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May The Force Be With You — Star Wars

There’s a lot to do in the merry, merry month of May, so I’ll shut up so we can get on our merry, merry way:

Special Days

Mother’s Day — May 8

Melvyn’s — Special menu for Mom

Le Vallauris — Brunch in a gorgeous setting

849 — Beautiful space, good food

Labor Pains — A musical Mother’s Day brunch, at PS Underground

Courtesy of PS Underground

Lulu — Another special menu for a special lady

Farm — Take Mom to the south of France in Palm Springs. Downside: no reservations

L’Atelier Cafe — The cutest little cafe serving delicious quiche, pastries, coffee, champagne, and more

Modernism Week, May Jewelry Event — “You’ll love this Mother’s Day weekend spectacular of jewelry and fiber art! The variety of color, texture, and design from our featured artists is truly dazzling.” The first glimpse is Friday, May 6th, from 5 to 7 p.m. at 550 N. Palm Canyon Dr. (refreshments served). The showcase is also open Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Memorial Day

Clothing-optional pool party at Tuscany Manor

Annual Memorial Day Air Fair and Flower Drop, May 30. The Palm Springs Air Museum says: “This is a very special day … our brief memorial service is dedicated to all of our fallen comrades, who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. In their honor, we highlight the service with a fly-by and flower drop of over 3,000 red and white carnations from a B-25 Mitchell bomber. This most impressive ceremony is our way of saluting our fallen comrades. Visitors are welcome to pick up a flower to take home.” Admission from $17.50 to $19.50.

Special Events

Modernism Week — May. A very paired down Modernism event, but their offerings look pretty amazing. It’s the first time they’ve done this, so check it out, and act quick. The parties always sell out fast.

May 4: Rock The Park, featuring a Tina Turner Tribute. Downtown Park Palm Springs.

May 11 – 15: Oasis Music Festival. There are many locations for this event, with many different musical artists. Too many to list here. Check it. They’re going to try to do it every year.

Courtesy of Oasis Music Festival

May 29: AsiaSF Palm Springs/The Sonoran Ceremony Pool Party. Music by DJ Edward Frame and DJ Ryan Kenney. Hosted by Epiphany Mattel. Special performance by the Ladies of AsiaSF. Noon to 7 p.m.

May 29: UNITY. Music by DJ Twisted Dee. Special performance by Gia Banks of Haus of Tischi. 10 p.m. to LATE.

The above two events are sponsored by LYMI (Love You Mean It) Productions. AsiaSF is located in an event space known as The Sonoran. You guys, it’s gorgeous. I went to the opening of AsiaSF and the party was poolside. There were fire pits, seating, and built-in food stations, and even with more than 100 of us in the space, it still wasn’t crowded. And the mountains are right there. It’s especially stunning at twilight.

May 20 and 21: Rare Books. More than 40 antiquarian booksellers from across the country will share their love of books, fine prints, maps, ephemera, photography, and more. $25. Hotel ZOSO.

The Annenberg Theater at Palm Springs Art Museum: Check out their calendar for some great jazz and dance.

Plunge 2: Leather Order of the Desert at Canyon Club, clothing optional men’s resort.

Clubs/Nightclubs/Dinner Theater

The Alibi  This will get you to their ticketed and free shows. This link is for shows not listed on their calendar.

Courtesy of The Alibi

PS Underground — Just as cool as it sounds.

The Purple Room — Rat Pack vibe and interior design, with a new whiskey bar. Live entertainment Tuesday through Sunday. The year the ticketed events seem to be a broader spectrum of players. They’re all excellent, and of course, say it with me: The Judy Show is my favorite show in town.

Oscar’s — Well-known inclusive club with LGBTQ+ entertainers and allies. They’re really stepping up their entertainment with some incredible international acts.

Toucan’s Tiki Lounge and Cabaret — Hosts the longest running drag show in Palm Springs, and much much more.

PS Air — It’s a speakeasy inside a wine shop that looks like the interior of an airplane. The entertainment is fun, and the food is good!

Theater

Into The Woods at Palm Canyon Theater

Mid-Century Moderns The Musical at Desert Rose Playhouse

Recurring Events

Palm Springs Historical Society Tours So many tours! I want to do them all. Except the ones on a bike. (I don’t do bikes.)

Palm Springs Cultural Center

Vintage Market – May 1 ONLY. (First Sunday of every month)

For a list of all of their events and tickets, go here. There’s a lot of great music and shows to see.

Of Special Note: Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival 

Sun-Dazed Drag Brunch poolside at The Sonoran, presented by AsiaSF and Heklina. Sundays.

Illusions Drag Show Brunch and Illusions Drag Show Dinner at Pete’s Hideaway

Cascade Lounge at Agua Caliente Casino

Latin Nights on Sundays

Mimosas, Martinis & Music hosted by Don Wardell on Mondays

Desert Blues Revival on Wednesdays

Jazzville on Thursdays

Caliente Comedy on Fridays

Thursdays, free admission at Palm Springs Art Museum (from 5 to 7 p.m.) and Village Fest (6 to 10 p.m.)

MOGO Silent Disco Tour — Fridays and Saturdays, put on your headphones and dance down the streets of Palm Springs listening to specially curated songs as you tour some of our more famous spots.

Palm Springs Air Museum

Kitties! Opening in June, Frisky Business (at Gene Autry and E. Palm Canyon) is where you can go to snuggle a kitty for an hour and help the owner’s rescue efforts. They’re partnered with the Palm Springs Animal Shelter and will offer services (TBA), merchandise, and events in a fun, unique, relaxed environment for both cats and people.

Masks are off, sunscreen is on, and see you in June!

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

?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!