Debuts November 6 and Features New and Significant Special Events for the 2015 – 2016 Season

By Chris Clemens

First Weekend Palm Desert, held monthly the first weekend from November through May every year, is a monthly three-day signature celebration, featuring world-class art and cultural activities, dining and shopping specials, and now featured events with different themes.

The first major event, STREET, is scheduled for Saturday, November 7 from 5 to 10 p.m. at Westfield Palm Desert, under the stars at the shopping center’s rooftop event venue, The Deck. STREET will be an interactive party blending the worlds of street-inspired art, music, food and fashion. The event merges art inspired by urban downtown streets and desert terrain, with craft projects, large-scale murals, sculptures and reclaimed furniture made by local artisans. Highlights include an urban-edged fashion with Buckle and Macy’s and graffiti glam available by MAC Cosmetics. Attendees will enjoy a Stuft Pizza pop-up restaurant, food trucks, full bar, craft beer and wine stations, along with live music by featured performer DJ Alf Alpha. Other live music throughout the evening includes SoCal hip hop, indie-soul, and reggae. Admission is free and the event is open to all ages. STREET is curated by Coachella Valley Art Scene and sponsored by The City of Palm Desert.

Other notable First Weekend activities scheduled specifically for November include:

  • The Choreography Festival on Saturday at the McCallum Theatre from 4 to 6 p.m. Choreography by both emerging and established dance makers take center stage for McCallum’s popular festival, now in its 18th year. Exciting original dances in a number of styles are performed by companies from across the nation with winners announced at the conclusion of each performance. Highlighting dance as an art form, this event always delivers an interesting mix of work by deserving artists. Tickets can be purchased at
  • Brandon Blane McMillan’s Lost Places is on view Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Desert Art Collection. This “pop-up” show features the hyperrealist/abstract paintings of McMillan.
  • The Galen First Friday in November includes a performance by Henry Wolfe at 7:30 p.m. in the outdoor Faye Sarkowsky Sculpture Garden of the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, The Galen. With free admission year round guests can also peruse the museum’s current exhibition Still Life: Capturing the Moment.
  • A free Guided Public Art Tour at Civic Center Park is offered at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Civic Center Park is located at 43900 San Pablo Avenue at the corner of Fred Waring. The tour will be led from the south entrance to the park off of Fred Waring, in front of Messenger of the Puul.
  • The Living Desert’s Annual Fall Plant Sale is Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The sale features a huge selection of desert native and desert adapted plants, including rare desert plants, and offering one of the best selections of southwestern desert plans in the state.
  • The Desert Willow Jazz Brunch takes place at Desert Willow Golf Resort, recognized as a best outdoor dining venue in Palm Desert. The resort’s restaurant is situated adjacent to two world-class golf courses with spectacular views. Guests can enjoy a delectable brunch with live music on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The next major event is scheduled for the February First Weekend on Saturday, February 6, 2016 on El Paseo. The outdoor Swing N’ Hops Street Party will be held from noon to 4 p.m., bringing together swing music performed by a live band, craft beer gardens, gourmet food booths, a classic car show with cars from the 1920’s to 40’s, a swing dance party complete with instruction, and era specific fashion.

Every First Weekend includes the following activities:

  • El Paseo After Dark on Fridays

From elegant shopping to exquisite dining, El Paseo indulges all the  senses, and on Friday’s of First Weekend many shops stay open extended hours. Amongst a beautiful backdrop of the gorgeous San Jacinto Mountains, visit your favorite luxury labels and chic boutiques, savor gourmet cuisine by the Coachella Valley’s top chefs, visit antique shops and art galleries. With over 250 retailers, the mile-long drive is home to Gucci, Louis Vuitton, St. John, Tiffany, Escada, Presage, Saks Fifth Avenue, Kate Spade, Ann Taylor, Grayse, and many others.

  • El Paseo Cruise Night, Friday from 3:15 to 6 p.m.

The cool, shiny, lovingly cared-for cars begin arriving around 3:15 p.m. at the upper level of the parking structure behind The Gardens on El Paseo. Get a close-up look at these beauties and talk to the owners before 4:30 when they take over the street between Highway 74 and Portola until 6 p.m. Grab a spot (preferably at a patio table at one of El Paseo’s wonderful restaurants) and watch the polished chrome show. (760) 346-8965;

  • El Paseo Art Walk, Friday from 4 to 8 p.m.

The renowned El Paseo Artwalk is a self-guided tour with maps provided, to stroll the numerous art galleries on the famed drive. Art galleries will feature exhibit openings, artist receptions, and more.

  • Galen First Friday from 5 to 9 p.m.

Enjoy free admission to the museum for exhibitions and film screenings, and enjoy live music by different musicians each month in the Faye Sarkowsky Sculpture Garden. Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, 72567 Highway 111 (760) 346-5600;

  • Passport to Art and Design, Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Visitors to The Art Place get a stamped Passport from each of the ten unique galleries for a chance to win a prize. The Art Place, 41801Corporate Way, Palm Desert, (760) 776-2268,

  • Free Guided Public Art Tour

Free guided walking tours of the public art collection in Palm Desert includes tours at El Paseo Exhibition, Civic Center Park, or the Palm Desert Library. More information about the City’s public art program and tour scheduled can be viewed at Palm Desert Public Library, 73300 Fred Waring Drive, (760) 837-1664.

Key partners for First Weekends include El Paseo (the Rodeo Drive of the desert), Westfield Palm Desert, McCallum Theatre, The Living Desert, The Art Place, and Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, The Galen and Faye Sarkowsky Sculpture Garden.

First Weekend attracts visitors from throughout Southern California while also engaging local residents. Visitors from out of the area will find everything from luxurious resorts to budget-friendly hotels, including the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa, Marriott’s Shadow Ridge, Residence Inn by Marriott, The Westin Desert Willow Villas, Hampton Inn & Suites, Shadow Mountain Resort & Club, The Inn at Deep Canyon, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Mojave Inn, Casa Larrea Inn, Club Intrawest, Embassy Suites, Best Western, and Holiday Inn Express.

For more information about First Weekend visit or call (760) 568-1441. For more information about the City of Palm Desert and hotels within the City, visit or call (760) 568-1441.