DAILY BRIEFING: Thursday, November 25, 2021

Good morning. It’s Thursday, November 25. Expect sunny skies and a high of around 75 degrees today – perfect for some football. There will be similar weather all holiday weekend. First, some news you need to know …

Turkey Trot, gourmet and free meals, shopping small: What to watch for this holiday weekend in Palm Springs 

Thanksgiving in Palm Springs gets off and running Thursday with a popular annual road race and ends with visions of shopping bargains. In between, there are multiple opportunities to feast at any number of locations.

Organizers of the city’s annual Wild Turkey Trot 5K, which benefits the Mizell Center’s Meals on Wheels Program, said the event has sold out. Crowds are still welcome to cheer the runners and walkers, however. The event starts Downtown at 100 North Palm Canyon Drive at 8 AM.

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“We have reached our max number and apologize to those we are unable to accommodate,” said race director Molly Thorpe. “We only have enough shirts, hats and medals for the registered number and it would not be fair to register additional people and not be able to deliver.”

Still feeling like running for a good cause? Another Thanksgiving Day run, which helps Martha’s Village and Kitchen, is being held virtually this year. More information on that event, sponsored by Fortem Financial, can be found here

Don’t feel like cooking? Throughout the city, restaurants are planning to pull out all the stops, and serve all the fixings, for visitors and local alike. A list of some of the meals planned at more than a dozen restaurants can be found here, courtesy of Visit Greater Palm Springs.

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is offering a Thanksgiving dinner. Ride ’n’ Dine tickets — which include Tram admission and dinner at Pines Café (a cafeteria-style restaurant) — will be available for purchase beginning at 8 AM. Dinner service begins at 11 AM and ends at 8 PM. Combination tickets are $38 for adults and seniors, and $24.50 children (ages 3-10).

The Tram will operate a special schedule through Sunday. The first tram up each day will be at 8 AM, the last tram up will be at 8 PM, and the last tram down will be at 9:30 PM.

Meals for those in need are also being planned in the city and throughout the Coachella Valley. One of the meals in the city is planned by Well in the Desert. Hundreds are expected to be served at the nonprofit organization’s traditional Thanksgiving Day meal, free of charge, starting at 11 AM at Our Lady of Solitude Church, 474 North Belardo Road.

Too tired Thursday to burn off a few calories? You can learn how to swing dance on Friday starting at 7 PM at the Palm Springs Dance Academy, next to Revivals at 611 South Palm Canyon Dr. No partner is needed, and it’s perfect for beginners. You can join the fun and reserve your spot at this site.

Ready to start shopping? Black Friday shoppers are being encouraged to drop by the Desert Art Center (DAC), where they can find the largest display of local fine art in the Coachella Valley from 10 AM until 7:30 PM on Friday. DAC is located at 550 North Palm Canyon Drive in uptown Palm Springs. Another event — Deck the Walls — is planned for December 3, when a new Winter show will open in the main gallery. That event is from 5 PM until 7 PM.

On Saturday, shoppers in the city are being encouraged to support multiple small businesses located Uptown, Downtown, and elsewhere by participating in “Small Business Saturday.” The annual holiday shopping event puts small businesses across America front and center to celebrate the contribution of small businesses towards local economies and job creation. It is sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Thanks to The Friends of the Palm Springs Library, anyone who makes a gift purchase from a city small business on Saturday can take advantage of free gift wrapping.

The event will take place in the Cornelia White Community Room from 11 AM until 4PM. Organizers said it’s being held in an effort to give back to the community and support the merchants during this holiday season.

Shoppers are welcome to bring in up to three items to be wrapped for free, with receipt showing proof of purchase that day from a Palm Springs merchant. There will be gift bags in at least three sizes (some size restrictions apply) and wrapping paper for pre-boxed items.

The holiday momentum continues next week, with the Official City of Palm Springs Holiday Tree Lighting, followed by the 29th Annual Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade. both of those events occur on Saturday, December 4. The tree lighting begins at 5:15 PM at Frances Stevens Park, 500 North Palm Canyon Drive. The parade kicks off on Palm Canyon Drive at 5:45 PM.


Palm Springs Mayor Christy Holstege (right) and Mayor Pro Tem Lisa Middleton (to her left), joined with California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis (center, in sunglasses), volunteers with AmeriCorps, and the National Guard at a charity event Wednesday.

CITY OFFICIALS HELP OUT: Palm Springs’ mayor and its future mayor, Christy Holstege and Lisa Middleton, spent part of their Wednesday morning helping California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, volunteers with AmeriCorps, and the National Guard pack nonperishable food for distribution to clients of Indio-based FIND Food Bank. The event was designed to raise awareness about the need to address hunger in the Coachella Valley — an especially important message as we begin to observe the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. With a 40,000-square-foot warehouse, FIND is able to distribute 30 million pounds of food annually to more than 80 agency partners in the Valley, who in turn supply thousands in need with fresh food and other staples. “The Coachella Valley is an incredible place,” Middleton said after helping out. “It is truly an honor to have the lieutenant governor here. …I can’t think of a better place to demonstrate the spirit of our community than at FIND Food Bank.” Interested in helping the organization? More volunteers are always needed, and opportunities can be found here.

INJURY INCIDENT: Two people were taken to a hospital after getting into a two-vehicle collision Wednesday afternoon. The Palm Springs Fire Department said that at about 1:45 PM that two vehicles had collided at the intersection of Tahquitz Canyon Way and Calle Encilia. Emergency responders arrived to find two people in need of transportation to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Officials posted a video on Twitter showing one of the two vehicles flipped over. Authorities briefly closed southbound Calle Encilia, but lifted the closure within 10-15 minutes, according to Palm Springs Fire Cpt. Nathan Gunkel. The cause of the crash was under investigation.


HOLIDAY SCHEDULE: All federal, state, county, and city offices are closed today in observance of Thanksgiving Day. In addition, schools are closed, as are banks, and the Mizell Center. Mail will not be delivered. All waste collection by Palm Springs Disposal Service will be delayed one day today and Friday. There will also be no VillageFest held this evening in Downtown Palm Springs.

NOMINATIONS OPEN: The Palm Springs Human Rights Commission continues to accept nominations today for its annual Community Service Awards that recognize individuals and organizations for “Promoting Universal Human Rights Close to Home.” Information about how to nominate a person or organization can be found here. The deadline for submitting nominations is Wednesday, December 1.


FARMERS’ MARKET: The Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market is held at 2300 E. Baristo Rd. (adjacent to The Camelot Theatres) from 8:30 AM until 1:30 PM. All Certified Farmers’ Markets offer a $15/$15 match to customers participating in CalFresh EBT and a $10/$10 match for WIC, SSDI, and federal unemployment. Find more details about all three Coachella Valley certified farmers’ markets here.

FOOD DISTRIBUTION: Well in the Desert distributes food every Saturday at 6 AM and 10 AM at 181 N. Indian Canyon Dr. For the early distribution, guests typically begin lining up at 5 AM and must show proof of residency (a rent receipt, utility bill, etc.). For both distributions, guests are asked to bring a box, bags or other containers to transport food items. More information is available by phoning the Well’s office at 760-656-8905. The Well also offers hot lunches Monday through Friday at 11 AM and 1 PM at various locations throughout the city.

FLEA MARKET: A flea market and food fest is held Saturdays at 675 Crossley Rd. from 8 AM until 2 PM. Information can be found here.


ART AUCTIONTen DAP Health clients will have their art for sale in an artist spotlight on Revival’s website, found here. The online sale begins today and runs through January 2. All of the proceeds from the art sale will go to the artists. You can meet the artists online here and learn more about Revivals here.

USO GALA: The Bob Hope USO-Palm Springs, in partnership with The Management Trust, will present the 8th Annual Spirit of Hope Gala on Friday, December 3. The gala supports military service members and serves as a benefit for Palm Springs area programs and services. To purchase tickets to The Spirit of Hope Gala, visit this link.

STRUT AWARDS VOTING: Voting has started for the STRUT Awards, slated to be handed out next month in Palm Springs. The STRUT Awards are a people’s choice voting event designed to honor members of the local LGBTQ+ industry. Nominations were accepted in more than two dozen categories, and now it’s time to vote. You can do that by going here. Winners will be announced and celebrated on December 12 during an event at Margaritaville Palm Springs beginning at 6 PM. Tickets for the event can be purchased 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. 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.

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