One of the many reasons that residents of the Greater Palm Springs Oasis relish our desert home is that there are so many different, wonderful, and colorful communities that all exist in healthy harmony. Whether it’s fine art or finger food, biking or botany, margaritas or country western music, there’s always something super to do. And one of the most fun and fabulous family-friendly weekends of the year is the jam-packed Palm Springs Pride celebration, this year taking place November 2 – 4, 2012.
Tens of thousands of visitors come to the Palm Springs Valley to observe, participate, and party the weekend away at a variety of different events geared to the LGBT community, but as always, open to all. As a strong straight ally, I’ve made it a priority to be in town and support my many friends, family, and neighbors.
The festivities kick off with the Pride Honors Awards reception at the Hyatt Regency Suites at 6:00 p.m., where LGBT individuals and their allies will be celebrated for their work in furthering the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender and marriage equality causes. Iraq war veteran Eric Alva, award-winning director/producer Glenne McElhinney, Emmy Award-winning reporter Hank Plante, and local volunteers Doug Hairgrove and Woody Wood will all be feted, alongside many others. Following shortly after, at the Palm Canyon Theater, Bella da Ball presents “Broadway in Drag,” where a bevy of beautiful female impersonators will vie for the crown. Don’t miss this one, folks. Bella IS a ball and this is sure to delight, entertain, and amuse!
Sunrise Park is the place to be all day on both Saturday and Sunday, where the Pride Festival will offer a bounty of booths celebrating all things LGBT. Food and drink will be abundantly available, and a variety of musical groups and individuals—including Erasure’s Andy Bell, Kimberly Caldwell, The Limousines, and Martha Reeves—will perform on the multiple stages and dance tents. Children’s HQ will be the place to be for hands-on arts and crafts for the little ones, and the Authors’ Village will provide literary lovers a chance to meet some of their favorite writers.
But for many, Sunday’s crowd-pleasing Pride Parade on Palm Canyon Drive is the main event. This year the Palm Springs AIDS Walk will coincide with—and then actually join in—the parade, giving parade-watchers a glimpse of those who are working to help fund research for a cure and assist those in need who live with HIV/AIDS. It’s sure to be an inspiring sight.
This once-a-year weekend is one of my favorites, where celebrating life and liberty in our luscious desert is a delight to savor.