Palm Springs Events Will Change Your Life!

American Documentary Film Fest

Palm Springs events bring the work together. Although a small place, our little valley is an international destination in part because of the caliber of festivals we have here. In and around Palm Springs, visitors of all ages will find an event that appeals to them. Art, architecture, music, sports, fashion: we have it all. This article describes some of the awesome events that make Palm Springs the place to be for entertainment.

Film Festivals

Palm Springs is only 90 miles from Los Angeles. So, it only makes sense that we’d have our fair share of world-class film festivals. Below are four you may want to check out.

The Palm Springs Film Noir Festival is a four-day festival held every May at the Camelot Theaters on Baristo Road. It offers a mixture of landmark and unsung films from the Noir era. These films from the 1940’s and 1950’s have a dramatic black-and-white style of cinematography that lends itself to serious topics such as crimes and passionate love affairs. If you love classic detective movies, this is the festival for you. There is a question and answer segment after many of the films. So, it’s a great way to learn more about the genre as well.

Enjoy Shorfest, also at Camelot Theatres, every June. This is the largest short film showcase in the world. Countries from all around the globe submit their films hoping they will be shown each year. However, there are only about 325 films selected to be shown to the public. The level of quality here is off-the-charts. Films are grouped by theme and generally run in 90-minute segments.

The American Documentary Film Festival is held in April at the Camelot Theater in Palm Springs. This is the premiere documentary film festival on the West Coast. Independent filmmakers take advantage of this opportunity to promote their films. You will be both educated and entertained after attending this festival. The topics covered are enlightened, uplifting and important.

The largest and most well-known film fest in Palm Springs is the International Film Fest, held every January at various locations throughout the Palm Springs area. This festival is star-studded. It is attended by many notable Hollywood actors and leaders. A very popular landmark where filmgoers can enjoy these films is on the Great Lawn at Sunnylands located in Rancho Mirage. The event is free to the public and visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.

Music Festivals

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival takes place over two weekends each April at Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, about 35 minutes southeast of Palm Springs. Throughout the grounds, there are a number of booths and tents; each of which plays live music constantly. Music genres include but are not limited to Electronic, Alternative Rock, Hip Hop and much more. The line-up is high-powered. Going to the festival can feel like listening to all of the hits on the radio right now, just live and in person. This is the largest music festival in the world. Tickets sell out fast. If you can’t attend, you may be able to watch a live stream on YouTube or elsewhere.

Right after Coachella is The Stagecoach Country Music Festival, also held at the Empire Polo Grounds. Festival-goers can expect to enjoy music from some of America’s top country artists. The music is the main draw. But, attendees can also enjoy a bazaar, dance hall, amusement park rides, and live animal shows. Stagecoach is a kid-friendly event. The kiddie area has games and activities they will love. 

For one weekend every August, you can enjoy a weekend of some of the most amazing Jazz you may have ever heard as Idyllwild Arts presents Jazz in the Pines. The Idyllwild Arts campus itself is beautiful and has an abundance of pine and oak trees. And because Idyllwild sits at over a mile in the sky, it will be cooler than the Coachella Valley floor in August.

Arts Festivals

The Desert Arts Festival takes place monthly on weekends from November to March. You can find the best of West Coast artists presenting their works at this fair. The festival showcases the original works that include paintings, photography, and sculptures. Some of the pieces are both mechanical and artistic wonders. Feel free to ask about the art. You’ll usually get an inspiring story in return. The festival held at Frances Stevens Park, located on the north side of Downtown Palm Springs. It’s an easy and enjoyable walk from most downtown Palm Springs hotels.

Modernism Week takes place every October. This celebration of mid-century modern design and architecture pulls in tens of thousands of visitors each year. You can see the house where parts of James Bond were filmed and view other architectural wonders. The tickets sell out fast to these events. If you don’t get in to the events you’d like, there is also the Modernism Week Fall Preview in October.

Sporting Events

Every year in March, at the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens, over 300,00 tennis fans come together for the BNP Paribas Tennis Tournament. This is a two-week tennis tournament featuring top professional players. This tournament couples the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Premiere.

The Career Builder Challenge Golf Tournament is held in January each year, in various locations throughout Palm Springs. Golfers will recognize this event as it was once referred to as the Bob Hope Classic. This tournament is now one of the PGAs most popular West Coast Swings.

Tour de Palm Springs is a cycling event held in February each year. You can watch and marvel as riders take on challenging desert terrain. Or, you can suit up and ride a 1, 10, 25 and 50-mile course yourself. There is also a 1-mile walk.  In either case, the weather is usually perfect for outdoor activities this time of year.

Holiday Festivals

Welcome in the New Year at the Spa Resort Casino for their Annual New Year’s Eve Block Party. Party-goers will enjoy live entertainment in an open-air state-of-the-art facility that has both seating and standing areas. Various local restaurants offer a full bar in a food garden for the entirety of the event.

To celebrate Memorial Day, the Palm Springs Air Museum releases hundreds of red and white carnations to celebrate the importance of World War II veterans. The flowers are dropped from a B-25 aircraft owned by the museum. The museum is open daily from 10 AM – 5 PM for those wishing to learn more about the role air power helped in obtaining our freedom and liberties.

Every 4th of July, Palm Springs hosts its annual baseball game and fireworks at the Palm Springs Power Baseball Stadium. After enjoying a friendly game of baseball, celebrate our country’s independence with a fireworks celebration that is second to none.

Palm Springs pays a special tribute to our veterans by hosting a Veteran’s Day Parade. The parade lasts about an hour and follows a route on Palm Canyon Drive between Alejo and Ramon Road. Following the parade, attendees will enjoy a concert and a fireworks display.

The Annual Festival of Lights Parade marks the beginning of the winter holiday season in downtown Palm Springs. Known as one of the top 10 best holiday parades in the country, this parade offers horses, beautifully lit floats, cars, celebrities, bands and so much more for your enjoyment.

LGBT Festivals

Greater Palm Springs Pride is held every November and is the second largest event in the city. Pride here is late in the year when the weather is cooler. So, this is a great way to enjoy another round of pride after more common summer celebrations. The big event is the parade on Sunday. But, it’s an entire weekend of fun. Musicians, activists, DJs, and dancers take part in this free community event to raise awareness of LGBT people.

White Party Palm Springs is one of the most popular gay dance festivals there is. Party-goers can enjoy this awesome event in late April. Expect to enjoy top-notch entertainment featuring many notable DJs.

Be part of the Club Skirt, also known as The Dinah, in late March. This festival is known as the most popular lesbian music festival in the world! It is meant to unite, empower, and celebrate women in the lesbian community. Event goers will enjoy a fun-filled weekend featuring performances by the world’s hottest DJs, well-known comedians, and well-known women in the LGBT community. A celebrity meet and greet is offered during the weekend as well.

Palm Springs Events for Every Interest

The events listed above only touch on the diversity of things to do in Palm Springs. These events are held yearly to keep natives and visitors entertained.

Have you visited Palm Springs and attended any of these or other exciting events, send us a tweet @XPLORzine on Twitter or Pinterest.

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