Festival and parade celebrate gay life in the desert
Greater Palm Springs Pride parade
Every November in the desert, thousands of people unfurl their rainbow flags and take to the street in honor of all things LGBT during the Greater Palm Springs Pride festival and parade Nov. 5-6. The festival runs both days at Palm Springs Stadium and features booths, vendors, live entertainment, dance tents, cocktails galore, and more. Entertainment on the main stage includes headliners Debby Holiday, Ultra Nate, CeCe Peniston, and American Idol’s Frenchie Davis.
The parade steps off 10 a.m. Sunday at Ramon Road in downtown Palm Springs, heading north along Palm Canyon Drive. Bring your deck chairs and sunscreen, and stake out a place along the street. Bring loads of enthusiasm as you cheer on your favorite parade entry, from PFLAG to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Grab the attention of grand marshals Caleb Laieski or celebrity grand marshals Bill Feingold and Kevin Holmes.
On Saturday night, Palm Springs Pride and Arenas Road businesses paint the block pink from 6 to 11:30 p.m. in the heart of the city’s gay district (Arenas Road between Indian Canyon Drive and Calle Encilia). Organizers hope the free party brings the energy of Pride downtown and symbolically embraces Arenas as a haven for gay and lesbian residents and visitors. Expect music, DJs, street and stage performers, food and beverage stations, lots of revelers, and a drag queen or two. You must be 21 or older to attend.
In addition to all the frolicking, the weekend also recognizes individuals and organizations making a difference in the LGBT community at Friday’s Pride Honors Award Ceremony. This year’s recipients include activist Jean Harris, John Palatinus (Palm Springs octogenarian and photographer), Gilbert Baker (creator of the rainbow flag), former EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors, and locals George Zander and Dana Adkins.
Visit www.pspride.org for more information, festival times, award ceremony, and entertainment schedule.
Spirit of Stonewall Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients:
Gilbert Baker, Jean Harris, John Palatinus
Community Service Award:
George Zander, Dana Adkins
Spirit of Stonewall Special Guest:
Geoff Kors and James Williamson
Celebrity Grand Marshals:
Bill Feingold and Kevin Holmes
Community Grand Marshals:
Mindy Reed and Lee Walton and Phil Catalli