“Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.” – Russell Baker

July, the hottest month of the year. That means Palm Springs is hot, hot, hot. But it’s a dry heat, in a cool, cool place, with sparkling pools, a million stars in the sky, and those mountain views. If that’s not enough to grab you, we have delicious local restaurants, and nightlife coming out of our pores. And as always, we’re Just Fabulous (shameless plug, terrific local store).

Quick Note About August: Splash House is completely booked for passes and hotel packages, but you can still get After Hours, Tables and Cabanas. Here’s the evening line-up for the PS Air Museum concerts, pretty sure there’s a link to tickets. As for hotels, you can stay steps away from the fray in one of our famously fabulous boutique hotels while supporting local businesses. It’s seriously the best of two worlds. Our hotels are gorgeous.

Okay, let’s heat it up.:

Events:

Fourth of July Events:

11:00am Water Palooza, Victoria Park. Music, water games, free hot dogs and snow cones.

3:00 pm Independence Fest and Movie, Sunrise Park,

3:00 pm Family Pool Party: 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. Palm Springs Swim Center features water games, music and great food.

4:00pm Fourth of July Concert and Laser Show at Ruth Hardy Park (Free)

7:30pm The O’Donnell House at the Willows (so fancy! And for a good cause)

Theater (real live people on stage theater!):

Desert Rose Playhouse:

LGBTQ affirmative, this theater company produces delightfully side-splitting romps. Now located where Zelda’s used to be (next door to Bouschet and Spaghetteria), Desert Rose is a sweet hybrid of stage acts, theater, with a ‘lounge-like” atmosphere. Cocktails are served before and during the shows.

  • Wednesday-Sunday through July 4: Miss Firecracker Contest
  • Friday/Saturday July 9 & 10: A Night On Broadway
  • Saturday: July 17: An Evening of Comedy with Jason Stuart, With Shann Carr and Selene Luna
  • Wednesday-Sunday July 22-August 8: The Great American Trailer Park Musical

Dinner Theater:

PS Underground:

  • July 9: Enigma: A multiple course meal and hosted bar. An over-the-top inexplicable, immersive dinner experience.
  • July 11: Bacon: The bacon bloody marys and bubbly will be free-flowing at this fantastic ode to the best ingredient known to man.
  • July 17: 54 Underground: A recreation of the Studio 54 vibe with a contemporary twist.
  • July 18: Gospel: A multiple course Sunday brunch with toe-tapping, hand clapping gospel music from the band onstage.
  • July 22: Hip To Be Square: Guilty pleasure songs (Neil Sedaka, Johnny Mathis, Captain and Tennille) with great storytelling by Francesca Amari and a 3 course meal by Chef Horgen.
  • July 23 & 24: Lost Cherry: A dark, smoky, sultry cabaret.
  • July 25: Ovation: A jazzed up Sunday brunch.
  • July 25: Bodacious Bingo: This ain’t your gramma’s bingo night at the local VFW. Mack Diamond and his mama, Jetta Burell host this hilarious bingo adventure.
  • July 30: A Night At The Chi Chi: An evening in celebration of the stars who graced the CHI CHI room stage.

Shows: 

Oscars Cabaret:

  • July 2: Crimson Crow: featuring songs from the 60’s up to today, with special emphasis on the 80’s and 90’s.
  • July 3: Patrice and the Women of Soul: Songs of Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Tina Turner, and Patti LaBelle for starters.

On-Going:

To keep this short-ish, here are links to my previous blogs from May and June because a lot of it is ongoing. Also, check out all our blog posts. There’s some really great information to be had in there.

VillageFest Courtesy of Sun Line Transit.sunline.org

 

VillageFest is reopening July 1st 2021. 7pm -10pm every Thursday on Palm Canyon Drive between Amado Road and Tahquitz Canyon. It’s a great stroll stroll down our main street while you check out the crafts, and the food, like The HeyDay, their smash burgers, cubanos, and (sometimes lobster) rolls. In fact, try all the street food. It’s really good. Shops and restaurants remain open, and music buskers are on every corner. And all the bars are open for copious drinking. Not encouraging bad behavior, I’m just letting you know your options.

Fridays: DOA Sessions: live jazz featuring rotating jazz musicians from 8p-11p at Dead or Alive. The bar gets a little lost in the shadow of El Mirasol Cocina, but it’s a gem. No martinis here, wines and craft beers only. When you step inside, it’s so unexpected. Very cozy, and kinda sexy. On your first visit, go after dark for the full effect. If the moon outside of the bar is on, they’re open. Not the real moon, that would be weird.

Girl, put your records on, the Retro Room and Karaoke are back! Open daily except Tuesdays. Host KJ Norm weekdays, and KJ Dion on Sundays.

Lipstick is back at The Copa photo courtesy of Brian Wanzek

Lipstick returns July 15! Thursdays at Copa Nightclub catch Bella Da Ball and a cast of fabulous queens featuring the best local singers. I hear Copa is bringing back other favorites, so keep an eye out for them.

Oscar’s: Saturdays: Mimosa Men Brunch Sundays: Bitchiest Brunch Sundays: T-Dance update! First Sunday of every month will be hosted by Chi Chi LaRue.

Sundays: V Wine Lounge presents Dragtastic Bubbly Brunch.

Sundays: Melyvn’s Pro Jam is back! Located in The Ingleside Inn

Toucan’s Tiki Lounge – bringing us the drag glam for two decades! For shows, see below, for tickets, go here.

  • Mondays: All Latin Drag Review “Latin Fever Monday” hosted by Jesus Coria.
  • Thursdays: RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season Six followed by PLAYHOUSE which has a special guest host every week.
  • Fridays: PLAYHOUSE hosted by Gorgeous Chameleon Jazmyn “The People’s Queen” Simone, with “an all-star cast of the fiercest, most sickening Queens on the planet.”
  • Saturdays: PLAYHOUSE with host Kickxy Vixen. “It’s an orgy of Drop. Dead. Gorgeous. Dragsanity!”
  • Sundays: Tommi Rose & The Playgirls. Tommi is legendary and the Queen and resident Drag Mother. The desert’s longest-running drag review.

Tips

  • The Summer Eats Pass is free. Each time you use the pass to check into a website or a participating eatery, you’ll be eligible for a weekly drawing to win a $50 gift card to a Greater Palm Springs restaurant. You’re welcome.
  • PRIDE IN NOVEMBER: Book your rooms NOW. Palm Springs throws a helluva party, and Pride is a blow out. I don’t want you to miss it.
  • Wear sunscreen, hydrate, walk or rideshare if you’ve been drinking. You know, stuff that can ruin a vacation. Plus, our doctors and nurses are tired, y’all.

As always, please shop and stay at locally-owned businesses. And if you go to any of our hotels or enjoy our recommendations, please be sure to tag us with your photos on IG, or @palmspringspreferredsmallhotel (yeah, it’s a lot to type, but we appreciate it!)  #PSPSH

If you love the creative style of independent filmmakers, then staying at a small independently-owned hotel will fit right in with your ethos.  Every hotel is beautifully curated for an extraordinary experience. And if you’re heading to the 30th Palm Springs International Film Festival in January, at least two of our member small hotels are offering festival rates including Alcazar Palm Springs and Los Arboles Hotel.

Alcazar Palm Springs offers a great location that is close to both downtown and the arts district. Two fabulous restaurants, Cheeky’s and Birba are right on site.  Alcazar’s contemporary style has a distinctly hip European vibe.  It boasts imported Italian linens, flat screen TV’s, fireplaces, poolside and private patios, salt water purified pool, cooling misters, Jacuzzi and a beautiful garden courtyard in which to lounge. Festival Rate Code: PSFF

The Courtyard at Alcazar Palm Springs
The Courtyard at Alcazar Palm Springs

Charming and historic, href=”https://www.palmspringspreferredsmallhotels.com/stay/los-arboles-hotel”>Los Arboles Hotel is home to the iconic, El Mirasol Mexican Restaurant and bar.  Family owned and operated, it features 21 well-appointed rooms, a heated pool, Jacuzzi, room service and is located walking distance from shopping, dining, and nightlife.  This is one of those places where delighted guests return year after year. Festival Rate Code: PSFF19 for 10% off.

The patio at Los Arboles Restaurant and Bar, Palm Springs

The patio at Los Arboles Restaurant and Bar, Palm Springs

Kay Kudukis Paints Palm Springs Red

Glorious September in Palm Springs, often offering the perfect balance between sun worshipers and those preferring a more sun-kissed look. With the lower temps and evenings cooling down substantially, the nights are delightfully dreamy. Leisurely strolls down Palm Canyon are back in style, and dining al fresco is de rigueur.

VillageFest courtesy of VillageFest

With the evenings cooling off, the VillageFest is definitely heating up! Our Thursday night street fair/party partially closes Palm Canyon Drive to traffic. Vendors are usually scattered from Amado to Baristo. Palm Canyon Drive is filled with buskers; pop-up restaurants and stores; and artisans of every ilk. Palm Springs is home to a ton of incredibly talented artists and crafters. Downtown businesses remain open, so it’s scads of fun. Even though it’s outdoors, it’s a large event and masks are required. More about that at the end.

And now, onto some most excellent adventures. Some big, some small– you can have it all in Palm Springs:

Dinah Weekend

This is for all the Sappho Sisters who have been waiting for their turn to throw a party. And this is a great one. I will talk more about it in my article All Gay, All Day. It has been my observation that lesbians are underserved in Palm Springs. Although everywhere is all-inclusive, gay bars mean mostly for men. I’ll tell you more about it in the next blog. But

If you’d like to skip my next article, you can go straight (“Never!” said every lesbian) to their website here.

Desert Rose Theater Upcoming Shows and Venue

Theater

Desert Rose Playhouse is just off its massively successful run of The Great American Trailer Park Musical (TGATPM). I saw it, and I laughed uncontrollably throughout the whole show. Those who hadn’t stopped at a dispensary prior laughed just as hard. The Rocky Horror Show will be up on stage until September 12th. Trust me when I say that this LGBTQ+ friendly theater company is full of surprises (the leads of TGATPM were in drag) so I’m looking forward to meeting their Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

Latin Nights at The Cascade Lounge courtesy of Cascade Lounge

Entertainment

Jazzville is back at The Cascade Lounge. If you wear the name jazzbo proudly (as you should) this is where you want to be on Thursdays. Book in advance. Their shows sell out pretty quickly and start at 7:00 PM.

Sunday nights get steamy at Cascade with Nacho Bustillos and Quinto Menguante’s Latin Nights. Their music ranges from salsa, cumbia, banda, bachata, reggaeton to pop. Dancing shoes are highly encouraged.

Melvyn’s Sunday Jams at the famous Ingleside Inn begin at 3pm on Sundays and go until the musicians get tired, aka dinner time. Led by Mikael Healey, it’s a lineup of the best of the best players in PS and beyond. It’s a $30 cover, it’s in Melyvn’s Casablanca Lounge, and – oh no! It’s only running through 9/26! Once again, calling all jazzbos. Also, it’s a pretty fun experience. You get to do a little bit of dress up, and drink martinis just like in the Rat Pack days.

Oscars has some special shows coming up, including evenings with Linsday Wagner and Sandra Bernardt – not together, that would be a bit “too too” even for Palm Springs. Heads would explode from nostalgia overload if the Bionic Woman and Madonna’s ex-bestie shared a stage.

Me and some of my favorite Queens

Drag Shows

Toucans – OM Stars, far too many shows to list. Check the website, prepare to stay out late, and prepare to dance your “katushies” off.

Roly China Fusion Sadly, the Drag Brunch ends on 9/5 (as of this typing). HOWEVER they have a great party planned for Pride, so give it a look-see. More in my next blog.

Bitchies Brunch at Oscars – Like you need me to tell you anything at all about this event.

PS Air Saturday Night Flight – Naughty stewardess, drinks, while you “fly” the friendly skies. Special experience.

The Judy Show starring Michael Holmes at The Purple Room

Dinner Shows

Guys– The Purple Room is back! That means The Judy Show is back! I may have just peed a little. Upcoming guests are Jane Monheit, and Lee Squared: Liberace and Ms. Peggy Lee Coming Out (of covid). Keep checking the website for updated acts, and if you’ve never been, go to The Judy Show. If you’re like me and gained the COVID ten-ish, you’ll laugh a few pounds off.

There are some returning shows and some new forms of musical and culinary insanity from the wildly creative minds of Michael Fietsam and David Horgen of PS Underground. They, too, keep adding shows, and sell-out fast, so you’ve gotta be fast on the click.

Fun and Games

Monday nights Wilma and Frieda’s turns into Ethyl’s Place and Atomic Bingo! Doors open 5:30pm, Bingo! Starts at 6:30pm.

420 Bank and Dispensary Lounge has some events coming up, so check out their events. They also have a sort of “Palm Springs’ Got Talent” show with a recording contract at Melrose Recording Studio here in PS. Hosted by Derek Jordan Gregg, you can email [email protected] for more info and to sign up. Every Thursday, 5:30pm-8:00pm.

Summer Sing Along is still happening at the PS Cultural Center.

Don’t forget about The PS Tramway. Super fun ride to the top of the mountain with plenty of trails to hike. Speaking of hiking, don’t forget to check out our great preserves at Indian Canyons. Tons of trails and they’re all absolutely GORGEOUS. Take water, and wear hiking shoes and socks. We got rattlers.

Scavenger hunts. I know. You were not expecting that. But what fun! It’s a bit more of a group activity, so if you don’t work and play well with others, earbuds by the pool! There are two here in Palm Springs, Viator and Let’s Roam. They are a fun addition to a walking tour, so you get to stroll through history and Palm Springs landmarks while playing a game.

In October, there’s one to support our fantastic, no-kill, Palm Springs Animal Shelter. Here’s the info on the Scavenger Hunt. If you can’t play, a small donation goes a long way. I was going to put a team together, but I only have one friend–and they’re mad at me.

Comedy

Oscars is bringing Last Laugh Comedy to the last Wednesday of every month. Comedian and host Max Mitchell is bringing his funniest friends to entertain us. I’m a comedy ho, so – see ya there.

Upping their Friday game, Cascade Lounge has Cascade Comedy. Presented by Comedy Madness, each show is 90 minutes and features a roster of comedians with past appearances on Tonight Show, Conan, Netflix, America’s Got Talent, Comedy Central, Showtime and more.

One-Off Event

Dîner en Blanc – COMING IN OCTOBER

You really need to do some planning for this one. Everything except your skin color needs to be white. Your outfit, your table and chairs (which you bring) – and your picnic basket (which you also bring…with food in it). You will not know where you will be dining until you get there, but you will be eating your own food – so no allergy issues there. You can learn all about it on their website (which I believe might also be white) where you can also sign up,

Now that our lights are back on, we’re doing our best to keep them that way. The City of Palm Springs requires that all of the clubs require proof of vaccination, so you can either whip out your card, or show them your QR code from the State of California. And, at the time of this writing, masks are required indoors, so when you put on your shoes and your shirt, stick a mask in your pocket. And then–you know what? I’m not your mom, and you’re a responsible adult, right? You know what to do.

Viva Palm Springs!

?We’re having a heatwave. A tropical heatwave. The temperature’s rising, it isn’t surprising, we’re having a heatwave.?— Irving Berlin

Factoring in heat and humidity, Palm Springs is like…everywhere else in the world right now: hot and muggy. But we’re still Palm Springs — relaxed and groovy, a respite from traffic congestion, smog, and overworked, underpaid, crabby people. The sky remains blue, the stars continue to show off in the night sky, and as long as there is A/C (and there is) and a pool (so many pools), it remains paradise.

Splash House. Photo by Jose Negrete, courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Many of the small boutique hotels are having specials, which is great because this month, for two weekends, Palm Springs hosts Splash House (August 12-14 and August 19-21), the DJ equivalent of the Coachella Music Festival minus the dust, grime, and the conundrum of how to get to the venue without sitting in traffic for hours and hours. And then there’s the parking. Oy!

As the name Splash House indicates, the parties are held mostly in and around the pool, but at night, after parties are held at Palm Springs Air Museum — a very cool venue. You should check it out during the daytime, too. There’s lots of flying memorabilia, including old planes, and you can actually book a joy ride on a warbird.

You’ll still want to ride share to these events in case you’d like to partake in alcohol or cannabis, because safety first. Plus, no parking hassles. (Check out this article for info on Palm Springs’ cannabis stores.)

Splash House is held at three large resorts, but you don’t have to stay in them. In fact, I would suggest that you enjoy the best of two worlds — a boutique hotel for quiet times and tranquil moments, and a big-ass party at the large resorts during the day.

So, check out the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotel specials here, and find your bliss for a little less wear-and-tear on the bank account. Because the boutique hotels have fewer rooms than the big boys, you’re not just a random face or room number. Many people develop lifelong friendships with hoteliers and other guests, and they meet up  year after year.

The tram on its way to cooler temperatures. Photo courtesy of Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

If you’re skipping the big pool parties, and opting just for the night events, there’s still plenty to do (keep reading). Everything is inside (please don’t hike) with the exception of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which is both inside and outside. And it is 30 to 40 degrees cooler at the top. Definitely worth the price of the ticket.

Splash House also isn’t the only music you’ll find this month. There’s Turn My Music Up Fest August 5, 6, and 7. Again, I’d encourage you to look at your options for small boutique hotels, not only because they each have their own personality, but because most are locally owned and operated, so you’re contributing to the welfare of the city itself.

Here’s all the rest of the action:

Thursdays: Street Fair and free admission to Palm Springs Art Museum, 5 to 7 p.m. The Art Museum has a bunch of programs, too, including a free Sunday on August 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. Check the link above for movies and more events.

Marilyn at the Downtown Park. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

August 17: Movies in the Park — Across from the Art Museum and next to Marilyn. This month they’re showing Some Like It Hot. It’s free and starts just after sundown (around 8 p.m.).

PS Underground — Expect the unexpected at this terrific dinner “theater.” Food and entertainment are exceptional and both are wildly creative. Dates and prices on the website. Some upcoming offerings include:

Gospel — Sunday brunch

Liquid Grooves — whatever that sounds like to you. Just know it will be scads of fun.

Ovation — Sunday brunch

Sound of Music singalong

PS Cultural Center

August 9 and 23: CV Philharmonic Society Chamber Series 

August 25: Bad Movie Bashing — In honor of National Bee Month: The Bees (1978). Described as “a giant creature feature of minuscule proportions that sees the late, great John Saxon fighting against a deadly swarm of killer bees that have invaded the United States, all in the name of honey and vengeance!”

August 5: MasterPiece Mash Up by artist and filmmaker Tyson Knight, featuring an exhibition of his art and his documentary about the homeless. Knight is a fascinating artist who has done many murals here in Palm Springs, and is an all-around cool dude.

Weekly live music: Sundays — Keisha D; Mondays — Mon Petit Salon (look into it); Tuesdays: Leanna + Jazz Collective; Saturdays: Farmers’ Market.

The Cultural Center is also home to Camelot Theaters, which plays new releases, indie films, and LGTQ+ films. In August, their series Palm Springs Unwinds focuses on Wes Anderson:

August 6: Rushmore

August 13: The Royal Tenenbaums

August 20: Moonrise Kingdom

August 27: The Grand Budapest Hotel

DJ Mod Girl — One of the best local DJs around. She’s so much fun, and ramps up the party by her presence alone — this girl gets down, people. You’ll be up and dancing in a nano.

The Alibi is back!  They’re adding dates and seeking out cool indie bands for their calendar, so keep checking. So far:

August 4: Thursday Throwdown — no info available at this time, check link above.

August 7: Rostam with Sam Buck — Rostam is a founding member of Vampire Weekend. This concert will run from 8 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. Swear to Cher that’s what it says on the website.

August 15: The Soul Rebels

August 18: Syence (pronounced Science)

New place alert! Pretty Faces Nightclub at Hotel Zoso. Open Thursday through (and including) Saturday, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Heist Escape Room. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Palm Springs Escape Room — If you haven’t been to an escape room, this is a great time to try it. I went here for my birthday a few years ago and it was SO. MUCH. FUN. If you’re a fan of puzzles, or get your adrenalines from beating the clock, this is for you. BTW, it’s privately owned, not part of any other escape room, so it’s another way to support local businesses.

420 Bank and Lounge has old-timey games like Operation (which is a riot when you’re stoned) as well as a life-size chess set, pinball, and billiards. You can also purchase cannabis and consume it in the lounge. There are some very fun and Instagram-worthy shots to be had here. You’ll need to check their calendar, as they often have bands and comedians onstage. These lounges are popping up all over the valley, and are the cannabis equivalent to a bar.

Oscar’s. Courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Oscar’s

August 4: Eve Holmes puts on a great show featuring standards, jazz, Latin, dance, country, and Broadway.

August 5: Gennine Francis performing R&B, pop, soul, jazz, standards, and more.

August 11 and 25: Hotwyre provides danceable rock.

August 24 and 31: Mark and Tony Show — no cover, live taping of the TV show every Wednesday.

Saturdays: Bitchiest Brunch, Mimosa Men, and Oscar’s Cabaret

Cascade Lounge (inside Agua Caliente Casino in downtown Palm Springs)

Mondays: Mimosas, Martinis & Music with Don Wardell

Wednesdays: Desert Blues Revival

Fridays: Caliente Comedy

Thursdays: Jazzville

Sundays: Latin Nights

On Arenas Road:

Hunter’s is open daily, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

August 4: National IPA Day

August 16: National Rum Day

August 18: National Pinot Noir Day

August 28: National Red Wine Day

Where’s the love for an old vine Zinfandel?

Streetbar — the oldest gay bar in Palm Springs (that’s years open, not the required age of patrons). There’s karaoke, a smoking patio, extended Happy Hour, daily top shelf specials. Streetbar is a desert tradition since 1991.

Chill Bar

August 6: Dirty Disco Takeover with Matt Consola

August 6: Varsity – Boy’s Night Out

Small businesses suffered during the pandemic, and I’m sorry to report Dead or Alive, one of my favorite little beer and wine spots, as well as Desert Rose Playhouse, one of my favorite theaters, have closed. Dead or Alive is permanently deceased, but we’re holding out hope someone will resurrect Desert Rose. It was the only LGBTQ+ theater in the Coachella Valley.

So please stay and shop local, hydrate more than you think is necessary and then drink some more, wear sunscreen, and don’t be surprised if someone says hello to you on the street. That would be a local. We’re friendly like that.

I’ll be back in September — hope you will, too!

By Linda Milks

Palm Springs is home to one of the largest Pride parades in the country where the entire community—queer and straight—celebrates diversity, authenticity, and civil liberties. It’s also just a great time!

For 39 years, Palm Springs, CA, has celebrated Palm Springs Pride with uncommon style and swagger. Each year promises to be bigger and better. Palm Springs Pride 2019 will take place from November 1-3 and is themed “Millions of Moments of Pride.”

Photo: John Warden

And this year, Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels’ committee chair, Michael Green, is the Community Grand Marshal. He’s also the executive Director of the Palm Springs Cultural Center, chair of the Desert Gay Tourism Guild, and owns the iconic Triangle Inn Palm Springs with his husband, Stephen.

Media Grand Marshal is Alexander Rodriquez.

November 3 will be a great time at the Block Party on Arenas Rd. The event is loaded with DJs, music stages, food vendors, entertainers, and a glorious parade. New for this year is the Pride Stage located at Hermosa and N. Palm Canyon Dr. You will find local royalty to emcee the parade from the reviewing stand, including Dottie DuBois, Maude Chapeau, and Mannie, the Movie Guy. All the action in this area starts at 9 am.

To start things off in brilliant colors, on October 31 attend the Rainbow Flag Unfurling from 10 am – 10:30 am at 1140 N. Indian Canyon Rd. This giant flag will be unfurled from the top of the Stergios Tower at Desert Regional Medical Center.

The Equality Kickoff is November 1 from 6 pm – 11 pm to celebrate strength, equality and self-determination of the LGBTQ community.  This is guaranteed to be a massive downtown street party with three stages for entertainment, the Arenas Stage, the Pride Stage, and the KGAY Dance stage. There will be performances by Kristine W (queen of 90’s dance music), That 80’s Band, and DJ Autumn Leilani.

One of the main acts during Pride will be LA-based electronic music artist Madame Ghandi and also UK-based, multi-platinum artist and songwriter DYSON. Other entertainers to look for are TLC, Heather Small, BETTY, and Ada Vox.

Photo: John Warden

The Palm Springs Art Museum will display The Art of Pride, Make an Exhibition of Yourself, and is a brand new official Pride event to be held on all three levels of the museum from 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm on November 1.

An exciting Pop Up event in Downtown and Uptown Palm Springs will be part of the weekend with food, art, music, fashion, and prizes. Businesses in Downtown and Uptown will be creating their own pop-up events. There will be a passport to fill out as you visit these businesses so that you are entered for a prize. The pop-up event will be from 3pm – 8 pm on November 1. The final deadline for businesses to sign up is October 25 at www.PopUpPalmSprings.com

Then, on November 2, take part in the Pride Festival happening from 11 am – 10 pm in Downtown Palm Springs and check out the Arenas District Block party from 6 pm – 11:30 pm.

November 3 is  the date of the big Pride Parade from 10 am – noon which steps off at Tachevah and Palm Canyon Dr.

To find out exactly where everything is happening, go to: www.pspride.org.

Don’t forget to grab your favorite adult beverage because for the first time ever you can stroll down Arenas Rd. and sip while being fearlessly authentic.

Speaking of staying authentic, stay at one of the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels  gay resorts where you will be beautifully enveloped by community and relaxation and pride is always in style.

Photo: Linda Milks

In Chicago, St. Patrick’s Day is such a huge deal — they dye the Chicago River green and have a huge parade, then everyone does a pub crawl, downing Jameson shots with green beer chasers, before going home and calling in sick the next day.

At least that’s what I’ve heard.

Palm Springs loves a good parade, which is why, on St. Patrick’s Day, we don’t have one. No parade worth its floats wants to follow Pride. (Yes, Pride was in November, but it was a party!)

So, no parade, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t pubs to celebrate that 2% of Irish your DNA results revealed. We’ve got Shamrocks Irish Pub, and … that concludes our tour of Irish pubs in Palm Springs.

Inside Shamrocks Irish Pub. Photo courtesy of Shamrocks

We do, however, have a few places where you can chow down on corned beef and cabbage (C&C), the Americanized version of the meal the Irish consume on the day (in Ireland, it’s all about pork and potatoes).

Here are a few definite hits for the boiled delight, and a few that have celebrated in the past (a.k.a. may or may not this year).

Hits

Sherman’s Deli — The corned beef is always tender, and there’s not much you can do to hurt a cabbage.

Manhattan in the Desert — Located on the south end of Palm Springs, these guys make corned beef and cabbage on the regular menu.

Welcome to Manhattan in the Desert. Photo courtesy of Manhattan in the Desert

Village Pub — This multilevel party place has had some pretty swinging St. Paddy’s days in the past. This year the party goes from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m.

Palm Canyon Roadhouse — On Palm Canyon just southeast of Ramon Rd., this rock ‘n roll old school playground will have corned beef and cabbage on 3/17, as well as entertainment. I am not linking their website because they’ve been hacked, and unless you have a need for OTC Viagra, it’s currently useless. Link takes you to FB (which, in the grand scheme of things, is not much safer).

Agua Caliente Casino — Check with the steakhouse for C&C (not yet listed) but they DO have music in the form of Lee Rainey and the Midnight Players.

Near hits

Paul Bar — This little gem is a local treasure. Hidden in a not-so-tidy strip mall on the corner of Gene Autry and Vista Chino, they have served C&C in the past. Don’t let the lack of curb appeal fool you, the inside is as classy as you can get.

Paul Bar. Photo: Kay Kudukis

And that, my friends, pretty much covers it, unless you want to make your own celebration; then, try some karaoke where you can belt out “Danny Boy” or “My Wild Irish Rose” until the other patrons throw shamrocks at you.

Don’t forget to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, though; it’s worn to keep you safe from those pesky, pinching leprechauns Palm Springs is known for (they’re not).

Happy Irish Day everyone!

Two nights a week, guests at Holiday House only have to walk a few steps in order to have a delectable dinner.

The Pantry, under the leadership of Chef Gabriel Woo, has two theme nights every week: Cantina Night on Tuesdays and Fried Chicken Fridays. Inspired by a south-of-the-border fiesta, Cantina Night’s menu includes fun appetizers, like the Papitas con Limon y Chile (potato chips with lime and HH Hot Sauce), and carnitas, chicken tinga, and mushroom tacos. Seafood lovers can order the tostada de ceviche, and for dessert, there’s the indulgent dark chocolate brownie with cinnamon, chipotle, orange, and ice cream. Of course, there are also handcrafted cocktails. Cantina Night runs from 5 to 8 p.m., and reservations aren’t required, but are recommended.

On Fried Chicken Fridays, dinner is served family-style, and the menu changes slightly every week. During a recent meal, diners enjoyed the bucket of vegetables with chive dip and ranch; queso fundido; fried chicken with the chef’s special blend of savory spices; roasted garlic mashed potatoes; local corn and carrots; and for dessert, dark chocolate brownies with peanut butter and ice cream, topped with a Valrhona chocolate sauce. There is limited seating, and reservations are required.

The Pantry is open every day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., serving lunch and brunch staples, and the full bar doesn’t close until 11 p.m. nightly. As part of a Holiday House stay, guests receive a complimentary breakfast, including pastries, yogurt, granola, and fruit.

Good news for people who want to try The Pantry, but aren’t staying at the hotel — you can still dine at the restaurant, you just need to make reservations in advance: 760-320-8866.

The Pantry is 21 and over.

A little tequila, a little dance, a little party in your pants. — Kay Kudukis

It’s Cinco de Mayo again, happens every damn year — and we’re very happy about that. Before we get into where to go and what to do, let’s clarify a few misconceptions about the day.

Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. That date is actually September 16 (someone needs to get on that right away, we always need another reason to drink tequila).

Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of one, count ’em, one battle. And that battle was the Battle of Puebla. The players in the battle: 6,000 French troops vs. 2,000 ragtag, poorly supplied but determined Mexicans. The battle raged from daybreak to early evening, and when the smoke cleared, the French had lost nearly 500 soldiers, while fewer than 100 Mexicans lost their lives. Viva la Puebla!

In 1863, the first Cinco de Mayo celebrations began in southern border states like California, and always ready for a reason to break out the tequila, in the United States it’s been a jammin’ party ever since. That bolded part is important because the only people in Mexico that celebrate the day are the Pueblans. No banks are closed, the mail still comes, no parades, and no parties.  

But thankfully we’re hedonists, and our own worst enemy (have you ever experienced a tequila hangover? Death seems preferable at the time). Here’s a list of all of the local spots for great Mexican food and getting your tequila on in moderation:

El Mirasol — there are two locations in Palm Springs (one at the Los Arboles Hotel), try the jalapeño margarita and the stuffed pepper 

Dinner is served at El Mirasol. Photo by Kim Munkres

Azucar — fancy, downtown, with a rooftop bar (at La Serena Villas)

Las Casuelas Terraza — expect a Mariachi Band, and much more

Las Cazuelas Original — the food is terrific

Felipe’s — great food and margaritas, family owned

JJ’s Mexican Oasis — family owned and delicious Cadillac margaritas

Loco Charlie’s — off of Sunrise near the Albertsons, it’s a “joint” but the food is fabulous (and the drinks are, too)

Tac/Quila — upscale Mexican seafood, and the design is super

La Bonita’s — haven’t been, but I hear it’s good

Maracas — great people watching

El Patio — run by Felipe’s

The poolside view of Azucar. Photo courtesy of La Serena Villas

La Perlita — way off the beaten path, but it’s got some great food and drinks

El Taco Asado — authentic Mexican food and full bar

Blue Coyote Bar and Grill — right downtown

Rio Azul — on Indian Canyon, and I hear it’s terrific

El Patron — best for people watching

Sancho’s — breakfast and lunch, brand spankin’ new

El Mirasol at night. Photo by Kim Munkres

And here are the only two places, right now, that are having full-blown, advertised Cinco de Mayo celebrations:

Cinco De Mayo at Hunters Nightclub

Margo Rey and an All-Star Latin Jazz Band at Jazzville (Cascade Lounge at Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs)

If you don’t drink, you can alway eat, and all of the above have terrific food. Those who celebrate events with cannabis should jump on the Cannabus for one of their Express Tours. Dispensaries now have beverages for consumption, as well as powders to put in your soda water (never ever put it in an unsuspecting person’s drink or meal, or you might end up in jail like these ladies did. Rude!). Make sure to read the dosage labels, like I didn’t — I ended up riding a light beam into the deepest recesses of my mind. It was fun, but not for everyone.

As always, consume everything responsibly, and grabs some Beano before you go! 

PS Gay Men's Chorus - Modern Family Holiday

It’s holiday season here in Palm Springs and the town is buzzing with activity and fun events. Schedule a getaway and get in some room-side pool time and holiday shopping while you’re in town checking out these don’t miss LGBTQ events in Palm Springs:

Holiday Dinner Show: Judy’s Old-Fashioned Christmas  12/1/19 – 12/29/19

At Michael Holmes’ Purple Room, this special holiday show is a blend of hysterical comedy and outstanding music that explodes into an evening of nonstop belly laughs, glamour and high camp, as celebrated entertainer Michael Holmes parodies Judy Garland, who in her 1964 television variety show, played host to some of the greatest female icons of the Golden Age of Hollywood. The spirit of Judy Garland is alive and well and in Palm Springs! Find out more here.

Judy's Old Fashioned Christmas

 

Sanctuary’s Holiday Spectacular  12/8/19

‘Tis the season to support the fourth Annual Holiday Spectacular – Holiday Socks, benefiting the Sanctuary Palm Springs. On Sunday, December 8 from 5 to 7:30pm, at the iconic Spencer’s Restaurant, this fun-filled cocktail reception, smashing hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment, not-so-silent auction and a rousing live auction benefits LGBTQ+ youth who are aging out of the foster system. Hear a grand performance from Broadway veteran David Burnham; celebrity emcee – comedian, actor and adoptive parent and star of Desperate Housewives Alec Mapa; and Dottie and Maude (aka Les Dames du Soleil) will add flair to the auctions. Limited tickets available. Find our more here.

Sanctuary's Holiday Spectacular

The Skivvies – I Touch My Elf  12/13/19 & 12/14/19

For two nights at The Purple Room, enjoy dinner and a show: “Alt-cabaret, new burlesque: Whatever you call it, the jolly musical comedy of the Skivvies, a troupe of entertainers who perform in their underwear, joyfully rock.” – New York Times. Acclaimed undie-rock stars, THE SKIVVIES, head to the entertainment capital of the world for “PALM SPRINGS STRIPPED”! Special guests to be announced. Presented by The Purple Room in association with Chris Isaacson Presents. Enjoy dinner at 6pm and a show at 8pm. Find out more here.

The Skivvies - I Touch My Elf

Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus “A Modern Family Holiday” at The Annenberg Theater  12/20/19 – 12/22/19

“A Modern Family Holiday” will be a showcase of traditional favorites along with new music from some of today’s most talented composers and lyricists. The theme of the evening is all about embracing our new modern families. Ticket prices range from $25 – $55. Shows at 7pm on Friday and Saturday and 3pm on Sunday. Find out more here.

PS Gay Men's Chorus - Modern Family Holiday

31st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival – Gay!La (Date TBA)      1/1/20 – 1/13/20

The famous Palm Springs International Film Festival is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming over 135,000 attendees each year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Gay!La event, honoring the LGBTQ community and film industry. This event is an annual highlight during the Palm Springs International Film Festival. With lots of great music and lots of great fun, you won’t want to miss this evening’s vibrant event. The full festival offers 12 days of events and film screenings featuring over 200 films from 60+ countries. We welcome you to join us at our venues in Palm Springs and Cathedral City. See you at the movies! Find out more here.

Palm Springs International Film Festival - Gay!La

First, I regret the announcements: Not quite ready to take the plunge, Splash House has been rescheduled for August; Pride will happen in November. I know! I’m verklempt too. However, there’s still an awful lot of fun to be had this June in Palm Springs. And I hear they’ll be back soon.

Oh, before we get to events, it’s good to mention that we’ve got a few specials going on. Each boutique hotel has a different vibe and their own brand of swagger. Make sure to check them out here.

Okay. June. Planned events, then some build-your-own adventures. Let’s go!

Special Events

June 22-28 – At the top of the list is Palm Springs Short Film Festival. Per Variety, “Palm Springs Shortfest will be the first film festival of 2021 in California to hold all of its screenings in-theater when the event takes place at the Camelot Theatres (aka Palm Springs Cultural Center). Check them out too.

June 17th – Cast & Crew screening of Palm Springs Women in Film & Television’s two short films, “Accidental Date” and “Aftermath.” 6pm reception, 7pm screening followed by a Q&A for both films. Camelot Theater (PS Cultural Center) in Palm Springs.

Oscars – they keep adding events (yay!), so here’s what’s listed as of this writing. Check the link to see if there are additions.

  • Melissa Manchester @ Oscars June 17 & 18
  • Gunhild Carling @ Oscars June 10 5:30 & 9:30, Sweden’s Queen of Swing. Famous for playing trombone, she also plays bagpipes, trumpet, recorder, string instruments and will often play them all in one song, sometimes casually breaking into a tap dance or singing.

Four Twenty Bank and Lounge – The dispensary, lounge, and entertainment venue is located on Palm Canyon and Baristo (this is important, used to be at 777 Palm Canyon). They’ve got a great stage, but check their calendar. There was a Bowie tribute band and a Journey tribute band scheduled when I checked a day ago, but they’re gone, and others added. Things are still coming together on their line-up, but the Lounge is still pretty badass.

PS Underground: Book well in advance; these are the hottest shows in town. Ticketing links below.

  • June 11:  IMAGINE. A multiple course journey of music and food. “What would it feel like to climb into music and let it tantalize your every sense?”
  • June 13: GOSPEL –  a multiple course Sunday brunch with fantastic food and toe-tapping, hand clapping gospel music from the band onstage.
  • June 18: ENIGMA – a puzzling or inexplicable experience or occurrence. “Things are not always as they seem as we navigate through this feast for all senses. …an over-the-top unexplainable out-of-the-box immersive dinner experience.”
  • June 25: LIGHT – “Wear white and bring to the table an open mind and a sense of adventure. Prepare yourselves for an evening of the truly unexpected.
  • June 27: OVATION – A jazzed up Sunday Brunch, “Surprise performers and musicians…free-flowing, bubbly and Bloody Mary’s are included.

On-Going Events

I’m recycling some of these from last month because, FUN! Once again, an asterisk denotes that I have been and it’s fabulous.

*Thursday afternoons are free at Palm Springs Art Museum from 5-7 p.m. Make a reservation.

Saturdays: Saturday Night Flight at PS Air Bar.”Boarding time”  5 p.m.

Wine tastings at Bouschet. They keep adding dates so I’m just linking to their website. Also, their California Caesar is bowl-licking good (the fancy bowl makes it hard, though), and a friend likes their macaroni salad so much he asked for the recipe.

Saturdays: Not Your Grandma’s Bingo at Chill Bar from 12-2 p.m. The name says it all.

*Sundays: Palm Springs Drag Brunch, with Rosemary Galore and her queenly court at Roly China Fusion.

*Saturdays and Sundays – I have written about Palm Springs magic before, but Crystal Fantasy is our go-to guide for crystals, sage, tarot cards, and all things material to interact with or distract the spiritual realm. Saturday and Sundays they have a Psychic/Healing Arts Fair, where you pick your psychic (or did they pick you, hmmm?). Check the website for times and the cool classes they have during the week.

*Sundays: It’s the Pro-Jazz Jam from 2-5 p.m. at Palm Canyon Roadhouse. It’s all the best players in the Coachella Valley led by solid jazz musician, Mikale Karr.

And, drumroll please, the most raucous dance party in Palm Springs is back! It’s Oscar’s T-Dance, Sunday’s from 4-8 pm. You can hear it blocks away. Mostly gay men, but I’ve been and it was a gas!

Day-Time Activities

*Like Mid-Mod? Or the architecturally significant homes of the stars? Palm Springs Life has a self-guided tour app. It’s a great fix as we wait for tours to restart, and Modernism Week to return.

*CannaBUS Express Tours, there’s no other like it. Any canna-curiosity you might have will be replaced with knowledge from their Extreme Green Team. BONUS: it’s hella-fun.

If you’re staying in a boutique hotel, there’s a good chance there’s work by a local artist hanging on a wall, or sitting on a table. That’s because creativity is off-the-charts flowing unlike the rain in Palm Springs. Art has many expressions, and at the indoor Mojave Flea Trading Post, artists and crafters of every ilk come together in a 10,000 sq. ft. marketplace of makers & merchants from Joshua Tree, the Coachella Valley, and beyond.

And guys, check this out: you can take a ride in an old warbird at Palm Springs Air Museum! The Warbird Ride has six options: C-47 Skytrain, T-28 Trojan, PT-17 Stearman, P-51 Mustang and the T-33 Shooting Star Jet.  While you’re there, make sure to take a tour of the *Palm Springs Air Museum. It’s cooler than you might think.

That’s it for events, but I’m super excited to play show and tell with all of the fun and funky spots for your Instagram page. I found some fabulous filters, so I used them. Hope you likey. It’s my first try. You’ll find out why this chair sits on a pedestal.

As always, please shop and stay at locally-owned businesses. And if you go to any of our hotels or enjoy our recommendations, please be sure to tag us with your photos on IG, or @palmspringspreferredsmallhotel (yeah, it’s a lot to type, but we appreciate it!)  #PSPSH