fall ritual in the town of Columbia, California: the Annual Poison Oak Show. Apparently there is fierce competition in a variety of categories:

Best Arrangement of Poison Oak, Most Potent Looking Green Leaves, Most Potent Looking Red leaves, Best Photo of Poison Oak Rash, Best Poison Oak Accessory or Jewelry, and even Biggest Poison Oak Stalk

Sounds like a great time, doesn’t it?

I was surprised that I had never heard of this as I used to live in Sonora, the town immediately to the south of Columbia. Apparently this annual celebration began after I left in 1980. All I can say is this is probably tied with Frozen Dead Guy Days for Best Original Quirky Small Town Festival Theme.


The NY Times has provided a slide show of the Poison Oak Show here.

4 thoughts on “California Fall Ritual”

  1. I’m icthing already…

    Every year I get more allergic not only to poison ivy but also now to johnsgrass (I think); both of which I course through regularly on my hunting nights and lean down in and push aside and rub into my eyes for good measure.

    Two weeks ago I got so welted up I had to get a steriod shot, something I used to laugh at people for. Never again. I couldn’t stand another hour of that, with about 25% of my skin in bright red, cracking, oozing, well, I won’t describe it for you. But thankfully, I looked almost normal again a few days after the shot.

  2. Welcome to Q, Codger– hope to hear more about tracking Viverrids on your blog.

    I am trying to get Lib to post on poison oak– as a Cal- born outdoorswoman she suffered terribly from it, and this post made her shudder.


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