By Crystal Harrell
The Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival is a staple of the Coachella Valley, and is scheduled to return for February 17 through 26 at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio. The Date Festival continues the legacy of decades-old desert traditions while celebrating history and community, and of course, providing fun and excitement for everyone.
Entries for local recipes, crafts, and artwork will now be on display and awarded prizes. Livestock will also be welcome for Blue Ribbon categories. Agriculture prizes will be awarded for citrus fruits, dates, and vegetables, crafts and hobbies will be represented by clothing, textiles, woodcarving, and horticulture. The 2023 Grandstand Entertainment line-up will present several show-stopping spectacles and performances that the Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival is known for, such as not one but TWO nights of Monster Trucks on February 21 and 22, musicians, a Freestyle Moto X Team, sea lion shows, corn hole tournaments, and more.
Also making an appearance for free entertainment with fair admission is America’s favorite balloon guy, Dennis Forel in his Balloonacy show Dennis started making animal balloons in 1975 while working at Shakey’s Pizza Parlour. He can make over 108 different animal balloons and co-authored a book on making animals out of balloons titled “Balloonacy-The Art of Air Sculpture” which was later turned into a video entitled “Balloonacy!” He is a member of the Western Fairs Association and has been producing a show called “Poof Two!” for his odd fellows lodge for over 20 years.
There will also be an element of education at the fair with hands-on STEM/STEAM fun. Guests are invited to take an excursion into the wild and amazing world of science with dozens of highly interactive, fun, and visually captivating displays and activities. It is encouraged that families and children experience the mysterious and entertaining aspects of science and technology in a casual environment. Learning occurs through hands-on interplay, along with supporting signage and on-site educators.
Hypnotist Mark Yuzik will also be performing at the fair. Since 1988, Mark Yuzuik has performed over 10,000 hypnosis shows and live events to an audience of more than five million people across the U.S., Canada, Australia, Singapore, UK, Europe and South America. Mark’s extensive study of human behavior over the past three decades has given him the ability to understand why people do the things they do – and how to instantly interrupt the negative thoughts, habits or actions that prevent people from living their true greatness.
General admission is priced at ten dollars and good for one entry to the 2023 Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival presented by Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.
“Fairgrounds are unique because they are the places where we celebrate community. There’s such a variety of talents in this area that people can see on display at the fair. We also get to celebrate the agricultural significance of the date palms in the Coachella Valley—allowing attendees to interact with the people who put those dates in stores and in their homes,” shared Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival organizer, Chris Pickering.
A seasonal pass costs 30 dollars and is good for one entry all 10 days of the 2023 Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival, presented by Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. This pass is only available in advance and not available once the event begins on February 17, 2023. Carnival wristbands costs 30 dollars are good for any one day of the 2023 Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival.
For more information including fair admission prices, advanced tickets, and hours of operation, please visit: www.datefest.org.