The month of December tends to fly by – the hustle and bustle of holiday celebrations, shopping, and many ways to commemorate Christmas, New Year’s and all the others.
In fact, as I shared on “the Facebook” yesterday, there are approximately 29 holidays observed by seven of the world’s largest religions between November and mid-January. So “Happy Holidays” is an appropriate greeting.
I’m in Michigan with my family for a post-Thanksgiving, parent’s anniversary and check in this week. I’ll return to Palm Springs in time for the Festival of Lights, then our company holiday party next week.
There are many ways to help those in need over the holidays. It’s that true spirit of giving that makes it special to me and shifts it from a religious to a secular time. So: may your days be Merry & Bright and may all your celebrations be all of the above…
Brad Fuhr, your Gay Desert Guide on KGAY 106.5 Palm Springs
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31st Annual Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade
The City of Palm Springs presents the 31st Annual Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade: Jingle All the Way on Saturday, December 2 at 5:45 pm on Palm Canyon Drive. The parade, the City’s signature holiday event and a much loved tradition, features spectacular twinkling floats, magnificent marching bands, huge Macy’s-style holiday balloons – and Santa Claus of course. John Taylor, KGAY 106.5 Morning Host, will be on hand with Bella da Ball at the reviewing stand stage at Palm Canyon Drive and Granvia Val Monte! The parade will once again be broadcast live on NBC Palm Springs as well. More info
Jingle Mingle in the Park Tree Lighting
The City of Palm Springs kicks off the holiday season with the the Official City of Palm Springs Holiday Tree Lighting on Friday, December 1 at 4:30 pm in Frances Stevens Park. The event will feature a variety of activities for the whole family, including: crafts for youth, performances by The Dancing Christmas Trees, holiday music and caroling. More info
Annual Timothy Ray Brown Community Cure Symposium + Walk of Stars
The HIV + Aging Research Project marks World AIDS Day in partnership with Reversing Immune Deficiency in HIV Collaboratory (RID-HIV) for the 2nd Annual Timothy Ray Brown Community Cure Symposium on Friday, December 1 from 4:30–8 pm. The event is named to honor the legacy of Timothy Ray Brown, a Palm Springs Resident and the first person cured of HIV. The keynote speaker will be Paul Edmonds, the “City of Hope Patient,” another Valley resident whose HIV cure was announced in July of 2022. Free event, reservations required [More info]. Just before the symposium, at 2:30 pm, there will be a ceremony for a star honoring Timothy Ray Brown on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars, downtown on Museum Way in front of the location of the now-controversial AIDS Memorial sculpture [More info].
Also honoring World AIDS Day, the LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert is holding a Reading of the Names on Friday, December 1 at noon, remembering those we have lost to AIDS-related illnesses. More info
Low Dez Fest
Low Dez Fest is a wine, beer, food, music and art festival taking place on Saturday, December 2 from 2–7 pm at Market Market. Palm Springs Bottle Shop is bringing together LGBTQ+, women, and BIPOC winemakers, brewers, distributors, and others to build community, showcase their products, learn from one another, and relax/revitalize in the desert magic of Palm Springs. Enjoy a day and evening of wine, beer, dining, shopping, camaraderie, performances, art, and more in a gorgeous setting. Get tickets
Thank Yule for Being a Friend
Travel down the road and back again with The Golden Gays as they present Thank YULE for Being a Friend on Saturday, December 2 at 7 pm at Toucans Tiki Lounge. Direct from Off-Broadway and Celebrity Cruises – The Golden Gays are the premier musical and live-singing Golden Girls drag troupe. Before traveling to spend the holidays with their families, Dorothy, Blanche, and Rose participate in a golden gift exchange full of hilarious surprises. Just as they get to the airport a winter storm blows in, leaving them trapped! In an unexpected Charles Dickens twist of events, the three hip grannies must visit their past, present, and future to save Christmas (and find Sophia)…just in time for Turkey Lurkey. Get tickets
Modern Men present “Comfort and Joy”
Join Modern Men as they celebrate their 10th anniversary season, presenting Comfort and Joy, featuring beautiful, healing and inspirational music which will bring enjoyment to everyone this holiday season. The concert will be presented twice at Palm Springs Cultural Center: Saturday, December 2 at 7 pm and Sunday, December 3 at 3 pm. Get tickets
Latrice Royale: Why It Gotta Be White Christmas?
Divas in the Dust presents Latrice Royale: Why It Gotta Be White Christmas? on Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, December 1, 2 & 3 at 7 pm at The Sonoran Palm Springs. Accompanied by her husband and musical director Christopher Hamblin, the one and only Latrice Royale will share songs and stories of the couple’s own holiday memories. A little bit reverent, and a little bit silly, this holiday romp is not to be missed. Get tickets
We Are Best of Coachella Valley Winners!
Readers of the Coachella Valley Independent and viewers of KESQ Channel 3 voted in the Best of Coachella Valley 2023-2024 poll, and once again we are dancing for joy because we are WINNERS! KGAY 106.5 is honored in the TOP SPOT as BEST RADIO STATION for the 5th year running! KGAY deejays were honored as well, with DJ Modgirl and DJ Galaxy taking the top spots in their category of Best Local DJ—and John Taylor, KGAY morning host, is honored along with Patrick Evans, afternoon host of our sister station, 103.1 MeTV fm, in the Best Local Radio Personality category! See the full list of winners in all categories at cvindependent.com
The Leslie’s 35th Annual Toy Drive and Fundraiser Benefiting the Laurel Foundation
The Laurel Foundation will once again be the beneficiary of The Leslies’ 35th Annual Holiday Toy Drive and Fundraiser, on Saturday, December 2 from 6:30–11 pm in Palm Springs. Funds raised will support more than 700 transgender/gender diverse youth and youth affected by HIV/AIDS, providing free mental health and social support programs throughout 2024. Toys collected at the event will be distributed to the youth associated with The Laurel Foundation. Get tickets
Wine ‘n’ Wags
Wine ‘n’ Wags, a pawsome organic/natural wine and food tasting benefiting Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter, is happening on Saturday, December 2 from noon–4 pm at hyphen- wine shop. Taste over 60 wines from small producers from around the world at an incredible afternoon of wine, food, laughter, and furry friends at The Grace Home Shopping Plaza back parking lot. Taste delicious organic/natural wines while mingling with some adorable fur balls, making new friends, and enjoying the beautiful Palm Springs mountain views with local artists, fashion, chocolate, and more. Get tickets
A Christmas Story
Desert Theatreworks presents A Christmas Story from December 1–21. Based on the classic 1983 holiday movie, A Christmas Story follows nine-year-old Ralphie Parker, a daydreamer from Indiana who spends his days counting down to the most exciting day in any kid’s life: Christmas. All he wants is an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle, but as his parents and teachers warn him, “You’ll shoot your eye out!” A Christmas Story charts Ralphie’s desperate quest to ensure that his perfect gift ends up under the tree on Christmas morning. The perfect funny holiday treat for all. Get tickets
Best of Modernism Auction: Holiday Edition
Modernism Week is offering an exciting online auction of unique and compelling experiences and intriguing and distinctive items with their Best of Modernism Auction: Holiday Edition running for 9 days, from December 2–10, just in time for the holiday season. The auction features more than 100 unique architectural experiences, exclusive VIP Modernism Week event tickets and experiences packages, access to exclusive sold-out parties, and uncommon items not typically available to the public. See our event listing for a selection of highlights: More info
Men of the Desert Fashion Show
Animal Samaritans’ 14th Annual Men of the Desert Fashion Show & Luncheon returns to the Palm Springs Air Museum on Sunday, December 3 from 11 am–2 pm. Attendees will enjoy dudes, dogs, and designer fashions at one of the most popular charity events in the desert. All proceeds benefit Animal Samaritans Animal Rescue Program, which has saved more than 15,000 adoptable, at-risk dogs and cats. More info
Indio International Tamale Festival
The City of Indio presents the 31st Indio International Tamale Festival on Saturday and Sunday, December 2 & 3, from 10 am–7 pm at Miles Avenue Park. Proudly holding two Guinness World Records for the biggest Tamale and largest Tamale festival, it has earned recognition as one of the nation’s “top ten food festivals” by The Food Network. Today, the festival hosts over 200 vendors, 6 stages of live entertainment, beer gardens, and has hosted over 50,000 patrons per year—families who gather to embrace the festive spirit, traditional cuisines, refreshing drinks, and lively entertainment. More info
Christmas with the Crawfords
Desert Theatreworks presents Christmas with the Crawfords at Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs now through December 30. This riotous camp classic is based on the actual Christmas Eve live radio broadcast from the Crawford family’s Brentwood mansion in 1949. Filled with exaggerated silver screen icons, this mash-up musical parody is a loving homage to Hollywood’s “Golden Age” and features appearances of Tinsel Town divas such as Judy Garland, Carmen Miranda, Gloria Swanson, Hedda Hopper and the Andrews Sisters. Christmas With The Crawfords is a delightful alternative to the usual saccharine fare offered during the holidays and is guaranteed to make anyone who sees it feel much better about their own family this time of year. Get tickets
WildLights at The Living Desert
Light up your holiday with WildLights at The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, recognized in the Top 10 Best Zoo Lights by USA Today, presented this week on Friday & Saturday, December 1 & 2 from 6–9 pm. This magical winter wonderland, complete with twinkling lights, dazzling light displays, and holiday fun is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit and make lasting memories with friends and family. This year, experience several new and reimagined light exhibits, such as the new 30-foot-tall holiday tree and lighted animal-themed displays. But don’t worry, many of your festive favorites are returning, such as the Tunnel of Lights, s’mores station, holiday carousel, photos with Santa, and much more! WildLights continues on select nights through December 30. If kiddos aren’t your thing, mark your calendar for Adults Only (21+) Night on Thursday, December 14. In true WildLights tradition, the G-scale model trains, with more than 3,300 feet of track, will be decked out for the holidays. Get tickets