INDIO, Calif. -

The National Date Festival will accept applications until Oct. 9 for the Queen Scheherazade Scholarship Pageant, a spokeswoman said today.

Applications are available through Riverside County high schools, the Riverside County Fairgrounds administration office and the Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival website, according to festival spokeswoman Veronica Casper.

Pageant applicants must ``exhibit exceptional character,'' have at least a 3.0 GPA, reside in Riverside County, be at least 17 years old by the Nov. 23 pageant date, and have not reached the age of 22 as of the fair's opening day on Feb. 14, 2014, Casper said.

Queen Scheherazade and her court will reign over the 2014 Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival, acting as the Feb. 14-23 event's goodwill ambassadors and making promotional appearances.

``The queen and court will benefit from experiences with public speaking and media relations,'' Casper said.

The queen will be awarded a $3,500 scholarship, and princesses Dunyazade and Jasmine will each be awarded $3,000 scholarships, Casper said.

Applications for the pageant will be accepted until Oct. 9 at 4 p.m.

For more information about the pageant or to obtain an application, call (951) 955-4896 or visit www.datefest.org.