Monday, February 9, 2009

My Town Monday: the National Date Festival in Indio, CA



Feb 13-22, 2009 is the NATIONAL DATE FESTIVAL in Indio, CA (25 miles east of Palm Springs and 130 miles northeast of San Diego). Here's the exact address: Riverside County Fairgrounds, 82-503 Hwy 111, Indio, CA 92201.

There will be carnival rides and games, bands, over 1,000 exhibits, OSTRICH AND CAMEL RACES, a different Arabian Nights themed play every evening and dates galore! It costs $8 for adults, $6 for youths, free for kids under 5 years, $7 for parking. The date festival has been around since 1921.

If I haven't yet convinced you to attend, consider this: the average February temperature is SEVENTY-EIGHT DEGREES FAHRENHEIT




Here's a teeny tiny bit of date trivia: Feel free to disseminate this info at any and all cocktail parties, thus making yourself look wise and brilliant. Date trees are dioecious. This means there are female dates trees (who produce the fruit) and male date trees (who provide the pollen). In your typical date garden, you have one male tree for every FIFTY female trees. Dates take six to seven months to ripen. A date palm tree can live more than 200 years.


I love, love, love dates (but not in milk) and might be able to convince dh to make the date festival a date. Oh, come on, surely you could see this very bad pun coming from a mile away. Anyway, let me know if you're going. We don't want to miss the Blessing of the Dates Ceremony at 9:30 am on the 13th.

And I pinky-promise, no food for next week's My Town Monday post!

Coming up later this week on the blog: my fantabulous evening in Pasadena at the Southern California Independent Booksellers dinner. There will be a photo with me and a famous author. And....we get our date (ha! ha!) in Small Claims Court with The Lying 22 Year Old Female Who Ran A Red Light And Totalled DH's Car

Please trundle over to Travis Erwin's blog. He's our Fearless Leader for My Town Mondays. Along with his own MTM, he'll have a list of participants.

Sources:
http://www.datefest.org/
http://www.palmsprings.com/active/festival/
http://www.datesaregreat.com/index-8.html
http://www.ayushveda.com/dietfitness/benefits-of-dates/

40 comments:

Teresa said...

Hi Barrie, What an interesting post! I didn't know date palms could live that long. I love dates, too, but I won't be in Indio that week because I have too much homework in school. Enjoy!

Sepiru Chris said...

Barrie,

I know you are a CA booster, but you ought to convince DH to go with you to Elche, Alicante, Spain, the originating site of European date production, if you are a date fan.

Elche's date production dates back to the Carthaginians moving into the region in about the fifth century and therefore preceeds the Moorish occupation of the Iberian (but the Moors revolutionised agricultural production...) ...Well worth a visit too, after Indio...

Vodka Mom said...

Barrie- I LOVE the date post- and I hoe you kick that girl's ASS in court.
xoxox

doggybloggy said...

I would love to go to the date festival.....

Laura said...

Cool....I mean, warm!!!!

Love dates, date squares...YUMMY...dates in my hot cereal...YUMMY...I'lll be right over!!!!

Thanks for sharing!

Beth said...

The temperature alone makes it a tempting place to go in February.
I'm pondering those stats re: date trees. In human terms, they'd make for lousy odds for females - guys would love 'em!

D.A. Riser said...

I'm such an ignorant Texan. I didn't know that was what a date tree looked like. Thanks for the photo.

200 years? Wow.

Paul Brazill said...

Two flys meet on an apple. one says to the other:fancy going on a date?

debra said...

One could save the date for a date for the date festival (if one were so inclined).
Good luck in court.

Kristen Painter said...

I love dates! My favorite are Medjool, but I don't know if that's what they grow out there. If I were closer, I'd totally go.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Dates are divine.

Bina said...

I don't think I have ever tasted a date. How do you eat them? I mean, are the like raisons, or are the dried, are they like eating guava?

And I can't WAIT to hear the results of court, I hope and pray that you guys win!!!!

Lauren said...

Since I am new to your blog I hadn't read that story before about the car accident. That's awful. Good luck in small claims court.

Stacy said...

I think I've only had dates once. Time to give them another try.

Good luck in court! For some strange reason, I picture the lying 22-year-old looking just like Paris Hilton.

Reb said...

Mmmmm, warm temperatures! Um, dates...I mean dates, of course. I love dates.

Good luck in court.

Kristina P. said...

I have never tasted a date in my life! They have always sort of frightened me.

the epic rat said...

Fun post! I don't care too much for dates, but I did not know there were boy and girl date trees - that boggles my mind!

CAMEL AND OSTRICH RACES! That will be amazing! I saw an ostrich race once, and it was hilarious but quite short! I did not realize humans could fit on their backs!

cecilia

Lady Glamis said...

Barrie, good luck in court! I love dates, too. Both kinds. :)

Chantal said...

Hmm I love dates! And I didn't know that about them. I just may have to buy me some.

Scott said...

Dates are great. I was def pigging out on them when I visited Israel.
Anyway, I have been reading your blog for awhile and I like it a lot. I wanted to post a link to your blog on my site, would you be interested in a link exchange?
Check it out: Http://scottstipoftheday.blogspot.com

Linda McLaughlin said...

I'd forgotten all about the date festival, but it does sound like fun. My family used to stop and buy dates whenever we drove through the desert. Good luck in court!

LarramieG said...

Does California have a Festival for almost anything edible? Think about it, from Dates to Garlic! :)

Travis Erwin said...

My only experience with dates is in date pudding and gotta say I am not a fan. But good post as always.

Jenn Jilks said...

Thanks for the info. My fantasy: to travel all around the world going from Festival to Festival - a wonderful way to celebrate a place. Winterlude is on in my old city: Ottawa. I had a Skype conference with my kids and then they went off to it. Skating on the 8km canal, beavertails, yum, fun.

Instead we sat by the frozen lake and watched th cats play and snowmobiles drag by. Life is what you make of it!

Keri Mikulski said...

Interesting..

I'm embarrassed to say, I'm googling dates after I finish commenting. :)

Angela said...

You know maybe the next vacation we have may be near you. There seems to be so many yummy things there.

Bookworm said...

Cool! Dates are super-yummy. My grandpa lives in Palm Springs so I'm down in SoCal alot (i'm from northern CA). I also rode in a horse show in Indio! You know, the big desert circuit? I was so sad when they shut it down to build houses on the showgrounds and the show moved to Thermal. Ugh. Just so you know, I'm not going this year. ):

NoBS said...

They're so tasty. But why must they look like giant cockroaches!

Barbara Martin said...

Your post has me craving dates now, but they are considered a perfect food. Good to take on hikes.

Michele said...

Wow! I had no idea that Date Palms lived so long. I've never been to that festival, but it's definitely one more thing I want to add to my list. (Gilroy's Garlic Festival is at the very top!) :)

Fun post...

Barrie said...

Larramie: Yes, we have loads of food festivals in California. Just to name a few more off the top of my head: artichoke, sweet corn, tofu, asparagus, butter, mustard, walnuts. And more!

lyzzydee said...

I have never given any thought to dates at all, so my knowledge really has increased!!!

Stacy Nyikos said...

I love dates! It's too bad we live so far away, otherwise this festival would be right up my alley :-)

Beth Yarnall said...

I never knew dates grew like that. Interesting post.

Sarah Laurence said...

78 degrees?! It’s a date.

Vivian said...

This was a treat to read...love dates!

Bee said...

I like dates . . . but I LOVE 78 DEGREES. I wish that I could magic myself there, because the weather is horrid here. (Lovely snow all gone; now it sleety rain, not nearly so nice.)

Nice to know about the dioecious thing. :)

kim said...

You tempt me with your 78 degree tease, but alas, tis not to be -- I will remain in the freezy midwest for now.

special note: Winnie did her review of your book on my blog tonight -- check it out. "A thankyouverymuch"

Junosmom said...

I've never seen a date tree - interesting. That must be one happy male tree.

Dr Zibbs said...

Mmmmm. Sounds tasty.