Weekender: La Quinta Arts Festival, Jeb Bush, BNP Paribas

What's on your agenda? Here are suggestions for March 8-10

Rafael Nadal is slated to play in the BNP Paribas Open, which continues preliminary match play this weekend at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Gerry Maceda

Thursday, March 7
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: The 31st annual La Quinta Arts Festival opens with its No. 1 banner as the best Fine Art Show according to Art Fair SourceBook. Look for jewelry designer Harry Roa, who will debut his newest creation (pictured right), a ring inspired by Bob Hope's Palm Springs home. Festival runs through Sunday, same hours.

5-6:30 p.m.: Artist Karen LaMonte will sign copies of her new monogram, Floating World, at the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert.

5 p.m.:  Author Susan Beilby Magee will discuss artist and Holocaust survivor Kalman Aron and their joint book, "Into the Light". Both will participate in a Q&A with the audience.

6 p.m.: John S. Levin, a professor at the University of California-Riverside in Palm Desert and an acknowledged expert on community colleges in the U.S. and Canada, speaks on the erosion of state funding for higher education.

7 p.m.: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose name has recently been thrown out there for the 2016 Presidential race, will speak  as part of the H.N. & Frances Berger Foundation Desert Town Hall Series at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa in Indian Wells.

8 p.m.: Tony and Maria. Jets vs. Sharks. Finger snapping. "West Side Story" (pictured left) is more than 50 years old, but its story and music continue to touch us. At the McCallum Theatre through Sunday.

Dinner suggestion: Manhattan's in the Desert in Palm Springs has a variety of servings and you can even bring your pooch to dinner. Check out what other restuarants are just as doggy friendly.

Friday, March 8
Noon to 7 p.m.: The Desert Living Home Show opens at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Check out the answers to your home improvement projects. Runs through Sunday.

11 a.m.: The Palm Springs Woman's Club will host its annual Scholarship Philanthropic Luncheon and Fashion Show at the Hilton Palm Springs
to benefit Palm Springs High School college-bound students.
6 p.m.: The stakes are high and the action is intense when Spotlight 29 Casino hosts the seventh annual Coachella Valley Poker Championship through Sunday. Players of all levels are encouraged to register.

7 p.m.:  Catch the last weekend (March 8-9) of "It's All About Love" from Cabaret Theatre West at the Indian Wells Theater. Features more than 40 memorable love songs.

7 p.m.: The American Advertising Federation Palm Springs hosts its annual ADDY Awards show and gala at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage.

7:30 p.m. (pictured right) Neil Simon's hilarious play, "California Suite", comes to the Old Towne Playhouse in Indio. Runs through March 24.

8 p.m.: Remember the song, "Roundabout"? OK, how about "Owner of a Lonely Heart"? Just say YES. The group dating back to the 1970s will appear at the Perchanga Casino Resort in Temecula.

8 p.m. "Sunset Boulevard", directed by Judith Chapman, who is well known for her soap opera roles from "As The World Turns" to "The Young and the Restless", debuts for a 12-day run at the Palm Canyon Theatre in Palm Springs.

Dinner suggestion: Vicky's of Santa Fe in Indian Wells presents its exciting jazz series by the American Jazz Institute with no-host cocktails, a three-curse dinner and show.

Saturday, March 9
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Trina Turk Trunk Show (pictured left) puts the latest spring collections on display at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden while preliminary match play continues. Check out this Palm Springs Uptown District poolside and cocktail party offerings.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Meet Kerry Cushman, a swimsuit designer for Sports Illustrated, for a private fitting and see her new creations at She She on El Paseo in Palm Desert.

Noon: Ace Hotel in Palm Springs hosts the World Famous Pool Party with DJ Alf Alpha along with dance and crafts.

2:30 p.m.: The Sandblaster Chorus presents "Harmony Jubilee". The men's a cappella chorus sings an array of four-part harmony melodies. at UC Riverside Palm Desert.

5 p.m.: See some of the premiere dance companies from Chicago at the Dance for Life Palm Springs event benefiting AIDS Assistance Program and The Dancers' Fund at the Annenberg Theater in Palm Springs.

5:30-8 p.m.: "Luminous" opens at Melissa Morgan Fine Art on El Paseo in Palm Desert featuring "painters of light" Andy Moses, Lita Albuquerque, Marcia Roberts, Ned Evans and Norman Zammit.

Dinner suggestion: Jiao in Palm Springs. The menu includes Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai and Japanese influences. Outdoor dining is its specialty in the Uptown District.

Sunday, March 10
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: The Palm Springs Art Museum offers Free Second Sundays where admission is free to all activities for families, couples and singles. The program includes a 3 p.m. performance reading by Emmy Award winning actor, Lawrence Lucinbill (pictured right).

Brunch suggestion: Spencer's Restaurant in Palm Springs served 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

North vs. South
The Civil War comes to life in a reenactment, March 9-10, at the Vista Antique Gas & Steam Museum in Vista, Calif. Battles take place at noon and 3 p.m. March 9. Artillery and field demonstrations at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on March 9-10.

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