Girl Report | Rockstars of the Date Festival

Abigail C. 

Girl Reporter


For 73 years, the ate estival has evolved from a celebration of an incredibly sweet fruit, to a 2 week carnival filled with rides, pig races, baking contests, and people passionate about gems and minerals. Over 5,000 people attend the festival, which is located in Indio, California.In the gems and mineral building, people sell jewelry of all kinds. From pendants to rings, to bracelets and earrings. Inside this room of mountainous glory, there is a stand full of people that make jewelry, open geodes, paint rocks, sell magazines, and give information about the precious materials. Three of these people are Bert, Peggy, and Letha. They have a passion for rocks and if you ever meet them, I guarantee they can tell you almost anything.For 73 years, the ate estival has evolved from a celebration of an incredibly sweet fruit, For 73 years, the ate estival has evolved from a celebration of an incredibly sweet fruit, to a 2 week carnival filled with rides, pig races, baking contests, and people passionate about gems and minerals. Over 5,000 people attend the festival, which is located in Indio, California.In the gems and mineral building, people sell jewelry of all kinds. From pendants to rings, to bracelets and earrings. Inside this room of mountainous glory, there is a stand full of people that make jewelry, open geodes, paint rocks, sell magazines, and give information about the precious materials. Three of these people are Bert, Peggy, and Letha. They have a passion for rocks and if you ever meet them, I guarantee they can tell you almost anything.IMG-0160

Bert has volunteered at the Date Festival since 1991. That’s 28 years! He says he loves rocks for there beauty and says his passion for rocks has followed him through life. His father was a minor, so rocks were a part of his life. He answers curious minds questions about rocks, and he will open up a geode for you, so that you, like him, can uncover the mysteries hidden inside rocks.

Peggy began her Date Festival journey three years ago when her father convinced her to volunteer. These very convincing parents have been involved for at least 20 years, and she developed their passion at a young age. Her love for rocks is rooted in their variation. She says that…”you need to open them up to truly understand and see their beauty.” During the two week festival she sells pre-cut rocks and old National Geographic magazines that focus on rocks.

IMG-0153Letha might have the most unusual rock themed hobby out of these three people. She paints rocks. She has been volunteering at the Fair for 25 years. Like Bert, she loves rocks for their beauty. She began doing this when her husband wanted to do it. Along with painting rocks to look like BB-8, frogs, or fairy houses, she also hands out small smooth stones to young children.

At the Date Festival, you can find yourself breath taken by many beautiful wonders. Whether that is a geode cake, a necklace, or a freshly cut geode, you can count on people like Bert, Peggy, and Letha to help you find new wonders. Rocks are beautiful and everyone of them is different and unique, just like people, so if you find yourself at the Riverside County Date Festival this year or next, open a geode or find wonders in a painted rock.

 

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