Benoit to Open the 65th Annual Date Festival Friday

News Release


Feb 11

Benoit to Open the 65th Annual Date Festival Friday

INDIO – Supervisor John J. Benoit will welcome fairgoers at Friday’s opening of the 65th Annual Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival.  The traditional Opening and Blessing of the Dates ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. at gate 1 of the Fairgrounds in Indio (46-350 Arabia St.).  Friday’s headliner entertainment, Luz Rios, will sing the national anthem.

“The Date Festival is a great occasion for people around the valley, and around the county, to come together for a good time,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit.  “If you’ve already enjoyed this annual attraction, this fair promises to be another unforgettable experience.  If you haven’t been to the fair, consider it an opportunity to start a new family tradition!”

For the third year in a row, the fair will give back to the community by providing free admission on opening day, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

From noon to 4 p.m. at the Magic Carpet Stage, Benoit’s Fourth District Youth Advisory Council will coordinate the Battle of the Bands.  Seven Riverside County bands – A Beating Heart (Riverside), Dead End Paradox (Palm Desert), Grow Well (Palm Desert), Jekkel (Bermuda Dunes), June, Like The Month (Nuevo), New College Try (La Quinta) and News of the Fire (La Quinta) – will compete for top-of-the-line Fender and Gretsch instruments and equipment.

The young artists will be evaluated by a four-judge panel that includes returning judge Steve Drinovsky, executive director of The Music School in Palm Springs, a representative from Palm Springs Edge TV and Adam Surdin from last year’s winning band, Caxton.  Bands will be scored on technical performance, originality of songs, professionalism, stage presence, vocals and audience reaction.

The 65th Annual Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival will run from Friday through Feb. 27.  Admission prices and ticket purchasing information can be found at

73-710 Fred Waring Drive, Suite 222, Palm Desert, CA 92260 | Phone: 760-863-8211 • Fax: 760-863-8905