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Date Festival
Scholarship Program

$20,000 to be given out in 2023

Downloadable Instructions and Application Form

About the Program

Every February, the Riverside County Fairgrounds is transformed into the home of Southern California’s greatest annual winter event. World famous for its uniqueness, the Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival is one of the largest single events in the Greater Palm Springs area.

By applying for the Date Festival Scholarship, you will be part of a 75-year tradition. A BIG thank you to Butler Amusements and Pickering Events for providing $20,000 to be distributed to the colleges of the ten winners, receiving $2,000 each to pursue studies beyond high school. Winners will also receive a season pass to the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival.


This scholarship is now open to all residents of Riverside County who are high school seniors in the Class of 2023, with a cumulative high school GPA of at least 3.0 (unweighted). All eligible submissions will be reviewed, and finalists notified no later than Monday, February 6.


All required information must be properly submitted no later than Friday, February 3 by 11:59 p.m. All finalists must be available for a Zoom interview either Sunday, February 12 between 3 and 6 p.m., or Monday, February 13 between 6 and 9 p.m.

Required Documents
  1. The Date Festival Scholarship Application
  2. A 500-word essay on the topic: “The Importance of Community”
  3. Unofficial Transcripts grades/transcripts; including unweighted cumulative GPA from the attendance office–Official Transcripts must be received before award
  4. School identification card

Determination of Scholarship Recipients

Scholarship finalists will be chosen based on the aforementioned items. Recipients of the Scholarship will be chosen from the finalists based on an interview with a judging panel. This interview will be conducted via Zoom during the pre-scheduled time frames. Interview questions will relate to the student’s essay, school transcript, aspirations, and basic knowledge regarding the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival.


All applications and additional documentation are due no later than Friday, February 3 at 11:59 p.m. The application, essay, and a copy of your student identification card may be submitted electronically to: scholarships@datefest.org. Unofficial transcripts need to be submitted by February 3 at 11:59 p.m. if official transcripts cannot be provided by that time, but official transcripts must be received before a scholarship can be awarded. Official transcripts in a sealed envelope may be delivered in person to the Fairgrounds office or sent electronically from the high school.

If selected to receive a scholarship, you will be required to sign a Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival photo release form and participate in one promotional event during the 2023 Fair and National Date Festival (February 17-26).

Important Dates

February 3 (Friday) before 11:59 p.m. - All documents and essays submitted to the Riverside County Fairgrounds office and/or scholarships@datefest.org

February 6 (Monday) before 9 p.m. - Finalists will be notified via email and required to schedule a zoom interview during the times provided

February 12 (Sunday) 3-6 p.m. and February 13 (Monday) 6-9 p.m. - Zoom Interviews for Finalists

February 15 (Wednesday) - Scholarship winners will be posted on the Riverside County Fair and & National Date Festival website

February 17-26: Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival - Come and celebrate with your family and friends!

Submission and Contact Information

Email: scholarships@datefest.org

Phone Number: (760) 863-8247

Mailing Address: Riverside County Fairgrounds

ATTN: Scholarship Coordinator
82-503 Highway 111
Indio, CA 92201
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