Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival
| Indio California Date Festival Pictures and Info




Riverside County Fairgrounds come into action with the annual Date Festival, celebrating the food, dates. Held each year in February, see the calendar of events for current schedule, when available


Feb. 12 - 21, 2010


INDIO - With over 100 days per year of 100+ degrees Fahrenheit temperatures, you'll understand why the Date Festival, Indio's largest, most popular event is held in February. The average temperature during this month is around 75 degrees, give or take 10 degrees. With sun most every day (rain is rare), the Coachella Valley  desert region in which Indio is located in Southern California, is world's apart from the beaches and their cooler temps. Indio is located about 70 miles east of Palm Springs or 125 miles east of Los Angeles in Riverside County.


Once known as the largest producer of dates, the recent housing boom of more affordable homes has pushed the agricultural interests outside the city. The grove of date palms at the Riverside County Date Festival fairgrounds no longer exists, but travelers still seek the date businesses that were so thriving for decades, and  Shields Date Gardens on California Highway 111 in Indio sells produce to take home. Stores such as Trader Joe's often sell packages of dates throughout California.


During the annual Date Festival and Riverside County Fair held in Indio, the entire city springs into action with a week of activities and entertainment. An Arabian-themed play is held every night, world class entertainment comes to the town of 50,000+ residents, and livestock, camel races, beauty pageant queens and a huge carnival all keep locals focused on fun, even though the event is held during the school year.  Prices for this fair are some of the most affordable in California, which explains why beach dwellers will trek up to a few hundred miles to attend the event, the largest annual event for which Indio has long been recognized. The first Date Festival and Fair was launched in 1921 and now is known around the globe for its quirky attractions such as the Camel Races and Queen Sheherazade and her Court.


Annual Indio Date Festival at Riverside County Fairgrounds. Opening ceremony includes blessing of the dates, and award-winning Arabian Nights Musical Pageant starting at 6:15 p.m. at the Pageant Stage. An entertaining show that mingles contemporary humor with classic folklore, magic and mystery are at the heart of "Aladdin and the Heart of Agrabah". Love, revenge and greed plus shimmering lights at the 2008 Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival will dazzle you. Also arriving on the first day are the Llamas, Dairy Goats, Poultry.  Opening Ceremony & Blessing of the Dates at 9:30am; Camel & Ostrich Races at 11am & 3pm - Arena; WGAS Motorsports Monster Trucks at 8pm - Arena and Carnival rides from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. General admission: $7 (in 2009); Unlimited carnival rides: $18. Location: Riverside County Fairgrounds, 82-503 Hwy 111, Indio, CA 92201. Call: (800) 811-FAIR or (760) 863-8247. datefest.org







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