By Lisa Morgan
“It never rains on OUR parade,” boasts Mike Hardin, Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade Chairman. He should know as he and his Lock Shop have participated in the annual parade for the past 36 years. This 48th Annual Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade, themed “American Pride” in honor of the upcoming elections, will be headed westbound on El Paseo between San Luis Rey and Ocoltillo at 1 pm and promises to be even better than years prior. The parade itself, with 85 decorated golf cart entries, is actually the grand finale to a day full of fun, all in celebration of the beautiful city of Palm Desert and its world renowned business community.
The day starts with a huge Palm Desert Rotary pancake breakfast at 7:30 am in the Bank of America parking lot. Judging of the golf cart entries will begin at 10 am followed by the award ceremony at 12:30 on the corner of El Paseo and San Luis Rey. Meanwhile, there will be a custom golf cart show with golf cart supply vendors, over 18 different activities for the kids including a bounce house and rock climbing wall, food vendors offering every festival style food you can imagine while Pete Carlson’s Golf will be displaying golf attire, equipment and accessories.
Originated in the early 60s, the parade was originally put together by several individuals and local celebrities who just wanted to have fun. The parade didn’t become an annual event until 1983. In those early days, it was “Christmas in July”. The Firecliff Lodge served up turkey dinners and the carts were all decorated for Christmas. Now of course, the parade is in October, with over 15,000 spectators from around the world as organizers say they are fielding questions about the parade from the Philippines, France, Germany and Japan.
Special Senior Seating is being provided by The Auen Foundation*. The reserved FREE seating offers boxed lunches, drinks, raffle prizes and plenty of camaraderie for parade goers over 63-years of age. This seating area opens at 12:30 pm at the northwest corner of El Paseo and San Pablo. Space is only available to the first 300 seniors. A limited number of VIP parking passes and shuttles from designated parking lots are also available. To claim your spot in the Auen Foundation Senior Seating area, contact Palm Desert Area Chamber of Commerce at 72-559 Highway 111, Palm Desert, or call (760) 346-6111.
Still want special treatment but you’re not a senior? Then purchase Main Street Seats. The $25 VIP seating ticket will reserve you a seat on El Paseo near Larkspur in the shade with a box lunch, snacks and drinks prior to the parade procession. This is your easy access to prime parade seating. No more rush to find a spot as they are all excellent seats. Bring the office staff or the whole family for a group of up to 10. Experience shows us that spaces fill up quickly, so please reserve as soon as possible.
The Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce and City of Palm Desert have worked diligently over the past six months, side by side a committee of over 20 volunteers who are instrumental in making the parade a reality. Make sure you do not miss this incredibly fun and social event that brings local businesses and the community together in celebration of our unique and beautiful desert city.
*The Auen Foundation, presenting sponsor, is a private, family foundation dedicated to enhancing the overall quality of life of the aging population and raising awareness of the precious-end-of-life stage. The Foundation supports charitable programs and services aimed at meeting the social needs of mature adults and their families.