As the temperatures begin to dip and snowbirds start their annual southern migration, the social and cultural season perks up in the Palm Springs Valley. And one of the first major events in my fair city of Rancho Mirage is the Annual Art Affaire, the juried show that brings more than 100 award-winning local, national, and international artists together to display and sell their wares in a family-friendly atmosphere that also includes musical entertainment, food, wine, and community exhibits—not to mention a VERY special musical treat. (More on that in a moment.)

This year’s Affaire—open to the public free of charge—will be held on Saturday and Sunday, November 5 – 6, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., rain or shine, at our beautiful Rancho Mirage Community Park, located just off Highway 111 behind the famous Rancho Super Car Wash’s pink elephant sign. Guests can meander through aisles bursting with sculptures, paintings, drawings, jewelry, glass, ceramics, and apparel. The special children’s area will once again welcome The Rad Hatter, who will be on hand to help crafty creative artists of all ages make headwear from recycled materials.

Soft drinks and adult beverages will be available for purchase, in addition to food from some of our finest Rancho Mirage restaurants. You’ll find free parking along San Jacinto Drive, with handicapped parking provided on park

Now, about that special musical surprise… To celebrate the 16th year of Art Affaire, the City of Rancho Mirage and its Parks and Trails Commission will host a FREE evening concert at The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa on Saturday, November 5, at 8:00 p.m. There you’ll be treated to the smooth jazz sounds of Urban Jazz Coalition, a group that has performed at R&B/Jazz/Fusion festivals and venues across the country, and that is celebrating its 20th anniversary as a musical ensemble. And yes, again, it’s open to the public, and there is no charge! The way I see it, this concert—and the 16th Annual Art Affaire—sound like a great way to kick off “season.” I hope you’ll join me!

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