Weekender: Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert, Chicago, Fashion Week El Paseo

What's on your agenda? Here are suggestions for March 21-24



Chef Alejandra Schrader will prepare a mussels dish during the Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert, March 22-24.

Courtesy of Chef Alejandra Schrader

Thursday, March 21
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Probably one of the most attended trunk shows during Fashion Week El Paseo is the one by Project Runway designers. Look for them at the white tent on Larkspur Lane and El Paseo in downtown Palm Desert.

2 p.m.: Hear from designer Trina Turk and Sunnylands Chic at the Rancho Mirage Public Library. No RSVP and admission is free.

6 p.m.: See the movie, "Waste Land", which is part of an ongoing series of documentaries being shown the third Thursday of every month through April at UCR Palm Desert auditorium, 75080 Frank Sinatra Drive. "Waste Land" was nominated for an Academy Award and follows artist Vik Muniz from Brooklyn to his native Brazil.

6-9 p.m.: The Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert hosts its second annual Jazzed About CDMOD event. Food, drinks and jazz music from Heatwave Jazz and Show Band. Proceeds benefit the museum's educational programs.

7 p.m.: Designer Sue Wong (pictured left) shows her new line during the Fashion Week El Paseo runway show in the white tent on Larkspur Lane and El Paseo in downtown Palm Desert.

Dinner suggestion: Cello's American Bistro in Cathedral City features a monthly Chef's Table with a special seven-course meal.

Friday, March 22
11 a.m., to 2 p.m.: Designer Sue Wong will showcase her fashions from the previous night in a trunk show at Fashion Week El Paseo. Get a chance to meet her and let her put you into one of her outfits. Look for the white tent on Lakespur Lane and El Paseo in downtown Palm Desert.

6 p.m.: Dance to music from the 1960s, 70s and 80 while raising funds for United Way of the Desert. Prizes for Rockin' VIP Challenge's best costume and table decor in 60s, 70s or 80s theme at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa in Indian Wells.

7 p.m.: Designer Katherine Polk shows off her latest line in a runway show at Fashion Week El Paseo in the white tent on Lakespur Lane and El Paseo in downtown Palm Desert.

6 or 8:30 p.m.: C'mon down! Win a chance to experience the real "Price is Right" game show at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio. Two shows at 6 or 8:30 p.m. March 22-23.

8 p.m.: "Beauty and The Beast" (pictured left) takes the stage at McCallum Theatre with performances March 22-24. You;ll be singing along to the music, and enjoying this enduring love story.

9 p.m.: Chicago, the iconic rock group originally known as Chicago Transit Authority in the 1960s, performs at the Show at Agua Caliente in Rancho Mirage.

Dinner suggestion: Sherman's Deli and Bakery in Palm Springs is a must-stop if you are visiting, and even if you live here, the menu is varied and the baked goods are the best.

Saturday, March 23
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: The fourth annual Food & Wine Festival brings together some of the country's best chefs and wine experts all under one tent on Lakespur Lane in downtown Palm Desert. Check out food tastings and cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and wine seminars.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Take a tour of more than a dozen condos in south Palm Springs at the infamous Canyon View Estates. A cocktail party kicks off the weekend Friday night (March 22)  and closes with a champagne breakfast and house tour from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday (March 24).

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: The Palm Springs Neighborhood Involvement Committee hosts its sixth annual Neighborhood Picnic & Community Expo at Ruth Hardy Park, 700 Tamarisk Lane, in Palm Springs. The picnis is free to residents and a barbeque lunch will be served. More than 500 booths will be featured.

6- 9 p.m.: The Uptown Design District will host a Saturday night Event and Art Walk. More than 30 modern home furnishing stores, art galleries and clothing shops will be open late.

7 p.m.: Designer Gilbert Chagoury closes Fashion Week El Paseo with his runway show in the white tent on Lakespur Lane and El Paseo in downtown Palm Desert.

7 p.m.: "Gypsy", called the greatest American musical, slates performances at 7 p.m. over the next three weekends through April 6 at Theatre 29 in Twentynine Palms. There is also a 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinee on March 24.

7:30 p.m.: Azul's in downtown Palm Springs celebrates its third anniversary with a jam-packed comedy show led by Jackie Loeb of Australia plus Justin Martindale and Marie Delprete.

8 p.m.: Gordon Lightfoot (pictured left), whose voice has been heard for more than 50 years, has a number of recognizable hits, like "Carefree Highway" "If You Could Read my Mind" and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald".  See him at Spotloght 29 Casino in Coachella.

Dinner suggestion: Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar is now open on El Paseo in Palm Desert with a menu that also includes salads, appetizers, pastas, sandwiched and grilled items.

Sunday, March 24

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: The fourth annual Food & Wine Festival brings together some of the country's best chefs and wine experts all under one tent on Lakespur Lane in downtown Palm Desert. Check out food tastings and cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and wine seminars. Five restaurants from the Coachella Valley will be featured: Dish Creative Cuisine, Cello's, Catalan, Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar and Rockwood Grill.

Noon to 4 p.m.: Lesbian authors Katherine Forrest (pictured right), KG MacGregor and Dr. Ronni Sanlo talk about writing and getting published followed by a Q&A at Matchbox Palm Springs.

2 p.m.: March is Cabaret month, and what better way to celebrate than with "You Make Me Laugh! A Love Song to Gilda Radner" performed by Francesca Amari at The Commissary in Rancho Mirage.

Brunch suggestion: Pinocchio in the Desert in downtown Palm Springs. Bottomless mimosas. OPen 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For Linda
The host of Sissy Bingo at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs since 2009, Linda Gerard has blazed yet another trail in an amazing career stretching more than 50 years. She was recently diagnosed with lung cancer, and the hotel is hosting a fundraiser from 7-11 p.m. March 25.

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