By Crystal Harrell

What has been a long-standing community tradition halted by the pandemic now returns as the City of Palm Desert hosts a series of free, weekly concerts at the Palm Desert Civic Center Park amphitheater throughout the month of May. The concerts will be held every Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. with some of the top acts from across the region performing. The family-friendly event will also include free parking, food trucks, and games for kids.

“Palm Desert Concerts in the Park are all about fostering a sense of community. The great response we’ve had to the series this spring shows us that our residents and visitors are craving opportunities to get together with other people for music, food, and fun in the park,” stated Thomas Soule, Public Affairs Manager for the City of Palm Desert.

The City of Palm Desert normally hosts its Concerts in the Park series every May and October, with the notable exception being the hiatus during the pandemic. The City intends on keeping the concert series a biannual tradition in Palm Desert for many more years in the future.

“Each May and October, we put together a lineup of bands that bring a variety of genres and styles to Civic Center Park. There’s something for everyone to enjoy! We often feature local favorites that we know will be crowd-pleasers,” said Soule.

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This month, the performers for the concert series offer a mix of musical styles, from country to classic rock. Santanaways, an electrifying Latin/blues rock band that pays tribute to Santana, kicked off the concert series on Cinco de Mayo. Other concert series performers so far included Flashback Heart Attack, a nationally acclaimed ‘80s show from Orange County that wowed the audience on May 12.

On May 19, country crooners will take center stage when the Kelly Rae Band delivers crowd-pleasing tunes that will have concertgoers on their feet. Frequently booked at festivals, fairs and theme parks, the band plays a wide range of country music from Patsy Cline and George Strait, to Little Big Town and Carrie Underwood.

Wrapping up the season on May 26 is Legends of Classic Rock, a notable  line-up of musicians who have previously played with White Lion, Ratt, Steppenwolf, Rod Stewart, Alice Cooper, Quiet Riot, Great White, and Dokken.

“Palm Desert’s Concerts in the Park are free and family friendly! We invite everyone to come spend the evening in the park with us!” encouraged Soule.

While the music is the main draw, food and beverage trucks will be available each concert evening, offering a variety of culinary delights an hour before the concerts. Concertgoers may also bring picnic baskets along with blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the shows.

“The amphitheater at Civic Center Park is a great setting for informal concerts, allowing people to lounge on the grass or sit in their golf carts to enjoy good company and great music. We’re also able to get food trucks right up close to the audience, and there’s plenty of free parking nearby,” shared Soule.

The concert series features vendors like refreshing Italian ices E & E Pel’s every week, but try to have a different food truck at each concert. Upcoming vendors this month include Smokey Lips BBQ and The Big Easy Sandwich, and then Chaparritos Grill on the 26th.

Alcoholic beverages and smoking are prohibited at Civic Center Park. Families are also encouraged to arrive even earlier to take advantage of the games and activities offered by Family YMCA of the Desert prior to the start of the concerts.

Palm Desert Civic Center Park is located on the northeast corner of San Pablo Avenue and Fred Waring Drive. For more information on attending the Concert in the Park series, visit www.DiscoverPalmDesert.com, or the VisitPalmDesert page on Facebook and Instagram.