rainbow flag
Rainbow flag

Downtown Palm Springs shows its rainbow colors

| The Palm Springs Pride festival and parade were both held in downtown Palm Springs this year, to great success.

In recent years the two-day Pride festival has been held at the baseball stadium. This year the festival moved downtown to the same area occupied on the Thursday nights by the street fair, plus it expanded into several of the side streets on either side of Palm Canyon Drive. The parade, normally downtown, moved farther uptown so the parade ended where the festival began.

Ken and Bob at breakfast
Ken was not saying Grace, I swear

Some of us were a little skeptical about the new plan, in great part because nobody seemed able to explain how it was going to work. Apprehensive about being able to park if we went near parade time, we opted to park early and have breakfast before the parade.

Plate | Glass
A peek through the glass into the interior of Glass|Plate

We went to a new place called Plate|Glass, only open two weeks, largely because it was close to where we parked. It turned out to be an excellent choice: the people were super friendly, the food was delicious, and the back balcony where we ate was very pleasant. (The front balcony was reserved for parade watchers.) We'll definitely go back again.

The parade was the usual mélange of floats, drag queens, bands, businesses, community groups, scantily clad boys, politicians, celebrities, classic cars, whatever. It lasted over two hours, even though it moved right along with few breaks.

high heels worn by a City worker in the parade
Footwear chosen by a member of the City of Palm Springs contingent

Several of the entries celebrated the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots that mark the beginning of the gay pride movement. The parade participants this year were a very diverse lot, including young people from high schools in the valley and beyond.

Street Bar float
Street Bar float

Naturally, every bar had a truck full of proud and happy people; some bars even had two truckloads!

One of the new things in the parade this year was a vehicle from SocialCycle, powered by the pedaling of its passengers who also enjoyed cocktails while they rode!

social cycle
The SocialCycle "tour bus"

And when the parade was over, everyone simply followed the end of the parade down into the festival area where booths lined both sides of Palm Canyon Drive and several side streets as well. Those who had gone on Saturday said that it was crowded then as well.

The one thing that wasn't very successful were the fenced-in beer gardens in the street. The chainlink fences were ugly and made it look like you were in a concentration camp. Plus, there was little shade. In short, not a very appealing place to have a drink. Accordingly, we saw few people in those areas.

Boys, boys, boys
Boys, boys, boys

We stopped in at SpurLine to have a drink, and it was absolutely packed. But Christopher, our favorite bartender, took immediate notice and served up our usual drinks, without having to be asked. Bless his heart.

Then, to assuage the hunger pangs in our stomachs, we stopped at Tylers for a nosh.

Real and Paul
Réal and Paul
Paul and Bob
Paul and Bob

For more pictures, check out the slideshow in Galleries.

 

Last updated on Apr 29, 2016

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