Hollister is a city in the county of San Benito County, California, United States. The population was 34,928 at the 2010 census. Hollister is primarily an agricultural town. The town, then located in Monterey County, was founded November 19, 1868 when the San Justo Homestead Association purchased the property from William Welles Hollister (1818–1886). Undecided about a name for the new town, an association member, Napa vintner Henry Hagen, was tired of Saint and Spanish names in nearby towns and suggested the name Hollister. The City was incorporated on August 29, 1872. The western portion of San Benito County, including Hollister, was separated from Monterey County in 1874. The county was expanded eastward in 1887 to include portions taken from Merced and Fresno Counties.
The Hollister Hills Vehicular Recreation Area, southwest of the main town, draws over 100,000 vehicles per year. The city was the site of an annual motorcycle rallies around July Fourth since 1997. The riot at the 1947 event was the basis for the 1953 film The Wild One. The rally began in 1997, and was known as the Hollister Independence Rally. In 2005, the Hollister City Council discontinued their contract with the event organizers, the Hollister Independence Rally Committee, due to financial and public safety concerns. The event was canceled in 2006 due to lack of funding for security, but returned in 2007 and 2008. The format of the rally in 2007 differed markedly from previous rallies, with vendors on San Benito Street instead of motorcycles. The bikes were forced to park on side streets and a strict downtown curfew was imposed, with the entire area being locked up at 9:00 pm. This event was popular with bikers and some local establishments profited, but the city footed the bill for much of the expenses and was left liable when organizers filed bankruptcy.