Palm Springs events occur throughout the year, even during the hot summer weather when temperatures approach 110∞ Fahrenheit each day. Palm Springs festivals such as the incredible Coachella Music Festival and golf tournaments top the list, and occur with regularity. With more than 200 golf courses in the Coachella Valley, many of which are international championship courses, this is one of the top golf destinations in the United States.
This is also a huge destination for the gay travel industry, and some of the best festivals in Palm Springs celebrate the diversity of this historically broad-minded and tolerant city. There are several gay hotels that have weekly parties and concerts. These are very popular drawing huge numbers of visitors on weekends. Coinciding with the spring break parties and revelry enjoyed by college aged young people is the Dinah Shore Weekend that has been adopted by lesbians from around the country, and they gather at romantic boutique hotels throughout the valley to enjoy a four-day-long fest with girl bar disc jockeys, concerts with headliners like Kelly Rowland and Jennifer Coolidge, and pool parties. In November, one of the largest of the worldwide Pride Celebrations is held at the Palm Springs Stadium, and there are special events and celebrations throughout the area.
Another of the Palm Springs festivals occurs around the same Easter weekend time culminating in the legendary Jeffrey Sanker White Party held at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Because some many of the best festivals in Palm Springs occur during the late March and early April time frame, it is advisable to make your arrangements as far in advance as possible to ensure you get the hotels of your choice if you plan on visiting at this time.
Other Palm Springs events with golf at the center occur frequently. The Dinah Shore Weekend is also held around the same time as the prestigious Kraft Nabisco Tournament, one of the four major tournaments during the LPGA circuit. It is held at the Mission Hills Golf Course, and was originally called the Dinah Shore Championship after the screen actress who was a huge supporter of professional women’s golf and established the competition in 1972 when the sport was in its infancy. There is the famous Bob Hope Chrysler Classic hosted by several different courses and clubs in January and the Frank Sinatra Celebrity Golf Tournament at the Esmeralda Resort on Indian Wells golf courses in February. There is even a fun golf cart parade along El Paseo Drive in Palm Desert during November.
Many of the best festivals in Palm Springs have an emphasis on music and the arts, sponsored by museums and art and film societies. After the 1986 spring break riots, when the city began actively discouraging young people from coming to party here, Mayor Sonny Bono established the Palm Springs Film Festival. This has become an important international event, showcasing the work of new and outstanding talent. Other Palm Springs festivals emphasizing the arts include the La Quinta Desert Plein Air art exhibit (January), the Palm Springs Art Festival held at the Market Place Festival Grounds (March), Swing’n Dixie Jax Festival (March), Native American Film and Art Festival (March), Smooth Jazz Festival (April), and the International Festival of Short Films (September).
Other Palm Springs events showcase the excellent shopping and dining available in the area. July sees the Village Fest and the Street Fair with arts and crafts, local food, and a farmers market in various locations. August First Fridays see the galleries, boutiques, and antique shops holding open houses. There are Mall Walks and Restaurant Roundups in September. There are bike races, tennis tournaments, an Elvis Weekend with the King, and a motorcycle and hot rod weekend. You can even head up into the San Jacinto Mountains for an August Jazz in the Pines Fest in the charming town of Idyllwild.