I LOVE A PARADE
Palm Springs Festival of Lights
Palm Canyon Drive never looks better than when the lights are turned out and the only images you see are parade entries outlined in beautiful holiday lights. The action starts at 5:45 p.m. Dec. 7. Hear from the guy who has played Santa in all 22 parades, and watch his special holiday message VIDEO.
IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE…
The Living Desert
Holiday lights numbering in the thousands transform the zoo to a holiday wonderland. Runs on select dates throughout the month. See our VIDEO featuring the Tunnel of Lights.
Tree Lighting – Palm Springs
Hot cocoa, cookies, and caroling help set the scene for Palm Springs to light its holiday tree at 5 p.m. Dec. 5 at Frances Stevens Park.
Tree Lighting – Indio
The City of Indio flips the switch on its holiday tree at 6 p.m. Dec. 5 near City Hall.
Wreath Lighting – Palm Desert
Palm Desert rings in the holiday season by lighting up a 12-foot diameter wreath at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 6 along with caroling, children's activities, refreshments and a visit from Santa.
The Gardens on El Paseo
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 7, your kids can enjoy arts and crafts, face painting and receive a photo with Santa. The donation benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Desert.
Winter Gathering Pow Wow
Admission is free to this Native American song and dance festival Dec. 6-8 at Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella. The highlight is the Grand Entry where all rival dancers enter the Showroom in procession – check times.
Three young people with Down Syndrome use the groundkeeper's car and take off after watching the movie, "Thelma & Louise". Screens at 9:15 a.m. Dec. 7 at Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs.
FOR A GOOD CAUSE
The most heralded trio of women in the Coachella Valley – Carol Channing, Helene Galen and Mariah Hanson – will be honored for their ongoing philanthropic contributions by the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce Dec. 5 at the Renaissance Palm Springs
Chili Cook Off
Celebrity Chefs include Donna MacMillan, Jim Houston, and Carl Karcher and the evening benefits the College of the Desert Foundation Academic Angels.
Dennis James Gala & Golf Classic
The 18th annual hosted by James (pictured left), which benefits United Cerebral Palsy, features a night of entertainment Dec. 8 with singer-comedian Scott Record followed by a round of golf Dec. 9 – all at Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage.
Riverside County Classic Car Show
Benefits the Riverside County Dollars for Scholars scholarship fund and Pegasus Therapeutic Riding starting at 9 a.m. Dec. 7 at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio.
"Celebrities in Hiding"
Author Audrey Schumacher will tell tales from her most recent book about celebrities coming to Desert Hot Springs, inspired from a visit to Two Bunch Palms when she spotted Barbra Streisand at a nearby table. She will sign starting at 1 p.m. Dec. 8 at Cabot's Pueblo Museum in Desert Hot Springs.
Jorge Mendez Gallery
See the work of 12 Latin-American artists in the opening of this Palm Canyon Drive gallery Dec. 6 with wine, champagne and hors d'oeuvres.
Sheila Benow Remembered
Palm Desert artist Sheila Benow passed away last year from breast cancer, but she leaves behind a legacy of great work that will be recognized during a special reception from 4-8 p.m. Dec. 6 at Desert Art Collection art gallery in Palm Desert. Members of her family will be present.
The College of Desert Dramatic Arts Company pokes fun at the holidays with "A Tuna Christmas" at "Theatre Too" on the COD campus in Palm Desert.
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
Get some new ideas on how to decorate your home at the Desert Living Home Show, Dec. 6-8 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Check out the How-to Demos and Eco-friendly products and services.
The Message is in the Music
Tim Bruneau moved to Palm Springs permanently thinking he might take a year off. Not so much. His musical contributions in the Coachella Valley along with Joe Giarrusso and Lilli Joseph will be honored during a collaborative fundraiser for OperaArts and the Steinway Society of Riverside County. Read more about this amazing trio.
"Handel-ing the Holidays"
The California Desert Chorale mixes Broadway and Hollywood with more traditional holiday songs, including a stirring 30-minutes of Handel's "Messiah" at 3 p.m. at the Indian Wells Theater in Palm Desert.
With a new EP and a new record label, this Cambodian '60s surf pop band continues to evolve and grow. They will appear at Pappy & Harriet's Dec. 5. Read our Q&A with band member Rick Holtzman.
So Many Events, So Little Time
December is jam-packed with holiday events. Sort through them with our comprehensive detailed listing. This weekend look for the Ten Tenors (pictured above) at McCallum Theatre (Dec. 6-8) and the Desert Winds Freedom Band Dec. 7.
Chip Davis and Mannheim Steamroller changed the nation's appreciation of holiday music with a unique take on established tunes. See this triple-decade long tradition Dec. 6 at Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula.
Jazzoo Concert Series
The Living Desert opens its 30th Jazzoo Concert Series with music ranging from Big Band to boogie, ballads, and blues at 3 p.m. Dec. 8. The series runs six Sunday afternoon shows with proceeds going to The Living Desert's mission.
Country music star Merle Haggard (pictured left) takes the stage Dec. 8 at Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula. This year he received an honorary doctorate from California State University-Bakersfield (where he grew up) – the first in CSUB's history.
Indio International Tamale Festival
Tabbed as one of the top 10 food festivals in the country by the Food Network, this is foodies haven, plus a list of activities to keep you busy the whole weekend. Read our preview and hear why you need to try Maria Rios' recipe.
No, it's not a movie, but the Purple Room Palm Springs inside Club Trinidad has a hearty fare to match its entertainment wow-factor. Read some menu recommendations from writer Pamela Bieri.
Lots of Lobster
Jensen's Foods in Palm Springs will host a three-day Lobster Fest to benefit Guide Dogs of the Desert, Dec. 6-8, starting at 11 a.m. Take home a lobster meal for $19.99 that includes lobster, coleslaw, confetti rice and a dinner roll.
I'm Your Venus
Professional tennis player Venus Williams, making her first appearance in the desert since 2001, will wear apparel from her EleVen By Venus Lifestyle Collection at 11 a.m. Dec. 7 at Pete Carlson's Golf & Tennis in Palm Desert.
A DAY THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY
Pearl Harbor Remembrance
The Palm Springs Air Musuem will present a special program at 1 p.m. Dec. 7 with an appearance by 95-year-old Helen Hunt, who was a student in Honolulu the day of the attack.
For more events, visit our comprehensive calendar.