What to expect during Sunday’s Greater Palm Springs Pride parade

The Greater Palm Springs Pride Parade returns in person Sunday.

The parade starts at 10 AM on North Palm Canyon Drive at the intersection of East Tachevah Drive, and will travel south, ending at the entrance to the Pride Festival at Amado Road, according to event organizers. The Parade usually lasts two hours and is a free event.

This year’s parade will mark the 35th anniversary of the event, with the theme “You Are Included,” and will be a live return to the event after it was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns.

“Our Pride Week calls on the community to gather and embrace our diversity, our resilience, and raise awareness of the collective power of the LGBTQ community,” said Ron deHarte, president of Greater Palm Springs Pride. “Parade participants help raise awareness of important issues, including immigration reform, racial justice, access to health care, violence against transgender members of our community, and mental health awareness. The Pride parade is an opportunity to gather in celebration and use the platform that Pride provides to peacefully resist hate, discrimination, intolerance, racism, and bigotry.”

A special parade contingent will highlight the 71 countries that outlaw same-sex relations between consenting adults as a way of demonstrating how far the fight for LGBTQ rights has come and how much work there is still to do for full equality. Seventy-one flags in the parade will represent a country where it’s illegal to be LGBTQ. These include large parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, with a high intolerance of homosexuality.  Being gay in Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, Yemen, Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran is one of the most significant “crimes,” and “offenders” face death. In countries where homosexuality is banned but not punished by death, “offenders” face being flogged or imprisoned.  They are also stripped of their human and political rights and treated as third-class citizens.

A surprise parade entry includes the Executive Board of the San Francisco Dykes on Bikes Women’s Motorcycle Contingent, who will roll into Palm Springs for the organization’s first time in its 45-year history. The throttling engines, loud pipes, and cheering passengers will greet spectators and welcome all motorcyclists who ride in solidarity with the iconic, rebellious, independent women. The queer motorcyclists will be welcomed with thunderous rallying cries, making for a sight to see.

Unique entries in the Parade include LGBTQ supportive businesses, organizations like Brothers of the Desert, PFLAG, Free Mom Hugs, DAP Health, Palm Springs city councilmembers, employees, and the Human Rights Commission. The Desert Winds Freedom Band will return for their 21st year. This year will be the 15th appearance of the Palm Springs High School Spirit of the Sands Band and Visual Corps and the tenth appearance for Desert Hot Springs High School “Golden Eagle Regiment” Marching Band.

The Palm Springs Pride parade is known for the significant number of youth marching groups participating from the region’s Gay-Straight Alliance organizations. Up to 500 students representing 56 GSAs are expected to march and represent their school.

For more information visit apps.pspride.org

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