Indio National Date Festival

The readers of Steve and Karen's Most Excellent Adventures have to come to expect the finest in entertainment and I think this one will exceed all expectations.

This is the Riverside county fair and National Date Festival in Indio. We were there on February 24. I am getting behind in my posting as we have been very busy. Ok.. OK Pig racing, this has gone a bit too far huh.. We went to the National Date Festival primarily for the Date shakes. Man they are Hog heaven. Well, the crowd was getting larger and the announcer kept hawking 15 minutes till Pig Racing, 10 minutes till Pig Racing. Then hold onto your hats only 5 more minutes till Pig Racing. So I held onto my hat and we got sucked in. It was really quite entertaining. They had Pigs by the names of Hammy Faye Bacon, Brittney Squeals and Christina Hogulara. Why they even had Miss Piggy in one race. These little suckers really hauled pork butt around the little race track. At the end was one Oreo cookie. So, as they rounded the last turn towards the ham stretch they ran for the Oreo. Wow, I think I have been baked in the sun a little too long.

The Date Festival had many of the things the normal county fair would have back east but they had an outfit called Hedricks Exotic Animal farm from Hutchinson Kansas provide animals for racing. This is a picture of some of the Ostriches in the pen before their races. We had never seen some of these animals race and after watching the Pig races decided it was worth watching.
This is a photo of the Llama’s racing. I have to admit Hedricks did a really good job of keeping the crowd entertained. The llama’s and Alpaca’s really are cute docile looking animals. Makes you want to cuddle up with an Alpaca sweater…
And of course the Camel races. Camels are a very interesting looking animal. I like watching them walk but this was the first time I had seen one run. They had Ostrich’s pulling Chariots, people riding Ostrich’s, Emu races where they had kids from the audience chase them and Llama races. It really was quite entertaining.
All in all the Date festival was entertaining. They had some very nice displays.  The Indio climate and the Cochella valley is good for growing date palms in the respect that it is very sunny and the climate is very warm all year. However the date palm tree requires a lot of water so I will never quite understand how we came to grow them in the middle of the desert.