Residents turn out to Fourth of July events, grateful for public celebrations

Iris Davis, 6, twirls an American flag Sunday evening at Ruth Hardy Park in Palm Springs as her mother Lena (seated, left), soaks in the scene at a city-sponsored Independence Day celebration.

Like many Americans who lived through the stress and trauma surrounding the battle against COVID-19 during the past 16 months, Lena Davis was hard-pressed to remember exactly where she was last Fourth of July.

“It seems like another lifetime, doesn’t it?” she asked Sunday evening while sitting on the lawn at Ruth Hardy Park. “I guess I was at home, worrying.”

This July 4, while Davis was watching her 6-year-old daughter Iris dance and twirl a small American flag at the park, the Dude Jones band pumped out classic American tunes, vendors served tamales and ice cream, and hundreds of Davis’ neighbors settled in around her, preparing for the evening’s big event — a laser light show. The celebration of Independence Day was one of four sponsored by the city on Sunday at four different locations.

Soaking in a scene almost unimaginable in July 2020, Davis couldn’t help but reflect, sharing lessons many have learned during a pandemic that has so far claimed the lives of more than 600,000 Americans.

“My daughter has never known a normal day of school,” Davis said. “I think many people are learning that time is fleeting. We all have to make choices.”

Her choice to join the celebration at Ruth Hardy Park wasn’t made without a bit of precaution. Davis, who is vaccinated, wore a mask, as did her daughter. But as she watched the scene unfold around her she was grateful.

“It was ambitious,” she said of the city’s efforts to offer residents a sense of normalcy at multiple Independence Day events. “It was appreciated.”

Related news: Palm Springs police officers and fire crews were kept busy over what is traditionally a busy weekend for them. Between the hours 12 AM Friday and 6 AM today, there were 28 reports of illegal fireworks in the city and two structure fires. In most cases, officers were unable to locate the illegal activity.

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OPEN/CLOSED TODAY: Most public buildings and services at the city, county, state, and federal levels will be closed today in observance of yesterday’s July 4 holiday. In addition, banks will be closed, and mail service will not take place (including services at Postal Palm Springs). Most major retail stores are open, as well as grocery stores. Palm Springs Disposal Services will be on a regular schedule this week. Sunline Transit will operate on its holiday schedule. One exception at the city level is that Welwood Murray Memorial Library, downtown at 100 S. Palm Canyon Dr., will be open regular hours, from 10 AM until 6 PM.

Images of The Monkey Tree Hotel as seen in a brochure for the property when it was put up for sale in 2019.

ICONIC HOTEL SOLD: The Monkey Tree Hotel, located at 2388  E. Racquet Club Rd., sold at the end of May its former owners confirmed Sunday, and is currently closed. How long that closure will last, who purchased the property, and how much they paid, are still unknown. The 9,000-square-foot, 16-room boutique hotel was most recently put up for sale in 2019 for $3.6 million. It has been in operation since 1960 and has a rich history, as profiled in this Palm Springs Life feature in 2017. It last changed hands in 2015 for a sale price of $2 million. The buyers, Kathy and Gary Friedle, undertook a mission to restore and renovate the property in time for Modernism Week 2016.

An artist rendering of what the Aluminaire House will look like when installed at the Palm Springs Art Museum.

ALUMINAIRE HOUSE: The Aluminaire House Foundation has secured a location in the south parking lot of the Palm Springs Art Museum for relocation and reconstruction of the Aluminaire House and will seek city approval this week from the Historic Site Preservation Board (HSPB) for a Certificate of Appropriateness to modify the museum site to accommodate the permanent installation of the structure in a sculpture garden. The HSPB had previously approved conceptual placement of the home at the museum.  The house was designed as a case study by architects A. Lawrence Kocher and Albert Frey in 1931. Made of donated materials and built in 10 days, it was the first all-metal house in the United States. The home was moved from New York City to Palm Springs in 2017. It is currently in storage.



CLOSURES: Today is the official observance of Independence Day, a federal holiday. There are no events planned by the city or other local agencies today. A partial list of what is opened, closed, or altered today appears in the Briefly section above.


MIZELL EVENTS: Tai chi is offered today at the Mizell Center, 480 S. Sunrise Way, beginning at 2 PM. For a complete list of today’s offerings for registered members, turn here.

READING, CRAFTS PROGRAMS: Multiple reading and crafts programs are underway in the city, and most have a presence on YouTube today starting at 10 AM:

  • Information about “Read-To-Me Story Time and Craft” for preschool and kindergarten students can be found here.
  • Information about the adult summer reading program and craft projects (this week’s project is “Body Scrub”) can be found here.
  • Information about a children’s summer reading program and craft projects (this week’s project is “DIY STEAM Glider”) can be found here.
  • Information about a teen summer reading program and crafts projects (this week’s project is “Glow in the Dark Bouncy Balls”) can be found here.

PRESERVATION: The city’s Historic Site Preservation Board meets at 5:30 PM via Zoom. Information about how to join that meeting, as well as an agenda, can be found here.

ARCHITECTUAL REVIEW: The city’s Architectural Review Committee meets at 5:30 PM this evening via Zoom. Information about how to join that meeting, as well as an agenda, can be found here.

POWER BASEBALL: The Palm Springs Power plays this evening at Palm Springs Stadium, 1901 E. Baristo Rd. First pitch is at 7:05 PM. A complete schedule is available here.


LIBRARY BOARD: The city’s Library Board of Trustees meeting, scheduled for this day, will not take place. The next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 1 at 5:30 PM, either virtually or at Palm Springs City Hall.

BOOK CLUB: The OutBook Book Club meets today via Zoom, starting at 7 PM. This month the club is discussing The Hours by Michael Cunningham, and Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. To receive meeting information for the OutBook Book Club, please email book club coordinator Hubertus Zegers in advance of the meeting at

POWER BASEBALL: The Palm Springs Power plays this evening at Palm Springs Stadium, 1901 E. Baristo Rd. First pitch is at 7:05 PM. A complete schedule is available here.


MIZELL EVENTS: The Mizell Center, 480 S. Sunrise Way, offers beginning tai chi today at 2 PM. The center’s complete schedule can be found here.

BOOK CLUB: The Cover to Cover Book Club meets today via Zoom at 2 PM. The club will be discussing The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles. The group meets the second Thursday of every month. To receive meeting information and join the club’s email list, email Librarian Sharon Ballard at

FOOD AVAILABLE: FIND Food Bank distributes food in the city today at two locations. A mobile market will be set up at the James O. Jessie Desert Highlands Unity Center, 480 W. Tramview Rd., from 4 PM to 6 PM. Food is also available at the community food bank, 610 S. Belardo Road, between 5 PM and 7 PM. That location is open every Thursday. A complete calendar of food distribution in the community is available here.

FREE MUSEUM ADMISSION: The Palm Springs Art Museum offers free admission from 5 PM to 7 PM this evening. Tickets are required and can be obtained here.

CITY COUNCIL: The Palm Springs City Council meets at 5:30 PM. More information about the meeting, including an agenda and how to attend virtually or view it online, can be found here. The regular meeting is preceded by a closed session at 3:30 PM. That agenda is available here.

VILLAGEFEST: The city’s weekly pedestrian street fair takes place at 7 PM between Indian Canyon Drive and Belardo Road. The event includes vendor booths on both sides of the street, which is closed to vehicular traffic.


POWER BASEBALL: The Palm Springs Power plays this evening at Palm Springs Stadium, 1901 E. Baristo Rd. First pitch is at 7:05 PM. A complete schedule is available here.


Want to know what’s happening in your city and at agencies that make decisions affecting your neighborhood? The following links should help:

City of Palm Springs calendar of events

Palm Springs Library calendar of events

Palm Springs Unified School District calendar

Mizell Center calendar of events

Desert Water Agency calendar

ONE-PS calendar of events

Police reports | Submit a police report

Code compliance reports | Report a code violation

Current road projects and closures

Currently active development projects

FIND Food Bank mobile market schedule

Palm Springs Disposal pickup schedule

Palm Springs Power baseball team schedule


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