Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival returns to Indio next month: what you need to know


Bianca Ventura | Contributor

The event known for providing family fun throughout the decades is returning in person after a three year hiatus. The Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival announced two nights of Monster Truck shows on Monday.

The ten day festival kicks off February 17 and we were able to speak to the new event manager, Chris Pickering. After winning a bidding process through Riverside County, Pickering Events was selected as the new fairground partner for the next five years. “We’re excited to be here for the long haul.

And well this year is the return of the date festival. Future years will be the growth,” says Pickering. Pickering tells us he’s committed to preserving festival traditions. “All your Blue Ribbon competitions, your ten days of grandstand entertainment, the carnival like vendors, all the shopping you can think of and of course, your favorite fair foods,” says Pickering.

Attendees can also look forward to the Presidents’ Day Parade starting at Miles Park, and the Queen’s Court Scholarship Program that they’re expanding this year. “Instead of awarding to three young women we’re going to be awarding 10 scholarships of $2,000 each and that will be open to anyone,” adds Pickering.

Of course you can’t forget the origin of the festival itself. “We’re very excited to work with the date growers in the region to return with their featured exhibits in the Taj Mahal,” shares Pickering. New management also means new features. This year, each food vendor is required to bring at least one date item on their menu.

Another notable change has to do with entertainment. Ten nights of shows will be held at the fairground’s grandstand arena. “We’re actually going to add another thousand seats out on the dirt. It’s going to be an opportunity for people to get up close to the stage itself. But there’s no bad seat in the house. So people up in the bleachers are going to have a great time too,” says Pickering.

Two of the events include the Monster Truck shows, and concerts are scheduled for the other nights. The Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival will be announcing the concert lineup in the coming weeks. They’re also offering a special where you can get access to the event all ten days for $30. The special is available to Coachella Valley residents only.

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