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Love Medjool dates? The annual Yuma Date Festival is the place to be on January 28, 2017, and Naked Dates will be right in the thick of it. Medjool dates are symbolic of our community, a place where the vast majority of the country’s dates are grown – so it’s only natural that it should be celebrated with gusto. It’s a full day dedicated to the deliciousness and versatility of Medjool dates, and a moment to celebrate the legacy it has created for all of the hard-working date farmers in the Yuma area, our family included.

Main Street Takeover

For the entire day, the city of Yuma closes the main street off to all but foot traffic, and dozens of vendors set up their booths to sell yummy date treats and date-themed swag. Arrive early and get a free coffee and date muffin as you settle in for a day of delicious fun. Did you know how versatile dates are in all kinds of cuisine? Taste your way around the festival or check out some of the great cooking demonstrations, presented by local celebrity chefs. If you’re any kind of a foodie, you’ll be amazed at the range of flavors and textures that can be coaxed from the humble date! Everything from rich and creamy (but rather ubiquitous) date shakes to snacks to main courses – there is always something yummy to be discovered.

Date Garden Tours

If you’ve ever been curious about how dates are grown, tended and processed, you can take a little tour to a local date garden and packing house. On this 90-minute excursion, a bus will whisk you off to a local date farm where you can get up close and personal with what makes Yuma’s date industry tick. See what makes our dates so special, and discover all the hard work that goes into bringing them to market.

An awesome day out for the entire family

We love date fest because we get to check out what everybody else is doing with their dates. Having a sense of community is very important here; there may be a bigger concentration of date farms here than anywhere else in the country, but we’re still a small industry by any standards. Being able to connect to our neighbors and what might be considered our ‘competition’ is so important. Rather than being at odds, we tend to support each other by sharing ideas and coming together to support local tourism initiatives. Additionally, we are for the most part all family enterprises, so we have that in common. This is a theme you will quickly pick up on at the Yuma Date Festival, as there are just as many things to delight the children as there are for the adults – face painting, bouncy castles and so much more.

The range of vendors is always very eclectic too, with tons of local artists and artisans showing and selling their work, jewelry, date-themed apparel and the unforgettable Miss Medjool! Best of all, there’s always some kind of entertainment going on. The live music lineup delivers everything from a school choir to jazz to good-old rock ‘n’ roll – this year, there’s even a belly dancing and flamenco dance performance – can’t wait to see that!

Look for Daphne – the Naked Dates VW Bus

As for Naked Dates, we will be serving up our date soda (unique to us!) and date soda floats as well as selling our gorgeous organic Medjool dates to snack on or to take home. We should be pretty easy to find: we’ll be using our branded VW bus (we call her Daphne) as a backdrop for our booth. Find Daphne the Bus and you’ll find us, serving up our delicious date soda and getting excited about all the other cool date stuff you’ll get to discover when you come visit the farm. So be sure to drop by the booth and say hello, and if you’re not from the Yuma area, now you have an excuse to come. Saturday January 28, 2017 on Yuma’s Historic Main Street. See you there?