Something very special happened last Valentine’s Day. And no, I’m not talking about all the happy lovebirds who exchanged rings, vows, or promises—or just shared a delicious dinner in a Rancho Mirage restaurant followed by a romantic night at one of our city’s four deluxe resorts. I’m referring to the official dedication of the new Rancho Mirage Amphitheater at Rancho Mirage Community Park.
On the afternoon of February 14, a formal ceremony was held to christen the state-of-the-art performance venue. Present were Rancho Mirage Mayor Dana Hobart alongside all of the members of the city council, as well as city staff and leaders of the design team, including chief architect Mark Daniels.
Following the observance, which culminated in the unveiling of a permanent plaque on the grounds, the city and the amphitheater kicked off its current series of 13 weekend concerts—10 of them free—with country music star Collin Raye, who boasts 24 top ten records and 16 #1 hits.
The weather was gorgeous, the acoustics were perfect, and the large crowd was enthralled. One can only guess that in future weeks that crowd will grow and grow as word of the concert bowl spreads. Attendees are encouraged to make the most of our sunny season afternoons. Lights meals and refreshments are available on site, provided by the legendary Wally’s Desert Turtle (www.wallysdesertturtle.com). Beer is $6. Wine is $8. Cocktails are $10. There are also sodas and Arnold Palmers available for $3, and Koffi coffee or iced tea, and water, each for $2.
As far as free performances go, Foghat, The Spinners and a program of Broadway Show Stoppers have come and gone. But some of the upcoming acts include Disney on Broadway on Saturday, March 26 at 3:00 p.m.; Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on Sunday, April 3 at 6:30 pm; our very own Chad Hilligus (formerly of super popular group The Ten Tenors) on Saturday, April 9 at 6:30 p.m.; and Defying Gravity: The Music of Stephen Schwartz on Saturday, April 16, at 6:30 p.m.
The three ticketed concerts feature violinist Sarah Chang, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet alongside cellist Nina Kotova, and classical guitarist Ángel Romero, respectively. Admission ranges from $50-$65, and all concerts begin at 7:00 p.m.
For a series brochure and complete schedule, please visit http://www.ranchomirageca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Brochure-3-4-16.pdf. Free concerts are open seating, first come, first served. Tickets for paid performances may be obtained at www.palmspringslifefestival.com or by calling 760-325-2333. See you at the amphitheater!