Joshua Tree Gay Pride Festival Celebrates Progress

June 15 event may coincide with U.S. Supreme Court decision on Prop 8



The Joshua Tree Gay Pride Festival, featuring music and art, will be held from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. June 15 at the Art Queen Complex.

www.tarogold.com

In 2008 with Proposition 8 on the California ballot, signs popped up around Joshua Tree in support of the amendment that would legally define marriage in the state as between one man and woman.

Andy Woods and his partner had moved out to the quiet, but conservative desert town a few years earlier. The couple had spent the previous 10 years in Los Angeles contributing to the annual Gay Pride Festival.

The time for one in Joshua Tree seemed right.

“Originally it was a way to give a response to all of those signs and to let people know there was a place for gay people to go where they could be safe,” Woods said.

That first year, the Joshua Tree Gay Pride Festival resembled something more like an art show. Since then, Woods said the festival has grown both in size and audience but with one caveat.

“It’s really an art and music festival with that small, hometown kind of feel,” Woods said.

That’s exactly what attracted Woods and his partner to move to the desert after visiting his parents, who lived in Joshua Tree.

“We just fell in love with the area,” he said. “I’m an artist and my partner is a painter, and we found an art community out here.”

Interestingly, this year’s fifth annual Pride Festival on June 15, which carries the theme “A Celebration for Progress”, comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is about to rule on the validity of Proposition 8. The decision could come this week.

“We may have more reason to celebrate,” Woods said of the decision.

Joshua Tree band Gram Rabbit headlines the music entertainment with a stage show at 8:30 p.m. June 15. The festival runs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Art Queen Complex, 61855 Twentynine Palms Highway – the first time for an all-day format.

“We’ve talked about making it into a weekend, but we want to make sure we’re ready for that kind of growth,” Woods said. “We want to keep it a hometown festival, and not become some commercial event.”

Admission is free with a $5 suggested donation. Patrons are encouraged to wear the color red in support of the Human Rights Campaign for Marriage Equality.

The day is family-oriented with games for kids, vendors, continuous live entertainment, artists and a beer garden for adults.

For more details, visit www.joshuatreegaypride.com, or visit their Facebook page.

Add your comment:
Desert Guide

Related Articles

Skylark Hotel Palm Springs Restores Vintage Look

The term “a hidden gem” gets thrown around a lot, but that’s a literal description of the Skylark Hotel located in the Palm Springs Uptown Design District.

La Quinta High School Chefs Create 'MaJic' at Miramonte Resort

Five young chefs from the La Quinta High School Culinary Arts Institute recently showed off their skills in preparation for competing May's 2014 National ProStart Invitational.

Budweiser Clydesdales Make Stop at Stagecoach Music Festival

To celebrate their 81st anniversary with Anheuser-Busch this year, the Clydesdale will appear in Indio, April 25-27, including Stagecoach Music Festival.

Stroke Recovery Center Annual Spring Luncheon and Fashion Show - Apr. 3, 2014

Stroke Recovery Center board member Marilyn Hirshleifer graciously opened her charming Little Tuscany home for the Center’s Annual Spring Luncheon and Fashion show.

Desert-Wise Landscape Tour Speaks to Do-It-Yourselfers

Participants can view a variety of desert landscapes during the Desert-Wise Landscape Tour, which includes up to 24 homes.

Promotions + Contests