Brad Fuhr

Nostalgia is a funny thing. Defined as a wistful affection for the past, it is ever-present during the holidays. A successful Christmas song always looks back, not forward. Take for example Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Old Lang Syne” with its lyric:

Just for a moment, I was back at school
And felt that old familiar pain
And as I turned to make my way back home
The snow turned into rain

Thursday night’s Heart concert was another trip down memory lane with a closing anthem of “Stairway to Heaven” reprised from the Kennedy Honors in 2012. Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, along with Jason Bonham, played Stairway to Heaven as a tribute for Led Zeppelin, and that performance still brings tears.

The New Year now has us looking forward with tepid anticipation of an election, as war and unrest continue in the world, and there are affronts to LGBTQ+ rights. We long for simpler times – conveniently forgetting the worries of the past as nostalgia washes over us like a wave. Hopefully the worries of today and fears of tomorrow won’t drowned us, and will instead be like the cold rain Dan Fogelberg sang about. 

Brad Fuhr, your Gay Desert Guide on KGAY 106.5 Palm Springs

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New Year's Eve

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

For making your New Year’s Eve plans, we’ve got a great roundup of NYE Parties with links to all the info you need [here]. And check out a few highlights below ⬇️

The Dreamboats at The Westin

NYE at the Westin C

Join The Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve Party with The Dreamboats on Sunday, December 31 from 9 pm–1 am. Step into the glamour of the golden era and let the rhythm of the 50s and 60s set the tone for an evening of Shake, Rattle, and Roll. Get ready to be dazzled by infectious energy and award-winning tunes spanning rock ‘n’ roll to pop classics that will have you dancing the night away. Guests are encouraged to dress “Retro Chic.” Get tickets

KC and the Sunshine Band + Zowie Bowie at The Show

KC and the Sunshine Band

In partnership with the City of Rancho Mirage, the Studio ’24 New Year’s Eve Celebration is happening on Sunday, December 31 at Agua Caliente Casino Rancho Mirage. The party will be property-wide all day and include a live DJ spinning epic beats on the casino floor. At The Show, a disco-themed party includes performances by KC & The Sunshine Band at 8 pm, followed by Zowie Bowie’s New Year’s Eve dance party. Tickets to see KC & The Sunshine Band include entry to Zowie Bowie. Get tickets

Agua Caliente Palm Springs Glitz & Glam

Glitz & Glam

At Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs, guests can celebrate the New Year with a Hollywood glam-inspired Glitz & Glam Block Party from 8 pm–1 am, complete with a countdown to Midnight Fireworks Extravaganza and the famous Palm Tree illumination at midnight. The party starts with live music by high-energy dance band Haute Chile. There will also be food trucks, outdoor bar gardens, oversized outdoor games, and social media stations for that perfect photo opportunity. In addition to the exciting entertainment, all three Agua Caliente casino properties will feature thrilling promotions and cash giveaways all night long, roaming entertainment throughout the casino floors, food and drink specials, and free party favors while supplies last. Get tickets

Agua Caliente Cathedral City A-List Event

NYE Cathedral City

Come dressed to impress at Agua Caliente Casino Cathedral City’s A-List New Year’s Eve from 8 pm–2 am. In the Agave Caliente Terraza, local favorite DJ Alf Alpha will be spinning the hottest tunes while keeping the crowd entertained and dancing all night long. There will also be a midnight countdown complete with a festive balloon drop. More info

New Year’s Eve at 4 Saints

4 Saints Dining Room

Celebrate the end of the year at 4 Saints, atop the Kimpton Rowan, where the food & drink rival the spectacular mountain and Coachella Valley views, with live music filling the festive air. Book your dinner reservation between 5–10 pm and enjoy a special New Year’s Eve menu prepared by Executive Chef Richard Crespin. Stay for the midnight celebration at 4 Saints’ bar and High Bar to raise a toast to 2024 and take in Agua Caliente’s midnight fireworks from The Rowan’s perfect rooftop vantage point. More info

Brothers of the Desert New Year’s Eve Legacy Gala and Fundraiser

Dancing Through the Decades

Brothers of the Desert will ring in the New Year in style at their New Year’s Eve Legacy Gala and Fundraiser, Dancing Through the Decades, starting at 8 pm in the Grand Ballroom at Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs. Indulge in a night filled with delicious food, captivating live entertainment, and an atmosphere that will leave you in awe. Guests will dance the night away and enjoy the music of Gennine Francis, DJ Space, Tommy Dodson, and Hope Diamond. Legacy honorees for the evening are Sweet Baby J’ai, Charles Huff, and Gabriel Maldonado. More info

Drag Brunch in the Desert

oneelevenbar drag

Palm Springs is a glittering oasis not just for snowbirds and vintage enthusiasts, but also for drag aficionados. Our vibrant drag scene pulsates with sass, sequins, and sky-high wigs. There are drag brunches not only on Sunday but Friday and Saturday as well! We have listings for drag by day of the week in the Gay Desert Guide Nightlife Channel. Just look for the “Drag Shows in the Desert” listings! You can also find a general rundown of drag offerings in our Drag Shows with Courage, Ostentatiousness, Charisma, and Kookiness article, featuring shows at Oscar’s, Reforma, Chill Bar, one eleven bar and more!

Celebrate Coachella Valley

Lauren Alaina LIVE Dec 30

The 2nd Annual Celebrate Coachella Valley takes place on Saturday, December 30 from 3:30–9:30 pm at Palm Desert Civic Center Park. This free event features live musical performances from top-notch artists, including headliner Lauren Alaina, plus some of SoCal’s favorite food trucks, games, giveaways and much more. Stuft Pizza will offer a premium wine tasting, and you can win gift cards from popular local businesses. More info

WildLights at The Living Desert

Giant Gift Wildlights 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, nightly through Saturday, December 30 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. Experience several new and reimagined light exhibits, such as the new 30-foot-tall holiday tree and lighted animal-themed displays; plus many of your festive favorites are returning, such as the Tunnel of Lights, s’mores station, holiday carousel, photos with Santa, and much more! 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

Magic of Lights – Coachella Valley 2023

Magic of Lights Barbie

Experience Magic of Lights – Coachella Valley 2023 through Sunday, December 31, every night starting at 5:30 pm at the Empire Polo Club. Magic of Lights is a dazzling, drive-through holiday lights experience featuring favorite holiday scenes and characters of the season using the latest LED technology and digital animations. Experience Magic of Lights from the comfort and safety of your own car as you wind through the sparkling path of Coachella Valley’s new holiday tradition. One carload, one price. Get tickets

Christmas with the Crawfords

Christmas Crawfords Crop

Desert Theatreworks presents Christmas with the Crawfords at Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs now through Saturday, 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.

For all events check out the

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