National Date Festival
Indio, California, mid-February (Begins the Friday before Presidents Day)
While the Riverside County Fair offers more traditional fair amusements―monster trucks, '80s pop stars―it also doubles as the National Date Festival. And that means attractions like the Arabian Nights Musical Pageant, camel and ostrich races, and the crowning of Queen Scheherazade.
This celebration of all things Middle Eastern comes by way of the county's date industry. But the festival isn't just all fun and games―there is also the Blessing of the Date Garden, an annual ceremony in which prayers are made for the date palms and the safety of the workers. And at the date booths, you'll be able to find the sweet, fiber- and vitamin-rich fruit in all sorts of combinations, from date shakes to dates stuffed with coconut. Look for more information online at www.datefest.org.