Palm Springs Pride is a unique pride festival and the largest LGBTQ gathering in the Coachella Valley. The festival includes a big parade, music stages, DJs, food vendors, and plenty of other entertainment options catered to all tastes.
The first ever Palm Springs Pride celebration took place in 1986 as a simple dinner and variety show showcasing the talents of local entertainers at the Riviera Resort grand ballroom and promoted as “Sizzle.”
The first Palm Springs Pride Parade named the Desert Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade took to the streets of Palm Springs with 35 units and was greeted by hundreds of men and women. The parade made its way down Williams Road to Mesquite and into Demuth Park where the festival was held.
In 1995, the Pride Parade and Festival moved from Memorial Day Weekend to Veterans Day Weekend.
In 2004, Ron Oden, the first openly gay Mayor of Palm Springs, and the first openly gay and African American mayor of any city in the U.S. rides in Palm Springs Pride Parade alongside 4,000 same sex couples who were married in San Francisco this past spring.
In 2014, the City of Palm Springs approves closing Palm Canyon Dr. for two days to accommodate the Pride Festival’s move to downtown Palm Springs. The Festival takes place on Palm Canyon Dr from Amado to Baristo and on Tahquitz and Arenas Rd between Indian Canyon and Belardo. The Festival main stage is set up on Arenas Rd between Calle Encilia and Indian Canyon.
Data from attendees participating in official events including the Pride Festival and Pride Parade reveals that the 2015 human rights and cultural tourism celebration generated over $22 million dollars of organization and audience expenditures in the region.
In 2016, celebrating 30th anniversary of Pride in the Coachella Valley, the Pride Parade has 175 contingents. The largest marching band to ever appear in a Pride parade appears in the Palm Springs Pride Parade with 350 members from the International Lesbian and Gay Band Association.
Since its debut in 1986, Greater Palm Springs Pride has flourished and grown. From those humble beginnings has emerged a celebration that attracts over 125,000 people from Southern California, across the nation and around the world. Palm Springs Pride events are the largest free California Pride Festival south of San Francisco.
For full details on Palm Springs Pride 2022, be sure to check out the official event program. Happy Pride!