The Desert Festival in Stardew Valley
Screenshot by Destructoid

Stardew Valley: Complete Desert Festival guide, all questions and answers

So many activities to fit into only three days

The big new festival added to Stardew Valley with the long-awaited 1.6 update is called the Desert Festival. You’ll have access to it after you’ve mended the Bus and have access to the Calico Desert. The festival has a lot to enjoy, so let’s take a look.

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The Desert Festival allows you to play minigames, delve into Skull Caverns, and hang out with Villagers outside of their usual routine. Some very special and unique items are up for grabs using the event currency, Calico Eggs, and there are a lot of fun things to experience and discover. 

When and where is the Desert Festival?

The calendar showing the dates of the Desert Festival in Stardew Valley
Image by Destructoid

The Desert Festival is an annual event which takes place on the 15th. 16th and 17th days of Spring in the Calico Desert. You can’t get to the Desert Festival before you’ve completed the Vault Bundle. Thankfully, this Bundle doesn’t involve handing in items, but instead simply takes money to complete. You’ll need to pay a total of 43,500 Gold in order to complete the Bundle.

Alternatively, if you’re taking the Joja route, you can purchase the Joja Community Development Form for 40,000 Gold. However, if you do take this route, I question your morality. Unless you’re doing it for the achievement, then I’ll let you off.  

Either way, once you’ve fixed the Bus, Pam will become the driver, and she will take you to the Calico Desert for 500 Gold. 

What to do at the Desert Festival

Earning Calico Eggs

Inside the mines during Desert Festival in Stardew Valley
Screenshot by Destructoid

Instead of Gold, everything during the Desert Festival costs Calico Eggs. These eggs are obtained through taking part in minigames, completing daily quests within Skull Caverns or even by answering a pop quiz with questions all about Stardew Valley itself. 

There’s even a trash can next to the Calico Merchant’s store, which will reward a random number of Calico Eggs once per day if you rummage through it; just try not to be seen by any of the attending Villagers, except maybe Linus.

The Races

Between the hours of 10am and 11pm on all three days of the Festival, you can place bets on a race which features racers such as the King Sting, Speed Rooster and Escar-go. If you pick the winner, you’ll receive 20 Calico Eggs. 

You can also cheat this race by giving one Calico Egg to the Suspicious Man, who will attempt to fix the race in your favor.

Skull Cavern

Gil and Marlon are attending the Desert Festival and offering one-day quests which reward Calico Eggs if completed. In the Cavern, you can earn Calico Eggs for killing Monsters, by breaking open Calico Egg mining nodes and by completing the task set in the daily quest. 

You don’t need to regularly have access to Skull Cavern in order to access it during the Desert Festival, and every five floors, you’ll be granted an ‘Egg Level’, as well as each time you activate a Calico Statue, which can appear randomly on any floor. 

If you’re knocked out while adventuring in Skull Cavern, you’ll wake up in Harvey’s Medical Station next door. While you won’t lose any energy, items or Gold when this happens, you will lose two Calico Eggs and be revived with only 10 health.

The Scholar

The Scholar is an NPC who offers a quiz minigame once per Festival. There are four questions in this quiz, and it will test your general knowledge of Stardew Valley. If you answer all four questions correctly, you’ll receive 20 Calico Eggs.

There’s a range of questions that you could be asked and each is chosen at random each time you talk to the Scholar.

Here’s the full list of questions and answers:

#Possible questionsAnswers
1Who runs the Blacksmith in Pelican Town?
Who runs the Museum in Pelican Town?
Who runs the Saloon in Pelican Town?
Who runs the Fish Shop in Pelican Town?
Who runs the Animal Shop in Pelican Town?
Who Runs the General Store in Pelican Town?
What is the date of the season’s end?
Where are we?
Calico Desert
2What season does Garlic grow in?
What season does Red Cabbage grow in?
What season does Artichoke grow in?
When does the Apricot Tree bear fruit?
When does the Peach Tree bear fruit?
When does the Pomegranate Tree bear fruit?
When is Pierre’s Shop normally closed?
3In what season can you catch Carp?
In what season can you catch Pufferfish?
In what season can you catch Salmon?
In what season can you catch Squid?
How many steps have you taken?
How much does a Chicken cost?
How much does a Cow cost?
How much does a Pig cost?
How much does a Rabbit cost?
How much does a Duck cost?
Any season

800 Gold
1,500 Gold
16,000 Gold
8,000 Gold
1,200 Gold
4Where might you catch the Stonefish?
Where might you catch the Ice Pip?
Where might you catch the Lava Eel?
What is George’s last name?
How many garbage cans are there in Pelican Town?
Mine level 20
Mine level 60
Mine level 100


Of course, no Festival would be complete without a Fishing minigame to try your luck at, even if it is in the Desert. Willy is in attendance with daily quests that, if completed, reward you with Calico Eggs.


Villager stores during the Desert Festival in Stardew Valley
Screenshot by Destructoid

There are numerous different vendors and merchants present during the Desert Festival, including Villagers who have their own stores set up across the three day period of the Festival. 

One of the most exciting things that you can purchase during this event is the Bachelor and Bachelorettes weapons. These were items that were introduced during the 1.1 update back in 2016, but until now have been unobtainable by players. 

Important note: Remember to spend your Calico Eggs before the end of the Festival, as they do not get carried over to the next year and will disappear from your inventory once the Festival is over. 

Free Cactus

Once per Festival, you can get your hands on a random free Cactus by visiting the Cactus Salesman at the bottom of the map. You don’t get to choose which Cactus you receive and each Cactus has a different colour, face, and design. 

Calico Merchant

The Calico Merchant sells various items in exchange for Calico Eggs across all three days. The items on offer vary day to day.

ItemPrice (in Calico Eggs)
10 Mystery Boxes20 
Mummy Mask120 
Blue Bow50 
Dark Velvet Bow75 
Mega Bomb15 
3 Mixed Seeds
Magic Rock Candy250 
Lucky Lunch10 
5 Eggplant Parmesan10 
Sun Dunes (Painting)30 
Desert Table25 
Desert End Table20 
Desert Chair20 
Calico Statue25 
Desert Fireplace20 
Desert Flags10 
Sandy Rug20 
Desert Rug25 
Woodcutter’s Weekly 100 

Villager Stores

Each Villager can have their own store where you can purchase items in exchange for Calico Eggs. Each year, only six Villagers will have stalls, and only two will be in attendance on one day of the Festival. That said, it might take you a few years to get all of the items that you’re after.

Most of these items are things that can be gained in other ways, but most of the focus here is on those weapons belonging to the Bachelors and Bachelorettes (except, for some reason, Emily and Shane), each of which costs 70 Calico Eggs. 

These weapons were introduced at a time when ConcernedApe had the intention of allowing your chosen spouse to accompany you into the Mines, but that never happened and so these weapons have never seen the light of day. Until now, that is. 

Here are all of the weapons you can purchase, provided the related villager has set up shop during the Festival:

  • Abby’s Planchette
  • Alex’s Bat
  • Elliott’s Pencil
  • Haley’s Iron
  • Harvey’s Mallet
  • Leah’s Whittler
  • Maru’s Wrench
  • Penny’s Fryer
  • Sam’s Old Guitar
  • Seb’s Lost Mace

Other attractions

Interesting quote when visiting Emily's Outfit Services at the Desert Festival in Stardew Valley
Screenshot by Destructoid

Emily’s Outfit Services

Each day, you can visit Emily in her tent in order to get your hands on a whole new outfit (including Hat, body piece and legs piece). Your original outfit will be placed into your inventory.


You can visit Chef as many times as you like in order to create dishes by selecting options he gives you. 

These dishes then provide buffs, depending on the options chosen. You can combine any choice one option with any choice two option, resulting in a final dish that combines the buffs from each choice. Every eventual dish will completely restore both Energy and Health. 

Choice 1Choice 2
Hearty Beans (+3 Defense)Rich Marinara (+1 Defense)
Cave Loaf (+3 Mining)Mushroom Creme (+1 Mining)
Rare Fruit (+3 Luck)Cherry Syrup (+1 Luck)
Extremely Sharp Cheddar (+3 Attack)Pungent Garlic (+1 Attack)
Shrimp (+3 Fishing)Uncomfortable Hot Sauce (+1 Speed)

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Paula Vaynshteyn
Paula has been gaming since she can remember and is now juggling family life with virtual adventuring. She is a long-time FFXIV nut with a passion for helping others in the game. If she's not writing or traversing the realms of Eorzea, she's either asleep or traveling between the UK and the US to see her fiancé, whom she met in Zadnor.