The 67th Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival is underway

POSTED: 11:36 PM PST Feb 15, 2013 
INDIO, Cali. -

 The 67th riverside county fair and international date festival is shaping up to be another great time for everyone involved.
     With a big smile on his face, Ezekiel Razo tells us, "I just had some super awesome food, I rode some rides, I just went inside a kids bounce house and it was actually really good."
     But, for some fair goers who have been attending for years, security can still be a concern.
     Two years ago, a nearby neighborhood gun battle turned bloody when a 5 year old child was accidentally struck by a stray bullet.
     But, police say the shooting was unrelated to the festival.
     Head of security Ron Dye, weighs in on the issue. He tells us, "It's ridiculous! That had nothing to do with the fair, it was about a mile away. As far as we know the people had never even been to the fair It was an incident that happened between two people and again it reflects badly on the fair because its in proximity of it, but again it had nothing to do with the fair."
     Shannon Woods has been working this booth for 38 years, and she doesn't see the problem. She says, "I think that could happen anywhere, close to a fair or close to anything. You know, it shouldn't make you feel any less safe as long as you go about being safe yourself."
     This years security force is one of the largest seen by the fair in recent memory, with multiple agencies working together to ensure the experience remains a safe one.
     Ron Dye breaks down this years security force. "We do a number of things," he says. "We have contact with the county Sheriff's Department, also with Bauer Security. And, we have a number of people here at all times on the grounds. We also augment that with a lot of law enforcement volunteers, the gang task force has been out here, probation is out here and they're working together hand in hand just to ensure the safety of all the participants in the fair."
     But, how do the fair goers feel?
     Daniel Aldana tells us, "I think I feel pretty safe around here overall, there's plenty of security to protect everyone here and yea. I'm just here with my friends to have a good time and that's it."
      For information on the fair visit www.datefest.org