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.

“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 locals 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 holiday menu includes a mixed greens salad; a choice of oven-roasted turkey, Beef Burgundy or vegetarian lasagna; a selection of side dishes; and old-fashioned carrot cake or pumpkin pie. Dinner roll along with a small fountain beverage, coffee or tea are included.

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.

Cooks for Well in the Desert prepare the nonprofit’s annual Thanksgiving Day meal on Wednesday at their kitchen in Palm Springs.

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 at the Welwood Murray Memorial Library, 100 South Palm Canyon Dr.

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.

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