Throwback Thursday – 1983
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Farm Trails and its primary fundraiser, the Gravenstein Apple Fair, we’re looking back at how things have changed in Sonoma County over the last 50 years. Fasten your seatbelts as we climb into the Wayback Machine and remember 1983…
The Apple Fair Turns 10
In 1983 the Gravenstein Apple Fair and Farm Trails were ten years old as were ATMs. There were still no cell phones or mobile devices (how did people walk with their heads up and their fingers not typing texts?!).
In March 1983 the first compact discs (CD) – remember those? – were released in North America and Europe.
Speaking of CDs, the number one song in the US in 1983 was that famous earworm, “Every Breath You Take,” by the Police. The song has over 600 million downloads to date. (I’m sorry if now that you’ve read this, you can’t get the song out of your head!)
1983 was also a big year for Michael Jackson as he had three songs that hit number one: “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” and “Say, Say, Say,” his duet with Paul McCartney.
Streaming didn’t exist (what?! No Netflix?), so the number one network show was “Dallas.” The story of a conniving oil family that was quintessential ‘80s nighttime soap opera, “Dallas” was followed by “Falcon Crest,” a wine country version (rumored to be based on Napa Valley) that followed the same formula of sex, money, and power.
1983 was the year that HBO released their first solo-produced film, “The Terry Fox Story,” which was the first ever movie produced for cable. A harbinger of things to come?
The bestselling car in the US in 1983? The Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, which sold over 313,000 cars. It edged out the Ford Escort which had been 1982’s bestseller. The Cutlass Supreme got almost 18 miles per gallon – a big jump from 1973 – with a national gas price of $1.16 per gallon
Sonoma County – Still Cool in 1983
Just like 1973 when Farm Trails and the Gravenstein Apple Fair were founded, the county was groovy, embracing the punk rock scene in a typical Sonoma County way.
Sonoma County – By the Numbers
Sonoma County Population in 1983 = 321,580 (almost enough Cutlass Supremes were sold in 1983 for every resident of Sonoma County)
Sonoma County Population in 2023 = 490,357
Acres planted with Gravenstein apples in 1973 = 2,628
Acres planted with Gravenstein apples in 2021 = 681
A series of heavy storms led to devastating floods in Northern California, including Sonoma County. This meant apple production lagged previous years significantly.
Join the Golden Anniversary Celebration!
While times may have changed, the mission of Farm Trails and the Gravenstein Apple Fair haven’t. Come see how the Gravenstein Apple Fair honors 50 years of “Farms Forever” in Sonoma County on August 12-13 in Sebastopol at beautiful Ragle Ranch Park!