Like dominoes falling in rapid succession, so are events in the Coachella Valley due to COVID-19. The latest casualty is the 2021 Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival, set for February 12-21.
The ever-popular event has been canceled and hopes to resume in 2022 with its 75th year celebration. In addition, the Queen Scheherazade Scholarship Pageant, scheduled for November 2020, is also being canceled. Queen Scheherazade and her court act as goodwill ambassadors leading up to, and during, the Fair in February.
The ongoing global pandemic has caused the cancellation of all scheduled events on the fairgrounds since the middle of March. With Riverside County Public Health planning to keep the Federal Medical Station in place until the end of the calendar year, staff is unable to properly plan and execute the Fair.
“The Riverside County Fairgrounds are known not only as the home of our beloved Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival, but as a focal point and safe haven for the community when it comes to accessing health care and, today, they are being utilized in another health care mission to help us overcome the coronavirus,” Board Chair V. Manuel Perez said in a prepared statement. “It is rare that we cancel this Fair, but we know the tradition is so strong and special for many families, including mine, that we can look forward to its return after we complete this mission.”
Riverside County Fair Advisory Board Chair, Lupe Ramos-Amith added, “It was a difficult decision to cancel, but with the uncertainty of how long the fairgrounds will be used as a testing center and back up hospital, it was one that had to be made. We look forward to seeing everyone for our 75th anniversary.”
The county will look for other ways to celebrate the fair’s 75th anniversary in 2021, which may include a virtual celebration.
The Riverside County Fairgrounds will also continue to serve as one of the county’s COVID-19 testing locations. The testing is open to anyone, with or without symptoms. To schedule an appointment, please call (800) 945-6171 or click here to make it online.
- Riverside County Fair and Date Festival: Riverside County Fair and Date Festival Facebook page