I just LOVE festivals, and this is the time of year when they really do start kicking in. There are two in a row right here in my own Rancho Mirage backyard in the heart of the Palm Springs Valley. And I wouldn’t miss either of these very family friendly experiences for the world.
Join me on Saturday, November 3rd for a taste of “Italy in the Desert” at the 2012 Desert Arc Italian Festival taking place at Whitewater Park. This full day of fun celebrates the wonderful heritage and culture of Italy with all kinds of activities that will satisfy kids and grown-ups alike. Fabulous foods of the country will be offered, along with an adults-only “wine appreciation” venue. Music and entertainment (including the ever-talented Tèo, the roving accordionist), raffles and contests, and a Family Fun Zone will all keep festival-goers entertained! Tickets are only $5, and revelers under 10 are admitted for free.
//www.desertarc.org/italian-festival.shtml or call (760) 346-1611.
The following weekend (November 10th and 11th, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., rain or shine) you’ll find one of the most popular events in town, the two-day 2012 Rancho Mirage Art Affaire. This great event is sponsored by the City of Rancho Mirage and is free, also taking place at Whitewater Park.
I often go with my friend Frankie and her family, as this is a great opportunity to meander through the myriad works of extremely talented painters, sculptors, ceramicists, glass blowers, and just about every other kind of artist you can imagine. Plus, we get to expose the little ones to the wonderful and sometimes wacky world of art. You’ll also find a super selection of fine food and wine, beer, and soft drinks, as well as booths set up with kids’ activities. But one of the highlights of this very well-organized—and well-attended—weekend is the high quality of the music that is presented in a huge open-sided tent. This year’s offerings include the contemporary jazz and pop sounds of Four80East, original keyboard compositions by Brian Simpson, the soul and rhythm styling of Solid Ray Woods, and the amazing high energy Blues Brothers Tribute Band, Bluz Soul Project.
In addition, the local Sheriff and Fire Departments will be on hand with their equipment for photo ops, as well as to give information on emergency preparedness. The local historical preservation group will also offer info on significant buildings in the area, including Rancho Mirage’s oldest home, Ranchito Chiquito, which was relocated to a plot adjacent to the park grounds.
//www.ranchomirageca.gov/residents/things_to_do/art_affaire.php or call 760.324.4511.
These two are just the beginning of a very busy desert autumn/winter/spring in the communities of the Greater Palm Springs Oasis. With so much to do, stay tuned for Potter’s and my picks of the season. Stick with us, kids… we won’t steer you wrong!