Any fair worth its weight in corndogs knows that folks love serious fair food—and a certain annual fair in Indio ups the ante with its beloved underdog fruit.
Date palms have flourished in the Coachella Valley since the early 20th century, and the
Don’t miss the chance to try the fair’s signature snack, the cold-and-creamy date shake; this year, vendor Fabe’s has created a decadent version topped with a slice of cheesecake. For more date-oriented treats, stroll the fair’s vendors and try bacon-wrapped dates, Pink’s Cheesy-Bacon-Dater-Tots, or the Date Funnel Cake at Backyard BBQ.
In between snacks, enjoy music headliners Lou Gramm of Foreigner fame (with opener Foghat), acclaimed norteño band , country star Chase Rice, and classic rock band War.
Certainly, the fair makes the most of the Coachella Valley’s desert ambience. The annual Camel & Ostrich Races are always a big hit (don’t laugh: those ostriches can hustle up to 40 mph), as is the nightly musical pageant, a take on 1001 Arabian Nights (be on the lookout too for the fair’s reigning Queen Scheherazade and her court). There are also modern-desert-rodeo attractions such as monster trucks, motocross, and bull-riding.
Indio is a year-round hotbed for great parties—foodie and otherwise. December brings the Indio International Tamale Festival, and April is the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Check out our lists of other great California food festivals and music festivals.