Benoit to Open the 70th Annual Date Festival Friday

News Release


Feb 08

Benoit to Open the 70th Annual Date Festival Friday

INDIO – Supervisor John J. Benoit will welcome fairgoers at the opening of the 70th Annual Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 12.

The traditional opening and blessing of the dates ceremony will be held at gate 1 of the Fairgrounds in Indio, 82-503 Highway 111. The Shadow Hills High School chamber singers will sing the national anthem.

“The Date Festival is a great occasion for people around the valley and across Southern California to enjoy ten days of family fun, fantastic food, carnival rides and amazing acts,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “We look forward to another successful and unforgettable county fair, as this celebration of our date growing heritage turns 70!”

The 70th Annual Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival will run from Friday through Feb. 21, with free opening day admission from 10 a.m. to noon.

This year’s entertainment includes live concerts by Ezequiel Peña, Trace Adkins, Morris Day & the Time and Sheila E, KC & the Sunshine Band, Pedro Rivera with Banda Los Incomparables de Tijuana and Mariachi Alma de Jalisco. These headliners, along with camel and ostrich races, monster trucks, demolition derby and other performances, are included with fair admission.

Supervisor Benoit will ride in the annual President’s Day grand parade, which starts at 9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 15, and will be led by grand marshal: Dodgers great and Palm Desert resident Steve Garvey.

For the third consecutive year, the fair will partner with the Riverside County Department of Animal Services to host pet adoptions. The adoptions have resulted in the placement of more than 350 rescued dogs into loving homes.

New this year is Datefest 5K, a race through the Fairgrounds at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20. The fee to enter the race is $45. Each participant receives a medal, two tickets to the fair, t-shirt and gift bag. This event will benefit the Riverside County Employee Campaign, an annual effort by Riverside County employees that raises funds for charitable organizations. Interested runners can visit for race information and registration.

Veterans plus three guests are admitted free every day with proper identification. Information on other special promotions, fair events and ticket prices can be found at

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