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It’s February, which means it’s Humpback Whale Appreciation Month in Palm Springs!

Okay, so that’s a bit misleading. Yes, February is Humpback Whale Appreciation Month, but we’re not celebrating this year (we never have). So whales, you’re on your own (but please do live long and prosper.)

What we do have are Modernism Week and two national celebrations: Valentine’s Day and Black History Month. And there’s enough to fill two blogs on the whos, whats, and wheres on those last two, so that’s what we’re going to do.

This blog entry is about you coming to Palm Springs during the month of February and whatever event/holiday/getaway/vacation you’d like to plan during the shortest month of the year.

Side note: Ever wonder why there are 12 months, and some have 30 days, others 31, and poor old February gets a deficit of three? According to “math” and some random dude on Quora: “There are 13 lunations, each with 28 days — that is the moon’s phases around the Earth, but it doesn’t fit exactly in the rotation of the Earth around the sun, which is 365 days, not 364, so calendars have never matched.” Thanks, random dude. No wiser.

Let’s move on to all the things to do in Palm Springs in February 2023, and let’s show some appreciation for the city’s fabulous mascot, Mister Splashy Pants, the humpback whale. (It’s not. But there is a humpback by that name!)

One and done-ish

Feb. 3, 4, and 5: 7th Annual Taste of Jalisco Festival: Cathedral City

Feb. 4: Gregory Douglass, one of our very own bloggers, will be appearing at Palm Springs Cultural Center, joined by some very special guests. $20 (includes your two-drink minimum). Tickets here.

Feb. 5 and 19: Palm Springs Vintage Market. One of the kitschiest and crazy fun retro markets you’ll ever have the delight of shopping. And it’s twice this month! Yay! It’s mostly mid-mod, with everything from clothes to furniture to home furnishings, a.k.a. tchotchkes.

Items for sale at the Palm Springs Vintage Market. Photo by Katy Carrier

Feb. 9-12: Intersect Palm Springs Art and Design Show, Palm Springs Convention Center. An art and design fair that brings together a dynamic mix of modern and contemporary galleries, activated by timely and original programming.

Feb. 15: Different Drum: The Music of Linda Ronstadt, Palm Canyon Theatre. My favorite cabaret performer Francesca Amari sings the story of the life of Linda Ronstadt. I’ve seen this show and it’s terrific! Francesca won the 2022 BroadwayWorld Palm Springs Award for Best Streaming Concert/Cabaret for her Gilda Radner tribute show, and was nominated Vocalist of the Decade by BroadwayWorld Palm Springs in 2020 and Best Jazz Vocalist in the 2020 & 2018 Coachella Valley Music Awards.

Feb. 16-26: Modernism Week. Event tickets.

Feb. 18: Party Gras — New Orleans-inspired celebration on President’s Day weekend at Agua Caliente Palm Springs.

Feb. 18: Desert Woman’s Show & Greater Palm Springs Food and Wine Festival, presented by the Desert Vein and Vascular Institute. Now in its 15th year, the indoor Woman’s Show offers daily fashion shows by local boutiques and shopping. The Greater Palm Springs Food & Wine outdoor event offers a cornucopia of tasty bites, wines, craft beers and spirits from the Valley’s best. Limited free general admission tickets are available courtesy of Desert Care Network (available online at Desert Woman’s Show only) and are valid for one ticket per person. DOES NOT include the food and wine tasting area. Tickets here for the food and adult beverages.

Feb. 25: The L-Fund Gala 10th Anniversary — 5 to 9 p.m. at the Margaritaville Resort. This red carpet event supports cis and trans lesbians in the Coachella Valley.

Feb. 25: Boots on Arenas — Join Bella da Ball and Nancy Sinatra for These Boots are Made for Walkin’, Modernism Week’s penultimate night street party. Wear your big hair and miniskirts and go-go down to Arenas Road to join the party. Details and tickets here. Prize for Best Dressed provided by Nancy’s family. Free, all ages. 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Get those boots on and get ready to party! Photo courtesy of Boots on Arenas

Theater

Feb. 10-26: Scarlet Pimpernel, Palm Canyon Theatre.

Feb. 17-19: South Pacific, RM Amphitheater — Desert Theatricals puts on near-perfect productions of musicals from all eras. Always a great time, with many local entertainers stepping into various roles. Dinner show tickets are available, but go fast. General admission available as well. (Maybe there’ll be a humpback whale!)

Feb.21-March 5: Once at CV Rep. A love story reminding us of how the language of music is universal. Winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Tickets here.

Feb. 21 and 22:  Mid Century Moderns returns to Oscar’s.

PS Underground is a dinner theater, musical hybrid with unique shows and delicious food. Check out their schedule for something completely different.

Fridays from 4:30-7:30 p.m., DJ ModGirl at the Rowan Kimpton lobby bar. Always a good time and a great start to your Friday night.

Clubs with entertainment:

Oscar’s — Home of the T Dance also has name entertainment.

Palm Canyon Cultural Center — List of performers for weekly entertainment. February brings The Mod Squad on Wednesdays, a very fun “audience participation” show with local entertainers Wayne Abravanel, Francesca Amari, and Jeff Stewart.

PS Air Bar calendar — So many fun shows, including in-flight movies.

Cascade Lounge at Agua Caliente Palm Springs — Home of Jazzville and additional music and comedy shows.

Illusions Drag Queen Brunch, Pete’s Hideaway — Saturdays and Sundays

The Purple Room — Rat Pack feel, a variety of entertainers, big names in jazz, cabaret and Broadway on the weekend, and The Judy Show is back!

“The Judy Show” is back! Courtesy of The Purple Room

V Wine Lounge — Very Mad Men with a multitude of seating options in a variety of set pieces, nice sized bar for cross talk, great wine and cocktail selections, and a lot of entertainment options, including karaoke night.

Fridays: Ranch Dance — DJs spin country music for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, and its friends.

Restaurant news

El Patio — I haven’t talked about it before, so I am now. Owned by the same family that gave us local favorites Felipe’s and Salsa Restaurants in DT PS. About a year old, so it’s ready.

Low Desert — Modern Mexican on the south end of Palm Springs. Brand new. Replaces the BBQ restaurant in the Smoketree Plaza.

For the first time ever, the Michelin Guide has included Palm Springs restaurants. Those in the “first” category are: Bar Cecil, Boozehounds, Workshop Kitchen and Bar, Cheeky’s, 4 Saints, The Barn at Sparrows Lodge, Colony Club, and Tac/Quila.

Breakfast to go from Cheeky’s. Photo by Mary Farah

Reforma Nightclub is now open for dinner and dancing

The Heyday (best burger and mushroom burger in town) is leaving their space at the Hilton and moving to a new spot at 1550 N. Palm Canyon. This was once occupied by JJ’s Mexican Oasis, now permanently closed.

Oscar’s Privado opening soon. 127 E. Tahquitz, #108.

And sadly, downtown’s Brickworks American Bistro + Pizza has closed.

Coming soon

Dave & Buster’s at The River in Rancho Mirage.

Have fun in our desert playground, and don’t forget to shop and stay local so we can invite you back again! See you next time.

Start the new year off with some fun events in Palm Springs!

Backstreet Art District

Artwalk at the Backstreet Art District     1/1

On the first Wednesday of each month, the galleries of the Backstreet Art District in South Palm Springs open their doors for an evening of art, community, refreshments and fun.  https://backstreetartdistrict.com/

 

Palm Springs International Film Festival

Palm Springs International Film Festival     1/2 – 1/13

The Palm Springs International Film Festival is one of the largest film festivals in North America, held annually during the first week of January. The event kicks off with the Film Awards Gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center, featuring the presentation of awards to top stars in the previous year’s best films. Throughout the week, hundreds of film screenings are held throughout the city, including domestic and foreign films, along with educational talks and panels. https://www.psfilmfest.org/

 

Palm Springs Vintage Market

Palm Springs Vintage Market     1/5

The monthly Palm Springs Vintage Market is held at the Palm Springs Cultural Center on the first Sunday of the month from October through May, featuring vintage furniture, art, decorative items, clothing, jewelry and more from local and national vendors, as well as delicious food and live entertainment. http://www.palmspringsvintagemarket.com

 

Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway house

Elvis Birthday Celebration     1/11

The Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway House, where Elvis and Priscilla Presley spent their honeymoon in 1967, is hosting a special Elvis birthday celebration show, featuring acclaimed impersonator George Thomas. The event begins with a tour of the property, followed by a live performance. https://elvisinpalmsprings.com/tours/

 

Red Carpet Run

PSIFF Red Carpet Run     1/11

The Palm Springs International Film Festival Red Carpet Run includes both a 5K and 10K run/walk, beginning and ending on the red carpet and following a route that includes former Palm Springs homes of iconic Hollywood stars. Participants don gowns, tuxes and other festive attire during this fun and crazy race, and finishers are presented with their own Oscar trophies. https://organizations.hakuapp.com/organizations/3221744e287a6441c1dd/events/562099c3caa8cadca357

 

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Let’s Talk Speakers Series – The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow    1/23

Learn about one of the desert’s most treasured landmarks, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, during this informative and entertaining talk at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. Greg Purdy, the tram’s VP of Marketing and Public Affairs, and Cara Youngman, Public Relations Manager, will explore the visionaries who conceived of the tram, the people behind its design and construction, its importance to Palm Springs today, and plans for the future.

https://pshistoricalsociety.org/products/lets-talk-the-palm-springs-aerial-tramway-yesterday-today-and-tomorrow

Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad?

Alice: I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are. 

― Tim Burton

If you’re not into sports and you’re still looking for madness, we’ve got you covered 365 days a year — even more so this March. There is SO much going on, it’s crazy pants. And the upcoming months are going to be jam-packed as well, so let’s get it started, uh-huh, oh yeah…

Recurring events

These will be here every month. Some of them will change their lineups, but make no mistake, they are always 100% worth your time.

Mondays: 7 p.m., Bella da Ball calls Bingo at King’s Highway followed by trivia at 9 p.m. At 6’4”, Bella is not only the most visible drag queen in Palm Springs, but she’s (arguably) our first lady (although no one will argue with you on that).

Oscar’s — A myriad of different entertainers, including a couple of fun plays this month on Thursdays and Fridays.

The Purple Room — Free shows Tuesday-Thursday, ticketed on weekends. Sundays: THE JUDY SHOW IS BACK!!!!!!

PS Air Bar — Dressed up like the inside of an airplane, they have good food and entertainment to boot. It’s an experience.

Drink up at PS Air. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

PS Underground — This is unlike anything you will ever find anywhere. From the wickedly creative mind of producer Michael Fietsam and the culinary genius of Dave Horgan, you will never be disappointed.

Cascade Lounge at the Agua Caliente Casino in downtown Palm Springs. Terrific space, great spot for comedy and our very own Jazzville.

PS Art Museum — Thursdays are free from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

Thursday’s Village Fest — It’s like the tram. You gotta go at least once.

V Wine Lounge — The second Sunday of every month is the ladies T Dance. This began in February, and at the time of this typing is the only consistent lesbian party in Palm Springs. V Wine Bar is absolutely gorgeous inside, and also has a HUGE patio. A great place to start or end an evening in Palm Springs.

Historical Tours at Palm Springs Historical Society — SO many to choose from and absolutely worth the price.

MOGO Silent Disco — Use code “pspsh10” at checkout for a 10 percent discount!

Desert Tasty Tours — Full disclosure, I am one of the tour guides on the five-stop food tasting historical tour. It’s hella fun, especially for me.

Limited events

March 1: Dezart Performs: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecological Oncology Unit at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City

March 1-5: Palm Canyon Theatre: The Scarlet Pimpernel

March 1-5: CVRep: Once

March 3-5: LGBTQ Days Cathedral City including LGBTQ Days Cathedral City Bed Race

March 5: Palm Springs Vintage Market

Palm Springs Vintage Market

You never know what you’ll find at the Palm Springs Vintage Market. Photo by Katy Carrier

March 17-28: Palm Canyon Theatre: Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got The Will 

March 17-23: Fashion Week El Paseo

March 18: Red Dress Party at Palm Springs Air Museum (it’s a cool place during the day too!)

March 19: Alohana: A Palm Springs Celebration of Tiki Culture

March 24-25: Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival

March 4-May 7: Desert X 2023

March 26: South Palm Canyon Art Collective Sunday Soiree 

Upcoming events alert!

April 14-16 and April 21-23: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. If you need a room, we’ve got you.

Sept. 20-24: The Dinah. For party details, click here.

Palm Springs Cultural Center (This is also known as the Camelot Theatres)

The state-of-the-art theater was built in 1967, with the original screen fabricated in England and specially designed for the Camelot — with a curvilinear width of 68*4 feet, installed on a 120-degree arc, you’re not going to miss a thing. But wait, there’s more. They not only play current releases (blockbuster and niche) and films that are often LGBTQ+ forward, but they get creative with their programming as well. Don’t go anywhere, I’m not done.

There is a restaurant called Mildred’s (named after the character Mildred Pierce), two theater companies (Desert Ensemble Theatre and The Bent), name acts on the main stage, and local favorites in the upstairs lounge. If they had a hotel you wouldn’t have to go anywhere. And I didn’t even mention the farmer’s market and vintage fair! There’s so much going on, I’m dedicating the last bit of this month’s blog to their calendar.

Sundays: Keisha D, Soulful Sundays, Relive the heyday and hits of Motown with soul and jazz legend Keisha D.

Mondays: Mon Petit Salon. Tour the world with violin virtuoso Jeremie Levi Samson and guests.

Tuesdays: Jazz on the Second Floor. Join Leanna and the Jazz Collective for Latin and straight-ahead jazz.

Wednesdays: The Mod Squad. Join Francesca Amari, Jeff Stewart, and Wayne Abravanel for Mod Pop.

Leanna & The Jazz Collective. Photo courtesy of the Palm Springs Cultural Center

Film

March 2: PS Rewinds: Terry Gilliam — Brazil

March 3: Fellini Retrospective — Juliet of the Spirits

March 4: Desert Film Society — Carol of the Bells (Ukraine/Poland)

March 5: Screwball Sundays — It Happened One Night

March 8: Movies In The Park — Gigi

March 11: Desert Film Society — The Night of the 12th (France/Belgium)

March 11-12: The Rocky Horror Picture Show — Coachella Valley Shadow Cast Auditions

March 12: Screwball Sundays — Bringing Up Baby 

March 17: PS Rewinds: Terry Gilliam — The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

March 19: Screwball Sundays — The Thin Man

March 21: Among Friends Interactive — Sister Act

March 22: Movies In The Park — How to Marry a Millionaire

March 24: New York Dog Film Festival + Benefit

March 25: Desert Film Society — More Than a Roll With a Hole

March 26-29: Jewish Film Festival

March 30-April 3: American Documentary Film Festival

Note: Screwball Sundays is a new film retrospective series featuring classic screwball comedies shown as Sunday matinees, March 5 through June 18.

“The Thin Man” is part of the new Screwball Sundays series. Photo courtesy of the Palm Springs Cultural Center

Live music

March 1: The Swingin’ Sixties

March 6: Sand, Stars, and Guitars — Special Consensus

March 7: The Swingin’ Sixties

March 9: Razzle Dazzle: A Broadway Revue

March 13: Glenn Miller Orchestra

March 21: CV Philharmonic Society Chamber Series: Early Music

March 23: Razzle Dazzle: A Broadway Revue 

Outdoor markets

Saturdays: Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market 

Sundays: Palm Desert Certified Farmers’ Market 

Theatre

March 10-12, 17-19: Desert Ensemble Theatre Company: Kafka’s Joke

March 2-4: The Bent: Gently Down the Stream

March 7 and 14: The Bent: The Lincoln Debate

March 25: Jimmy Dore Live! 

March 24: PS Dance Project — Communities’ Finest

March 26: L-Fund Grant Comedy Series: Robin Tyler

That’s it for March! Don’t forget to shop and stay local. See you for more madness next month!