Explore Palm Springs: Picnic Under the Palms

Nicolette Wenzell History 0 Comments


In November of 1955, the Palm Springs Historical Society, Palm Springs City Council, and Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce organized an event to celebrate the pioneers of Palm Springs.

Dubbed “Founders’ Day,” the first annual picnic was held in Tamarisk Park (now Ruth Hardy Park) the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Four hundred attendees included 70 pioneers, who were asked to dress the way they did when they arrived in Palm Springs. Subsequently, guests arrived in turn of the century attire, 1920s movie star garb, elaborate western regalia, and most memorably full grown adults arrived dressed as children, some wearing only diapers and bonnets.

The Historical Society continues this tradition today, though now the event is titled, “Picnic Under the Palms,” and held at O’Donnell Golf Club.

“It’s always a nice ‘down-home’ event, reminiscent of when Palm Springs was a sleepy little village” said Historical Society Board President Elizabeth Kieley in 1985. This beloved annual tradition is a tribute to our past and open to everyone who is interested in attending.

This year’s picnic marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Palm Springs Historical Society. Plenty of tempting food and atmosphere will be on hand at noon, Nov. 16 at O'Donnell Golf Club in downtown Palm Springs. Cost is $40 for Historical Society members, $50 for non-members.

Reservations required. Call the Historical Society at 760-323-8297.

There is a multitude of ways to learn more about Palm Springs, which turned 75 in 2013.

One of the more intriguing methods is by exploring the city’s history.

The Palm Springs Historical Society will share a weekly story whose time and place corresponds with today.

The Palm Springs Historical Society is located at 221 S. Palm Canyon Drive. Visit www.pshistoricalsociety.org for more information.

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