County Fair Time in Riverside

Rides, concerts, and a certain juicy fruit are set to shine in Indio.

IT'S THAT TIME: We figure that someday there will be group of intrepid scientists who make it their career to study the charts and graphs and numbers behind our fascination with county fairs. (This will be after they figure out all the stuff we want figured out now, of course.) The team will study those artists who carve giant cows out of cold butter and those chefs who dip candy bars into batter and fry them and those people who ride Ferris wheels for 24 hours straight. But a main part of their days, we imagine, will be examining why the bulk of county fairs happen in summertime. We know, we know, this has a lot to do with livestock and agriculture, and the way things were done a century ago, but wouldn't it be rather whimsical to have a county fair in the snow? Or in the autumn, and, instead of butter, all the carving competitions have to do with gourds and pumpkins and such? Leading the way in changing up this calendar trend will be the county fair that's always been about wintertime: Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival. It's set to open again smack dab in the middle of February, on Friday, Feb. 15.

MAKE FOR INDIO: This true county fair is not only one of the only county fairs in the nation that happens in a traditional "colder" month (true, it's the desert, but still, it can get chilly), but it has a national food festival attached to it. And it is a food the area is famous for, and one you're likely to encounter in all sorts of treats and beverages. Plus? The concerts associated with county fair time: Lifehouse, Wynonna, and Voz de Mando are all set to play.

The Riverside County Fair is on from Friday, Feb. 15 through Sunday, Feb. 24.

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