It was twenty years ago when members of the women’s community at the Desert Palms Inn in Palm Springs created a festive picnic that moved from venue to venue every year. As the event grew beyond the women’s community, the picnic grew ever larger and more festive, and with the cooperation of the City of Palm Springs, a parade and official Pride Festival was born!
Today, Greater Palm Springs Pride (GPSP) is a three-day festival celebrating diversity by featuring an art exhibition, author’s village, community groups, main stage entertainment, two dance floors (disco and western) and more. The art exhibition is currently open to all visual artists, regardless of sexual orientation. Art pieces can include, but are not limited to, photography, painting, printmaking, sculpture, drawings, glass, and ceramics.
Organizers have built up a solid reputation for the event with an exciting parade and a festival within the Palm Springs Stadium, increasing their size from 40 vendor booths to over 200. Last year $70,000.00 was given back to the City of Palm Springs and various charities and organizations within the community.
Jack Schloeder, President of GPSP, says that some of the charities are even created by GPSP to help out underrepresented gay demographic groups. One of these charities is “Families with Pride,” a group that was created in Feb 2006 by GPSP as a resource for gay parents with children. GPSP sponsors events for them, from picnics to pizza-place outings, where the vibe is always family-friendly. “We are always very excited to give back to our community,” says Schloeder.
A very special celebration will be given to honor the man who was instrumental in the development of Palm Springs Pride and the Palm Springs gay community: Robert Hoven, who only recently passed away this year at the age of 75. Robert Hoven was the owner and publisher of the Palm Springs gay magazine “MegaScene” and helped make Palm Springs a wide-scale gay destination.
Palm Springs Pride will officially begin this year with an invitation-only reception on the evening of Friday, November 3rd, with the festival opening at the Palm Springs Stadium at 10 am on Saturday, November 4th (remaining open until 9 pm). The festival opens again on Sunday at 10 am, and concludes at 6 pm. Tickets are $10 for adults all day and are available at the gate both days. Admission is free for children under 14. The Pride Parade will step off at 10 am on Sunday from Alejo Street and travel south to Ramon Rd.
For more information, to become an exhibitor or to enter the art show, visit pspride.org.
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