Greater Palm Springs Pride November 1st – 4th, Thursday – Sunday
By Lisa Morgan
A weekend absolutely full of unprecedented entertainment, events and celebration is being brought to the Coachella Valley once again by The Greater Palm Springs Pride this Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 2-4th. “Long May it Wave” is this year’s banner as the LBGT pays tribute to the flag of many colors that stands for celebrating diversity and as a symbol of hope, not just to those in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley, but to those around the world. The Greater Palm Springs Pride organization is a non-profit organization working to promote public education and awareness of individual rights and civil liberties of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as well as to promote the history, diversity and future prosperity of the LGBT community. And boy, do they know how to party!
Thursday, November 1st kicks off the weekend with the sold out Center Stage Concert, a benefit honoring Dr. Woody Baldwin and Senator Sheila Kuehl. It will be headlined by
Megan Mullally and Supreme Music with special guest emcee Ross Mathews.
Friday, November 2nd at 8 pm in the Palm Canyon Theatre, the second annual Broadway in Drag Pageant will be held. This event, that sold out last year, will feature a special tribute to Philip “Sebastian” Petrie, aka Morgana Le Fay, Miss Broadway in Drag 2011. Hosting for the second year, will be Coachella Valley’s “reigning drag diva”, Bella da Ball. Also on November 2 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm, the prestigious Palm Springs Pride Honors Awards will be presented to individuals in honor of their work in furthering the causes of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and their allies. The awards will be presented at a reception at the Hyatt Regency Suites in Palm Springs.
Saturday, November 3rd at 8 am, the 12th Annual Pride Run and Walk will take place. The 10K Run, 5K Run, and 5K Walk course is flat and fast. All participants receive a race t-shirt and goodie bag. Awards will be presented to top male and female finishers in various age categories. Raffle prizes and refreshments will be served after the race.
Saturday and Sunday, November 3rd and 4th, from 10 am until 6pm (or later, depending on the headliners) the Palm Springs Pride Festival begins at the Palm Springs stadium/Sunrise Park, only one “rainbow mile” from downtown. Speaking of “headliners” Karmin, the rocking, rapping, popping duo of Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan, as seen on the cover of Rolling Stone, will be one of a huge list of celebrities joining forces and sharing their talents in support of the LGBT community. There will be over 130 performances on 5 stages, a Big Top Cabaret Tent, Country Dance and PNN.fm HiNrg dance tents that will also feature live entertainment and over 90 performances. New features include Fetish in the Outfield the Leather Realm, Karaoke Tent, Children’s Cabana, Youth Xone, gourmet food trucks, Vons Farmer’s Market, 150 exhibitors and non-profit organizations, (take a deep breath), food and beverage vendors, Bud Light 2nd Base bar with multiple beer stations, Authors’ Village where there will be a very special book signing, and HIV/AIDS testing by Desert Aids Project. The list of entertainers and events is mind boggling, especially for this writer who has limited number of words and space. If you’re like me and don’t want to miss anything, do NOT worry. In the infamous words of… well, everyone, there’s an App for that! “There is no better tool to get up to date Pride event information, purchase tickets or share Pride Weekend pictures.” per Ron deHarte, president of Palm Springs Pride. The Greater Palm Springs Pride App is available for iPhone, iPad and iTouch users to download free of cost from the iTunes App Store. A droid version will be available as well.
Saturday, November 3, 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm the Arenas Road, Block Party 2012. The LGBT community will be taking the party to the streets, Palm Springs style. Enjoy musical headliners and guest DJs entertaining under the stars on Arenas Road. Street performers along with food and beverage stations will also fill the streets. Thousands of dancing party goers and a few dishy drag queens are expected. This party is reserved for 21 and over only.
Sunday, November 4, 2012 Aids Walk Palm Springs: “For 25 years, our supporters have been ‘showing the love’ by joining the Palm Springs AIDS Walk to raise much-needed funds for client services at Desert AIDS Project. In our first 24 years, the Palm Springs AIDS Walk has netted nearly $6.25 million through individual walkers who secure donation pledges from friends and family, as well as through significant sponsorships from community partnerships. This year, we are honored to join the 2012 Greater Palm Springs Pride Parade, marching as part of the Pride Parade up Palm Canyon Drive, as the recipient of the 2012 Spirit of Stonewall Advocate of the Year Award.” Registration and check in begins at 7:30 am at the Kaiser Permanente Building 1150 N. Indian Canyon.
Touted as “The most scenic Pride Parade in the world!” it is definitely the largest parade in the Coachella Valley. The Greater Palm Springs Pride Parade steps off at 10 am on Sunday, at West Ramon Road on Palm Canyon Drive and travels north to East Tamarisk Road. A many as 60,000 people are expected to line the streets. It is here where you, will be able to show your support and appreciation, not only to the 6,000 wonderful, spirited souls marching in solidarity for the causes of the LGBT community, but also to a very special Grand Marshall: American hero, Staff Sergeant Eric Fidelis Alva, Purple Heart recipient for his injuries during the Iraq war and a key element to the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. Alva took an incredibly courageous step in openly admitting to the military and the world that he was gay, in order to work towards fighting for the rights of LGBT Americans and for all those who have served and are serving in the military. He and so many others have found the courage to identify and celebrate themselves at a Palm Springs Pride parade over the years.
The purpose and goal of this event, aside from providing an epically fantastic time, is summed up in the words of Palm Springs Pride President, Ron deHarte: “We want to raise awareness for equality and equal rights for ALL individuals. This is an opportunity for the entire community to celebrate the unity and diversity of the Coachella Valley.”
For more information, tickets, times and events go to http://pspride.org/, follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PalmSprings.Pride#!/PalmSprings.Pride or call them at (760) 416-8711.