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International Date Festival

February 25, 2011

I’m going on another rabbit trail to show you a few pictures that I took at the Riverside County Fair and International Date Festival in Indio, California. Indio is about 1/2 hour away from Palm Desert.

It was a beautiful day and the fair wasn’t too crowded so we really enjoyed it. We have never seen so many exotic animals, weird animal racing, or food stalls with things on sticks!

The first thing we saw was in the lot where we parked. Our first sighting of a real, live, roadrunner!

Such cute, perky birds! How can you see one without thinking of the Coyote and the Roadrunner!!

Our first stop was the Bird Show. There was a beautiful Macaw who did great tricks…

An African Green parrot who made up her own songs and sang quite beautifully. A bird that looked like a cross between a bluejay and a magpie…

and a Toucan! I’ve never seen a toucan in a bird show before. It did tricks as well!

This woman and her husband run the only camel dairy in North America! They did a camel milking demonstration later in the day that was very interesting. ( If you would like to see short videos of these birds in action check out their website at: cameldairy.com)

Next up was the petting zoo. I know, it sounds really lame! My husband almost didn’t go into the tent with me but I pleaded and he gave in. I think he was glad he did.

We saw some really neat critters…

Patagonian Cavys…

Jacob’s Sheep with 4 horns…count em…4

A baby kangaroo…

Other babies included…a zebra, camel, yak, water buffalo, tortoise (huge!) and some exotic deer.

Well worth the trip through.

Right beside that tent was the pig racing. We checked out a couple of races but they were pretty much the same.

Are you wondering what makes those pigs run so fast? They each get an Oreo cookie at the end!

OK, now we wandered over to the’ Rainforest in the Desert’ show. They also had some exotic animals to show us…on our way to their area, we passed this marvelous sand castle! Check it out…

Doesn’t it look perfect with the palm trees in the background? The guy was still working on the title which you can just see outlined below the hand.

OK, back to the Rainforest in the Desert…

The first animal out was a monkey. I watched the trainer go into the tent next to the big cage, open the monkey’s cage door, and place a small pet carrier on the floor. The monkey climbed down, got into the cage by himself and pulled the door shut! I thought that was pretty cool! The monkey did some climbing tricks, etc. I am not adding a shot of him here.

Next out was a sort of small leopard-type cat. It didn’t do too much and wasn’t out for long.

Then, they brought out a Coatimundi. A very different sort of critter. It did some climbing, etc. Fun to see.

Now, it was the big cat’s turn. They brought this guy out…

He was a beauty!

Next to come out was a cat that I’ve never seen except on TV. For sure never in this kind of show…

Have any of you ever heard of a trained Cougar??

He was very handsome!

Next was a white Tiger. An absolute show-stopper…

The trainer had these cats jumping and stretching upwards so we could see how big they are. He would put a small piece of meat on the end of a 3 ft long stick and hold it up. The tigers would then stand up on their hind legs to get the meat and we could see their full 9 foot length. I kind of like this shot of the tiger jumping. Not enough to try a quilt though. Ha ha.

The fellow said that he liked it best when the tigers were just playing so he brought out 2 balloons on a stick and let the white one play…

It was just like a huge kitten! He got each balloon off the stick and popped them. I got a shot of him lying down with a piece of pink rubber hanging out of his mouth.

After the show, we went into the adjoining tent to see a couple of their other animals. This was a very beautiful Lemur.

And this sleepy fellow is an Anteater. First one I’ve ever seen…

Alright. On to the races! The first thing they did was to demonstrate how the ostrich chariot races would work. These two cowboys (ostrichboys?) brought a ‘chariot’ out and showed us how they turn the ostriches. They do not put any harness on them at all so how do they turn? The guy uses a broom to wave in the ostrich’s face! Funny!

After this demo, they went back to the starting gate and mounted the birds for the first race. No chariots here…

This shot shows the gate men trying to keep the gates shut. Those birds were kicking the gates so hard that they almost got them opened!

Apparently, an ostrich can kill a man just by kicking him!! Ouch!

OK, they got everyone lined up and…..they’re off!

They started out well…

Just before the one and only turn, they started having some difficulties…

Shortly after rounding the turn, the ostriches were running pretty much on their own…

The ‘ostrichboys’ crossed the finish line on foot.

At this point, my camera battery died!! Great!

They went on to have 3 young boys from the audience come down and had a race where they herded 3 emus with sticks. Funny.

Then, they had 3 little girls come down and they had to chase 3 roosters across a line. Even funnier!

The cowboys were back for an ostrich chariot race, a zebra race and then the camel race. Lots of fun.

We stayed at the fair, strolling through the buildings with arts and craft displays and baking, rocks, minerals, 4-H animals and an educational display showing how they harvest dates and what they do with them.

In the evening, we saw a musical production of one of the tales from the Arabian Nights stories. It was very well done and presented.

So there you have our day at the fair. We had a great time. There is also a zoo here that we hope to see next week. More pictures will come from there.

 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Anne &Charlie permalink
    February 25, 2011 12:02 pm

    Hi!How are you guys doing? Read your last letter but didn’t respone until now, not feeling great!!I think it has a lot to do with the weather and so much snow and more on the way.
    I understand you won’t be back before June, there will proberly still be snow here. we had so much this winter!!
    So when are you going to Santa Barbra? How do you feel about the move and will you miss your vacation that you booked before you left?? Well I guess we will have to go in your place. ha! All the questions???? We will try and talk some night from Dan &Wendy’s but we haven’t been out there much because of the snow.
    Charlie has been working all winter which is good, I will not be working in the near future, I am taken a french course but I am not sure what I am learning!!!

    The pictures are great but I would have been like Trevor and not have gone into the petting Zoo, but Charlie would love to have been there!!
    I don’t see us going anywhere this year because of how I am feeling but I would have loved to visit you guys while you were there!!

    Well got to make breakfast for my hubby we will talk soon. Enjoy!!
    Love Anne &Charlie

  2. Anne &Charlie permalink
    February 25, 2011 12:14 pm

    Hi!Guys how are you doing? I wrote yoou a long letter and then it said there was a eror in the sending so I am trying again, so you may have gotten two letters. What I wrote in the first was how do you feel about moving to Santa Barbara and will you miss your vacation you booked before you left!! I guess we will have to go in your place!!!
    We would love to go visit you while your there but I don’t think so because of how I am feeling and Charlie has been working a lot!! Thank God for that, Amen for that.
    We have more snow here then we did in ten years and there is more on the way so when you get home in June we will still proberly have snow!!!
    Maybe some night we are out at Dan &Wendy’s we will give you a call on the computer I am unable to on mine.

    W e will talk soon Our love & blessing Anne &Charlie from PEI

  3. June 6, 2012 1:02 pm

    The design for the website is a little bit off in Epiphany. Even So I like your site. I may have to install a normal browser just to enjoy it.

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