City turns out, turns up for return of annual Pride Parade down Palm Canyon Drive
Rob Scott wasn’t going to let a little weariness from an 11,000-mile road trip stop him from scoring a prime spot along Palm Canyon Drive Sunday morning.
Scott and his husband, Takashi Mitsuya, were up early, maneuvering their 2014 Airstream Interstate — complete with license plates that read PSPROUD — into place. Outside the RV, they set up chairs, a tent, and baked goods for the 10 guests they were hosting during the Greater Palm Springs Pride Grand Parade.
Scott, who just returned home Friday from the cross-country trip that started in April, said he was ready for what may be a “recovery year” after the parade was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
An estimated 50,000 others proved they were ready as well, lining the parade route in a show of force for the LGBTQ+ community and a return to normal for a city that spent the weekend in party mode. As the mimosas flowed and Pride flags flapped, the parade kicked off as scheduled at 10 AM, with a loud and proud contingent from Dykes on Bikes roaring down the city’s main street.
Few had better reasons to be proud than Steve Smith, who rode in the parade representing a lineage of owners and staff of Streetbar, an Arenas Road icon named this year’s Community Grand Marshall.
Streetbar was opened in August 1991 by Dick Haskamp and Hank Morgan. Haskamp passed away in March 2018, leaving the bar to employees David Farnsworth and Conrad Riley. Riley passed in 2020, leaving his half to Smith, his husband.
Like many who arrive in Palm Springs, Smith said he was immediately welcomed as part of the family at Streetbar 20 years ago, where he not only met Riley but was hired as a bartender and then became a manager. “It’s a local version of Cheers,” he said, adding that the employees “are the backbone of the bar.”
“This recognition should be about them,” Smith said of the business’s two dozen employees before the start of the parade. “Thirty years ago, when Dick started it, his tradition was that he loved working with the community.
“I’m hoping I can just follow along with his lead. I think he would be so proud right now.”
First-of-its-kind LGBTQ+ project breaks ground in Palm Springs
Palm Springs took a significant step Friday in cementing its reputation as one of the most welcoming communities in America, breaking ground on the flagship project intended to set the bar for housing explicitly aimed at the older LGBTQ+ community. After delays brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, construction of Living Out, described as “a community designed to provide a beautiful, welcoming, safe, and inclusive living experience that celebrates the vibrancy of living authentically as an LGBTQ person,” has officially begun at a nine-acre site off East Tahquitz Canyon Way. “It is a monumental groundbreaking,” proclaimed developer Loren Ostrow in remarks before the ceremonial shovels hit the dirt. “It’s something our community doesn’t have anywhere else in the country.”
Firefighters stay local for annual aircraft training
Palm Springs Fire Department personnel were able to stay home for their annual aircraft rescue and firefighting training recently and proclaimed the training a success. “The training went great, and we were really excited to finally have this training come to us and tailor fit it for our needs,” said Fire Capt. Nathan Gunkel. “We were not only able to realistically train all of our personnel but use our equipment on our home field. We are now even better trained for our residents and visitors.” Typically, 24 engineers travel to the training. But this year, thanks to 139Fire, all 53 firefighters trained for four days in October at the city’s fire training center at Palm Springs International Airport. A bonus of staying local? The firefighters could use the city’s new ARFF (aircraft rescue and firefighting) units and their tactics for the live training burns. “We are now even better trained for our residents and visitors,” Gunkel said.
THIS WEEK’S COMMUNITY CALENDAR
MIZELL EVENTS: The Mizell Center offers a widows and widowers program, chair yoga, bridge, and other classes and programs today, starting at 8 AM. The center is located at 480 S. Sunrise Way. A complete list of today’s events can be found here.
LEAF ART: Even though Palm Springs doesn’t get many leaves dropping, the staff at Palm Springs Public Library is helping get teens in the Fall spirit with an art project title “Fall Leaf Art: Inspirational / Uninspired Quotes.” Materials for the project will be available at the library, located at 300 South Sunrise Way, today, and instructional video will be uploaded to the library’s YouTube channel here.
SPECIAL MEETING: The city’s Human Rights Commission will establish a Youth/Education Affairs Standing Committee during a special meeting at 4:30 PM via Zoom. Information about viewing that meeting, as well as an agenda, can be found here.
HUMAN RIGHTS: The city’s Human Rights Commission holds its regular meeting at 5:30 PM. Information about viewing that meeting, as well as an agenda, is available here.
AAPAC MEETING: The African American Parent Advisory Council meets at 6 PM via Zoom. The AAPAC was founded in 2016 and is an important partner in with the Palm Springs Unified School District and the Riverside County African American Achievement Initiative. More information about how to join the meeting can be found here.
MIZELL EVENTS: A computer tutor, dance classes, and a better brain and balance class are among the offerings today at Mizell Center , starting at 8 AM. The center is located at 480 S. Sunrise Way. You can find a complete list of everything offered today online here.
SUNSHINE SISTERS: Palm Springs Sunshine Sisters meets for coffee at Koffi, 650 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, today at 8 AM. You can sign up to be part of the group, formed to help women make new connections and friendships, on Meetup here.
WALK OF STARS: Michael Bush, an accomplished and inventive pop culture designer in the world of pop culture, is honored with a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars at 11 AM. Bush is notable for working with Michael Jackson for 25 years as his designer, stylist, and friend. In addition, he has designed clothing for entertainers including Brittany Spears and for numerous CBS television shows. The star will be dedicated at 205 South Palm Canyon Drive.
SUSTAINABILITY SUBCOMMITTEE: The city Sustainability Commission’s Standing Subcommittee on Solar and Green Building meets today at 9:30 AM via Zoom. More information about that meeting, as well as an agenda, can be found here.
LIBRARY CRAFTS: Adults are invited to create a ‘Thankful Box’ to use at holiday gatherings or as a personal reminder. You can watch Palm Springs Public Library’s how-to video on the library’s YouTube channel (the video should be uploaded by 10 AM), and pick up materials for the project at the library, located at 300 South Sunrise Way.
VILLAGEFEST BOARD: The city’s VillageFest board meets at 5:30 PM. More information about that meeting, including an agenda, can be found here.
PALM SPRINGS SCHOOL BOARD: The Palm Springs Unified School District Board of Directors meets at 6 PM at the District Administration Center Board Room, 150 District Center Dr. A complete agenda can be found here.
WATER MEETING: The Desert Water Agency Executive Committee meets online at 8 AM. The complete agenda can be found here.
MIZELL EVENTS: The Mizell Center offers fitness classes, a bereavement support group, Dick Brodie’s Jam Session, and more today, starting at 8 AM. The center is located at 480 S. Sunrise Way. A complete list of everything offered today can be found here.
LIBRARY AUCTION: The Friends of the Palm Springs Public Library annual online auction officially kicks off at 9 AM. This year’s event is in honor of the organization’s 50th Anniversary. More information about the auction, which ends on Sunday the 14th, is available here.
MOBILE HEALTH: A mobile health clinic will be parked at the James O. Jesse Desert Highland Unity Center, 480 W. Tramview Rd., from 9 AM until 4 PM. Operated and staffed by Borrego Health, the mobile unit will provide a variety of medical services for residents.
HORA DE CUENTOS: La bibliotecaria Nancy Valdivia lee cuentos, canta canciones y enseña conceptos de aprendizaje temprano (miércoles en español y jueves en inglés) para estudiantes de preescolar de 10:30 AM a 11:30 AM Puedes ver los videos en YouTube aquí.
MIZELL EVENTS: The Mizell Center, 480 S. Sunrise Way, offers jewelry making, a movie of the week, an Alzheimer’s support group, and more today. The Mizell Center is located at 480 S. Sunrise Way. A complete list of everything offered can be found online here.
STORY TIME: The Palm Springs Public Library offers story time for preschoolers starting at 10:30 AM via YouTube. Librarian Nancy Valdivia reads stories, sings songs, and shows early learning concepts (Wednesdays in Spanish and Thursdays in English). You can find more information here and watch the YouTube videos here.
WOMEN’S CHAT: The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert offers a chat group for all women — no matter how you identify — to discuss topics of interest and find connections every Thursday at 10:30 AM. You can find information about the event here.
VETERANS DAY PARADE: The 24th Annual City of Palm Springs Veterans Day Parade is slated for Thursday at 3:30 PM. The parade runs along Palm Canyon Drive. This year’s theme is “Honoring All Who Serve.” Note that VillageFest will not be held Thursday. For more information, visit www.psveteransday.com.
NOT TEEN TALK: The Palm Springs Public Library’s teen librarian hosts an Instagram Live session each Thursday at 3:30 PM. To follow along, follow @psplteenzone on Instagram here.
FOOD AVAILABLE: FIND Food Bank distributes food in the city today at a community food bank, 610 S. Belardo Rd., between 5 PM and 7 PM, and at the James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center, 480 West Tramview Rd., from 4 PM until 5:30 PM. A complete calendar of food distribution in the community this month is available here.
FREE MUSEUM ADMISSION: The Palm Springs Art Museum offers free admission from 5 PM to 7 PM. Tickets are required and can be obtained here.
NO VILLAGEFEST: The city’s weekly outdoor street fair that usually takes place at 6 PM on Palm Canyon Drive downtown will not be held this week.
MIZELL EVENTS: The Mizell Center, 480 S. Sunrise Way, offers art classes, chess, and more today. The center is located at 480 S. Sunrise Way. A complete list of everything offered can be found online here.
MEN’S CHAT: The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert offers a chat group for all men to discuss topics of interest and find connections every Friday at 10:30 AM. Information on registering for the event can be found here.
ONGOING & UPCOMING
DOG PARK CLOSURE: The Palm Springs Dog Park behind City Hall will close for annual maintenance this week. The park, located at 3200 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, will close starting Thursday for seeding and maintenance and is anticipated to reopen on December 20. The Demuth Dog Park, located at 4200 E. Mesquite Ave., will be open seven days a week from dawn until dusk.
UPCOMING RUNS: Registration for both The 10th Annual Run for Ike 5K and the annual Wild Turkey Trot 5K is open now at runpalmsprings.com, as well as active.com and racewire.com. The Run for Ike 5K happens Saturday, November 13 at 8 AM and is held in memory of Palm Springs Police Department K9 officer Ike, who was killed in the line of duty in 2011. The event starts at the Police Department, 200 South Civic Drive. The annual Turkey Trot is Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 25, at 8 AM, and offers entrants a chance to get in some exercise before Thanksgiving dinner. That event starts at 100 North Palm Canyon Drive. Registrants for the events receive T-shirts, medals, and more. Both runs benefit local charities. Questions? Feel free to contact Molly Thorpe, the race director, at [email protected] or 760-413-6508
WELLNESS SUMMIT: Brothers of the Desert is conducting its third annual wellness summit focusing on Black gay men and their allies in the Coachella Valley and beyond in-person (and virtually) on Saturday, November 13, at Margaritaville Resort in Palm Springs, 1600 North Indian Canyon Drive. The one-day event runs from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM. Registration for the event is available here.
TALK OF THE TOWN: The next installment of the popular Talk of the Town series, presented by ONE-PS, is coming up on Tuesday, November 16. ONE-PS invites the community to join Julie Warren and David Gray, co-founders of The LGBTQ+ History & Archives of the Desert, as they speak about the rich and deep fabric of our shared LGBTQ+ history. Also joining during the discussion will be Palm Springs Pride President & CEO Ron De Harte, who will share news about the establishment of an LGBTQ+ Wall Of Honor and monument. More information is available at the Facebook event page here.
SPEAKER SERIES: The next event in the 3rd Wednesday Speakers Series is November 17 at 5:30 PM at Mizell Center, 480 S. Sunrise Way. A screening of L.A. A Queer History – Where It All Began, a film by Gregorio Davila, will precede a talk with the filmmaker moderated by Brian Blueskye, The Desert Sun’s arts and culture reporter. The screening is afree event. More information is available here.
DESERT JAM: The annual benefit for Palm Springs-based Well in the Desert — Desert Jam 2021: Jammin’ for the Well — is slated for Monday, December 6 at the Agua Caliente Resort Casino ballroom in Rancho Mirage at 6 PM. The Jackson-Garrett Band and a host of other musicians are slated to perform, with Jeanie Cunningham serving as masters of ceremonies. Aside from the music, attendees can expect dinner, live and silent auctions, and a special tribute honoring jazz singer Yve Evans. All proceeds benefit The Well’s work to feed and provide for those experiencing homelessness in our community. More information, including how to purchase tickets for the event can be found here or by calling 760-285-7297.
POLICE AND FIRE EVENT: The Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce is taking reservations for its annual Police & Fire Appreciation Luncheon, held Tuesday, December 7, from 11:30 AM until 1 PM at the Palm Springs Convention Center. More information about tickets and sponsorship opportunities is available here.
Want to know what’s happening in your city and at agencies that make decisions affecting your neighborhood? See below for calendars, meeting agendas, and links to all city services, police reports, code enforcement reports, and more:
City of Palm Springs calendar of events | Eventos en Espanol
Official city contacts | Conectar en Espanol
Police Blotter | Submit a police report
Short-term rental map | Code compliance reports | Report a code violation
Palm Springs Public Library calendar of events
Palm Springs Unified School District calendar | Board meetings
Palm Springs High School athletics and other events
Desert Healthcare District Board of Directors meeting agendas
Transgender Health and Wellness Center calendar
LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert programs
Mizell Center calendar of events
Current road projects and closures
Palm Springs Disposal pickup schedule | Holiday schedules
Currently active development projects
FIND Food Bank mobile market schedule
Well in the Desert daily meals | Food distribution
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Reach our newsroom via email at [email protected] or visit our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.