Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival Opens

INDIO – The 72nd annual Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival in Indio kicked off its 10 days of fun with a morning opening ceremony Friday, Feb. 16, and discounted entry for the first 2,000 guests.

Tickets throughout the fair are $11 for adults, $10 for seniors 55 and older and $9 for youth (children ages 6 through 12). Children 5 and under get in free, along with veterans plus three guests with proper identification.

However, last week’s Opening Day admission was $5 and free midweek return tickets were given out to the first 2,000 fairgoers who entered Gate 1 on Opening Day.

Opening ceremony festivities included a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the addition of a new 80-foot flagpole at the fairgrounds which was attended by Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez and members of the Fair Board.

Perez said he had “great memories of growing up with the Date Festival, a family tradition for as long as I can remember.”

The fair will feature a Superfiesta Sunday, Feb. 25.

Edward G. Johnson, a Vietnam veteran who helped bring the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall to Desert Hot Springs, will be honored during a special presentation.

Other attractions include the Arabian Nights Musical Pageant, performances by the award-winning Cook Islands Polynesian Dance Show, and the crowning of Queen Scheherazade.

The carnival rides return, as well as the fifth straight year of $40 dog adoptions hosted by the Riverside County Department of Animal Service, which has resulted in 922 adoptions since its inclusion with the fair.

For tickets and more information, visit www.datefest.org.

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