A Famous Food Fest, with Rides

The National Date Festival is on. Save us a date shake, please.

We like all the entertainment and visuals and edibles thrown into a giant, whirling, blinking-bulb county fair, but the thing with living here is that a lot of the county fairs roll in the summer and early fall (hi, OC, Ventura, LA).

But not Riverside. The giant midway goes up in the heart of February, the concert acts come out, and the dates squish into boxes, into breads, into beautiful milkshakes. The 2010 Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival opened in Indio on Friday, February 12th and runs through Sunday, February 21st.

Mmm. Dates. One of our famous regional foodstuffs. Rich, creamy date shakes flecked with date-y goodness. We can't visit anywhere east of the 605 and not seek one out for immediate consumption.

Not only is the Riverside County Fair a county fair (the name's a good giveaway), but it is also neatly incorporates the National Date Festival, which means if you're a Medjool person, you're in luck. There's the annual Blessing of Dates, and cooking demos, and other delish to-dos built around the star attraction.

There will be more sugary, traditional, fried foods, of course -- this is a county fair -- but you got to save (room for) the date.

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