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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

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 JayBirdBookings@yahoo.com 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!

Holy Ned, October is jamming! We’ve got Modernism Week Preview plus Palm Springs Leather Pride. If neither of those float your boat, there’s HALLOWEEN! It’s a huge holiday here in Palm Springs, and Halloween on Arenas is sick (in the best way possible). Costumes are off the charts creative, and the whole town is one big party.  

And now that it’s cooling down, all of our venues are heating way up. Keep in mind many indoor events require a vaccination card and a mask. Hey, the world is a bit of a horror show these days, but Palm Springs knows how to be safe and party. 

So now, without further ado, say hello to October events:  

Jazzville Shows at Agua Caliente Casino Cascade Lounge  

MFUO Featuring Jacques Lesure — Thursday, October 7, 7 p.m. 

Rumproller Organ Trio at Jazzville Palm Springs — Thursday, October 14, 7 p.m. 

Dan Delgado Sextet — Thursday, October 21, 7 p.m. 

Agua Caliente Casino Caliente Comedy 

Craig Conant  — Friday, October 1, 8 p.m. 

Pablo Francisco Comedy — Friday, October 8, 8 p.m. 

Brian Scolaro — Friday, October 15, 8 p.m. 

Tom Arnold — Friday, October 29, 8 p.m. 

Lalo Guerrero Tribute Show — Thursday, October 28, 7 p.m. 

Cultural Center – Camelot Theatres 

Drag O Rama featuring Rosemary Galore
Sunday, October 3, 2:30 p.m. (repeating Sundays)
Tickets starting at $15

 

Presenting Drag O Rama

 

REPO! The Genetic Opera — special screening of the cult horror film
Thursday, October 7, 6 p.m. social hour, event at 7 p.m. 

Chip ‘N’ Dru: Our Favorite Sings
Saturday, October 9, 6 p.m.

Multi-talented singer Dru Rutledge and veteran Broadway pianist Chip Prince present Our Favorite Sings. Featuring a multi-genre selection of songs in the style of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Debussy, Puccini, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, Broadway, Opera, Top 40 chart toppers, and more!  

Martinis and Moxie: A Society Social
Friday, October 15, 6 p.m.

A “My Way” society revue celebrating the life and music of Frank Sinatra.  

2021 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival
Thursday, October 21, 7:30 p.m.

Founded in 2000 by the late mystery author and Palm Springs community leader Arthur Lyons, the popular Film Noir Festival includes an eclectic mixture of prestigious and obscure black and white B movies from the classic film noir period. The festival is known for unearthing and screening rare films, restored classics, and for the special appearances of the stars who were in them.  

The Purple Room 

Tuesdays: Rose Mallett 

Wednesdays: Michael Holmes and Darci Daniels 

Thursdays: Sharon Sills 

Fridays and Saturdays: Ticketed events 

Sundays: The Judy Show   

PS Underground 

That’s Amore, an Italian feast set to music.
Saturday, October 2, 7 p.m. 

Gospel Brunch featuring great music and Keisha D.
Sunday, October 3, 11 a.m. 

Ovation! A Jazzed Up Sunday Brunch
Sunday, October 10, 11 a.m. 

Death by Cheese, a ghoulishly cheesy Sunday brunch.
Sunday, October 24, 11 a.m.  

420 Bank Dispensary and Lounge 

Cheech Meet & Greet
Friday, October 1, 3 p.m. 

Kottonmouth Kings with DLOC
Saturday, October 23, 9 p.m. 

Rabbit Country
Friday, October 15, 6 p.m. 

Open Mic Night
Thursdays — October 7, 14, 21 

Oscar’s House Parties 

Saturdays: Mimosa Men (Brunch) 

Sundays: Bitchiest Brunch 

Sundays: World Famous T-Dance  

Oscar’s Special Events 

Edie Las Vegas Showgirls: Unleashed (ticketed event) — Saturday, October 2, 7 to 9 p.m. 

Sandra Bernhardt — Monday, October 4 and Tuesday, October 5

Remembering The Golden Girls — Wednesday, October 6

An Evening With Cameron Ross — Thursday, October 14

Melissa Manchester outdoor concert — Thursday, October 21 and Friday, October 22

Theater 

Desert Rose Playhouse Presents Xanadu 

Thursday to Sunday, through October 17 

(Note: So far their season has been spectacular!)  

Palm Canyon Theater 

Sordid Lives — Through October 3 

Shrek The Musical — Beginning October 22 

More options 

Wind and Wine Paint Party
Saturday, October 16, 11 a.m.
Palm Springs Windmill Tours
Wine glass painting class and Windmill Tour  

Paint Splatter at Superbloom Studios
Thursday, October 14, 6 p.m.
Starts at $150.00  

The Gem Show at Palm Springs Convention Center
October 21 through 24   

Modernism Fall Preview
October 14 through 17
 

Halloween 

Palm Springs Cultural Center 

Jazzville Creepy Cocktail Party
Sunday, October 31, 3 p.m. 

Cinema Bizarro: Best of Retro Cartoon Halloween Specials
Sunday, October 31, 1 p.m.  

Jazzville Presents The Jazz Cartel Halloween Special
Sunday, October 31, 5 p.m. 

Hocus Pocus hosted by the Sanderson Sisters
Sunday, October 31, 5 p.m.

A screening of Hocus Pocus with special guests the Sanderson Sisters. Kids receive a (kinda) real magic wand from the spooky woods of Salem.  

Zombie Burlesque Cocktail Party
Sunday, October 31, 6 p.m.  

The Three Michaels playing the Halloween score live, plus private party
Sunday, October 31, 8 p.m. 

An ode to John Carpenter’s Halloween with the musical score, scares, and skits performed live in front of an abbreviated version of the film projected on the big screen. 

Dirty Little Secrets Presents Shock Theater Spooktacular
Sunday, October 31 8 p.m.

California’s longest running burlesque and variety show. From zombies to fire performers, this eclectic shock theater of sensational striptease will keep you laughing and howling all night! 

PS Underground 

BITE – a bloody vampire dinner
October 26, 27, 28, 31, 7 p.m. 

Halloween on Arenas Road – The Queen Of All Halloween Parties
The party starts at 4 p.m. and goes until 11 p.m.. Take an Uber/Lyft, parking will suck, and you’ll likely get pretty boozy. There’s too much to talk about, so I’m just sending you to the link. Prizes up to $1,800! 

For Gay Men Only

The Dirty Show with Skyler Gentry
Wednesday, October 6, 7 p.m.

$25 includes complimentary booze, snacks, pre-show and post-show party after every performance. The venue is outdoors with spaced seating. 

Hot Uncle at the Barracks
Saturday, October 16, 9 p.m.  
 

Palm Springs Leather Pride 2021: Unlocked: Full Release
Begins October 26 and runs through October 31. Multiple venues, starting at Eagle 501 bar.  SO MANY EVENTS! Event packages (too easy) here. Need some leather? Try Gear and Rough Trade Gear. 

That’ll do it for October. Don’t forget to shop and stay local. See you in November!