Hot date in Indio
Rides, races, pageants, and ― of course ― fruit at the annual festival
When camels bearing turbaned jockeys spring out of the gates, you know it’s not an average day at the races, except in Indio.
A daily attraction at the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival, the camel races are followed by sprinting alpacas, llamas, and ostriches pulling multicolored chariots toward a frenzied finish.
The festival, held each February, began in 1921 to celebrate the completion of the date harvest. Eighty percent of dates produced in the Western Hemisphere come from this region, a result of dry weather matched with an abundant water supply.