Charles Phoenix’s Slide of the Week: Date Festival, Indio, 1963

Date Festival, Indio, 1963

Smart striped tent tops provide an eventful backdrop for a bevy of Queen Scheherazade wannabes cupped and draped in gold trimmed chiffon. They ride high in one of Detroit’s spaciest space age offerings – the all-new for 1962 Polara Convertible by Dodge. Italian sports cars inspired the startling design. WARNING: the abstract relationship between the flared front fenders, cockeyed in-n-outset headlights, teardrop bumper guards and tucked-in turn signals has the power to hypnotize if studied too long. The pretend Arab sheik on the right is clearly experiencing a mesmerizing moment of his own. It’s not difficult to see why.

The odd, sweet, petite fruit of the palm, the date, inspired the first Riverside County Fair and Date Festival in Indio in 1921. This weekend the annual tradition continues. Highlights include the Blessing of the Dates ceremony, ostrich and camel races, Arabian Nights Musical Pageant, and most importantly the crowning of Queen Scheherazade. Arab dress is optional, but encouraged for spectators:

The Palm Springs Modernism show is also happening in the desert this weekend. It’s a air-conditioned convention hall filled with vendors peddling marvelous mid-century wares to people with deep pockets, and lookie-loos like me. It’s a great show. So on your way to or from the date festival come on by. The show is the kickoff to Palm Springs Modernism Week. I will be part of the festivities performing my Retro Slide Show Tour of Southern California, which will include a special section on the desert, this Wednesday, Feb 21, 7:30 at the Camelot Theater in Palm Springs:

Here’s to the Italian influence, Arab dress, mid-century modern and YOU!

Charles Phoenix

Visit Charles’ site or join his Slide of the Week Mailing List.