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A Little About Indio

Indio is the largest population center in the Coachella Valley, and one of the fastest growing communities in Southern California. Indio has a population of more than seventy six thousand residents, representing an increase of more than twenty five thousand individuals between 2000 and 2010. Indio is projected to maintain a rapid pace of growth over the next few years, a trend consistent with the rest of Riverside County. Indio covers a total area of about twenty nine square miles, and is found roughly midway between Los Angeles and Baja California. Although Riverside County was originally inhabited by Native Americans from the Cahuilla Indian Tribe, the modern settlement of Indio did not come into existence until the late nineteenth century. Indio was founded as a railroad town, but eventually transitioned to rely on agricultural crops such as dates, onions, and cotton. More recently, Indio’s economy has been heavily based on the tourist industry, which becomes especially prominent during the winter months. Indio’s and the rest of Coachella Valley’s growth is largely thanks to the year round sunshine and warm weather that give this part of Southern California its character. Although the weather can become rather hot during the summer months, there are an average of three hundred and forty eight years of sunshine per year in Indio.

Indio’s climate and scenery are defined by its location in the Sonoran Desert. The Sonoran Desert, part of the larger Colorado Desert, is home to a unique selection of flora and fauna that can be enjoyed by tourists and residents alike. The city of Indio is considered a National Bird Sanctuary, and there are even more species of wildlife in the nearby Salton Sink and Lake Cahuilla. Much of Indio serves as a bedroom community for those who work in the hospitality industry downtown or in neighboring cities. Many residents of Indio apartments and homes are employed by the agricultural industry, such as at the Shields Date Gardens. Indio has a rich cultural scene, largely oriented towards the community’s agricultural and Hispanic heritages. Some notable events hosted by Indio include the National Date Festival, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and the Indio International Tamale Festival. Additional cultural and musical activities include the Southwest Arts Festival, the Stagecoach Festival, and the Cabazon Indian National Pow Wow. In fact, the Chamber of Commerce has declared Indio to be the “City of Festivals” for the wide variety of cultural events presented annually in the community.

Much of downtown Indio is lined with Indio Hills Palms, which are also found in greater numbers in the nearby Coachella Valley Preserve. There are two public school districts which provide educational opportunities to residents of Indio, the Desert Sands Unified School District and the Coachella Valley Unified School District. The city limits of Indio contain six elementary schools, two middle schools, and Indio High School, although there are substantially more facilities outside of Indio which educated Indio students. Indio is home to a number of parochial and private schools, and is served by the nearby College of the Desert. There are three local newspapers in the Coachella Valley, as well as sixteen television stations and twenty radio stations. Indio includes ten parks and recreational facilities, such as the South Jackson Park, the City of Indio Park and Desert Wildlife Park, the Carreon-Nobles Ranch Park, and the Indio Community Center and Park. Some notable residents of Indio over the years include baseball player Tony Reagins, football players Jeff Webb and Ed White, and golfer Anthony Kim. Indio was also home to military strategist and US Army General George Patton during the 1940s.

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