PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Besides being a resort city popular with Southern Californians and visitors from around the world, Palm Springs is home to a vibrant LGBT community that likes to step out and show its colors in the desert.
A late stop – and the final event – on the annual Southern California Pride calendar, Palm Springs Pride will be celebrated this weekend with a parade, festival, block party and a host of other events. Event organizers have worked hard in recent years adding attractions and entertainment that have brought the celebration into a new era, and hope that Pride revelers from all over will head out to Palm Springs this weekend to participate.
The two-day Palm Springs Pride Festival will turn Sunrise Park at Palm Springs Stadium into “Pride Park” for the weekend, where attendees will celebrate at the former spring training home of the California Angels and Chicago White Sox.
The baseball diamond, outfield, and surrounding areas will be filled with many of the attractions that people have come to expect at LGBT pride celebrations, including community information and vendor booths, food, drinks, dancing and entertainment.
Palm Springs Pride has greatly expanded its entertainment offerings this year, with more than 100 acts performing across several stages at the festival and block parties. At the festival, the US Bank Main Stage has been expanded, and the Desert Radio Group Events Stage and the Rainbow Stage have been added Also, many longtime pride-goers will be happy to see the return of the Big Top Cabaret Tent.
Other attractions include the Country Western Dance Tent, a new Karaoke Tent, a large high-energy dance tent, a farmers market, Author’s Village and shaded seating areas throughout the venue.
Those who wish to consume alcoholic beverages at the festival will enjoy being able to purchase their beverages with cash or credit – no more drink tickets are required – and can drink their beverages throughout the festival grounds.
While many are disappointed that scheduled headliner duo Karmin had to cancel due to an illness, a number of other big name acts are scheduled to perform, including The Crystal Method, Luciana, Andy Bell of Erasure fame, Martha Reeves, Kimberly Caldwell, Pepper MaShay and Justin Utley – presented by San Diego Gay & Lesbian News.
The full entertainment schedule is HERE.
Festival hours are 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday, Nov. 3, and Sunday, Nov. 4. Tickets are $15 per day or $25 for a weekend pass, with discounts available for seniors, youths and students. To purchase tickets online, click HERE.
The festival grounds are located at 1901 E. Baristo Road.
Arenas Block Party
Last year, Palm Springs Pride organizers added a new feature to the weekend festivities – The Arenas Road Block Party. The event was an even bigger success than organizers had hoped, so they are bringing back the street party, to the heart of Palm Springs’ gayest street.
The free block party will take place on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 6-11 pm and feature a lineup of DJs and performers all evening long, with DJ Justin Ryan headlining.
The block party takes place right outside many of Palm Springs most popular gay bars, such as Hunters, so the event is expected to be quite the celebration. According to press materials from Palm Springs Pride, “favorite gay bars and local businesses will be packed to the rafters and spilling out onto the streets for the biggest free LGBT street party in Palm Springs. Thousands of dancing party goers and a few dishy drag queens are expected.”
While the block party is free, donation buckets will be available for those who wish to support Palm Springs Pride’s charitable efforts.
The event is open to those 21 and older. The entrance to the block party will be on Arenas Road at Indian Canyon Drive.
More information is HERE.
The Pride Parade and AIDS Walk join forces
The Palm Springs Pride Parade is often called “the most scenic Pride Parade in the world,” as the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains hover in the backdrop.
Kicking off at 10 am on Sunday, Nov. 4, thousands of people will line Palm Canyon Drive in Downtown Palm Springs to watch the contingents pass by. The theme of this year’s parade is “Long May It Wave!”
This year’s parade will be unique because it will be incorporated with the 25th anniversary of Palm Springs AIDS Walk, the first time a pride parade and AIDS Walk event have been held together.
The AIDS Walk, which begins at 9 am, will join into the parade at 10 am.
For more information about AIDS Walk Palm Springs, click HERE.
For more information about the Pride Parade click HERE.
A number of other events will be held throughout the weekend, including:
If you go
Palm Springs is about a two-hour drive from San Diego in normal conditions. A number of hotels have partnered with Palm Springs Pride to provide preferred rates, including the ACE Hotel & Swim Club, The Riviera and Hyatt Regency.
More information about hotels and travel is available HERE.
Palm Springs Pride’s website is HERE.