Fingers crossed that New Year’s Eve festivities will not be canceled! As omicron continues to grip the world, we typically would benefit from being warmer and drier. That’s not the case this week as temps will likely not break the 60 degree mark and rain/snow will dominate the forecast.
While our lives are better than a year ago due to vaccinations and the lifting of that 2020 stay at home order, it’s still best to be cautious and wear KN95 or N95 masks. My logoed KGAY/Gay Desert Guide mask looks nice, but doesn’t really protect, I found out over the weekend.
We have a number of ways you can celebrate New Year’s Eve in our preview article and events links below. You can also choose to dine out at one of our many fine valley restaurants or maybe take in a movie.
Speaking of which, I took a little time to pick my films to see for the 33rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival. While my opening night dreams of meeting Gaga are dashed, I still look forward to some great cinema. KGAY & GayDesertGuide are media sponsors, and we’ll be giving away passes on KGAY 106.5 this week and next.
Happy holidays from the entire team to you and yours!
Brad Fuhr, your Gay Desert Guide & KGAY 106.5 Palm Springs
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Note: Due to the current spike in COVID cases, please check ahead when making plans over the next few weeks as many events may possibly be canceled, attractions may temporarily close or have hours scaled back. For example Sunnylands is closed temporarily through at least Tuesday January 4, and…
CANCELED: Palm Springs International Film Festival
Based on the current rise of COVID cases, the Palm Springs International Film Society has announced that the 33rd Annual Film Festival will not take place this year from January 7-17. This follows the cancellation of the January 6 Film Awards. Those who have purchased festival tickets and passes will receive a refund. For most, the refund will be returned to their original method of payment. At this time Palm Springs ShortFest is scheduled to return June 21–27, 2022. The Film Festival and Film Awards will return to an in-person event in January 2023.
Note: Due to the current spike in COVID cases, please check ahead when making plans over the next few weeks as many events may possibly be canceled, attractions may temporarily close or have hours scaled back. For example Sunnylands is closed temporarily through at least Tuesday January 4.
🥳 New Year’s Eve Preview 🥂
Here’s a taste of the choices you have for ringing in the New Year in Greater Palm Springs!
- Agua Caliente Casinos’ Light it Up: Three parties at each of the Agua Caliente Casinos: Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Cathedral City, with live entertainment, food trucks, indoor and outdoor dance parties.
- Streetbar will have party favors, tasty food, a midnight champagne toast, and as always, no cover charge.
- Oscar’s presents A Dragasaur’s New Year’s Eve, with Gypsy, Sherry Vine, Varla Jean Merman, and Heklina.
- Chill Bar has DJ Lee Dagger of Bimbo Jones, with Go-Go men, party favors, and champagne toast.
- One Eleven Bar has a New Year’s Eve celebration with Vanity Halston, admission includes champagne, lite bites, and a show.
- The Amigo Room at the Ace Hotel has DJ Cut Chemist spinning funk, soul, disco and boogie, plus special surprise guests.
- The Roost Lounge has a Gennine Jackson Dinner Show, then Disco 54 with hosts Anita Rose and Alexander Rodriguez with performances, favors, trivia, appetizers, and a toast.
- V Wine Lounge has Bill Lohnes performing, exciting cocktails, delightful wine selection and yummy bites.
- Eight4Nine has Keisha D and Hearts of Soul performing.
- Barracks Bar has a New Year’s Eve Bash by Megawoof, featuring beefy Go-Go’s and very special guest DJs Catz ‘n Dogz.
- The Purple Room Supper Club has 3 seatings with performances by Rose Mallett and Sharon Sills, with party favors and champagne toast at the last seating.
- The Saguaro presents Drag Me to 2022, a disco gala with comedy, disco, holiday surprises and treats for all, hosted by Miss Rusty Waters.
- AsiaSF Palm Springs celebrates their return and introduces the Ladies of Asia SF, plus two New Year’s countdowns and sumptuous hors d’oeuvres, signature cocktails and more.
CANCELED: Boozehounds New Year’s Eve Party
UPDATE as of 12/27/21, Boozehounds has decided to cancel their planned New Year’s Eve “Era of Studio 54” party in light of the increase in COVID cases. We will have to “follow the call of the disco ball” another time.
Brothers of the Desert Legacy Gala: A Mask’d Ball
Each New Year’s Eve, Brothers of the Desert showcases a fun-filled Legacy Gala, featuring great food, music, dancing, silent auction, and a champagne toast. This dinner and fundraiser takes place on Friday, December 31 at 8:00 p.m. at Margaritaville Resort in Palm Springs and masquerade attire is encouraged. Proceeds go to support the mission of Brothers of the Desert and their focus on building a stronger community of Black Gay men and allies in the Coachella Valley and beyond, and the event is open to anyone who supports this mission. Get tickets.
Counseling Over 60
Anxiety, depression and isolation needn’t be a part of life. The Center offers many ways to connect, and specifically offers a cognitive-behavioral in-person therapy program for late life depression at no cost to eligible clients age 60+ Call Mike Martin for details: 760-416-7790 ext. 3
Wildlights at The Living Desert
WildLights is celebrating 29 years dazzling guests by transforming The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens into a sparkling winter wonderland, recognized in the Top 5 Best Zoo Lights by USA Today. Come to this festive annual tradition and marvel at more than a million colorful, sparkling holiday lights on the following remaining evenings: December 27–30. WildLights guests will encounter a herd of life-size, luminescent animal lanterns, explore newly added pathways and stroll through the popular tunnel of lights flashing to holiday music. Advanced reservations are required for both members and guests. More info
Holiday Schedule for Programs @The Center
Some programs at the LGBTQ Center of the Desert will have holiday breaks:
- Women’s Chat: Will meet every Thursday in December via ZOOM
- Who Cares: Will meet every Friday via Zoom inc. Dec 24/31
- Men’s Chat: Will meet Dec 17 via ZOOM. No group on Dec 24/31
- Knit Together: Will meet Dec 15/20 & 22. No group on Dec 27/29
- 50+ FIT via ZOOM on Mondays: Will meet Dec 20. No class Dec 27
- 50+ FIT in-Person on Tuesdays: Will meet Dec 21. No class Dec 28
- Prostate Cancer Support Group: No meeting on Dec 28
- Chair Yoga: Will meet Dec 16/23. No class Dec 30
- Check out ALL The Center’s programs here.
“Satur-Gays” with Ross Mathews
Saturdays with Ross Mathews is on KGAY 106.5 every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. on the FM dial in the Coachella Valley and streaming worldwide online! Ross is seen nationally on RuPaul’s Drag Race, The Drew Barrymore Show, and more. As Ross puts it “KGAY is…giving the gayest person in history his own radio show…Me!” Brought to you by the John White Real Estate Group. Ask your smart speaker to “Play K-G-A-Y Palm Springs.”
College of the Desert Street Fair Returns
After a long absence due to COVID-19, The College of the Desert is restarting their Weekend Street Fair starting Saturday & Sunday, January 1 & 2 from 8:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. and continuing every weekend. Considered one of the top things to do in the Palm Springs area, where locals and visitors alike can spend their day with an open-air shaded shopping experience, the Street Fair offers over a thousand items for sale from artisans, home goods, fashion, furniture, vintage cars, a farmer’s market, live entertainment, gourmet food and much more. All funds raised from merchant space rentals provides annual funding and support for students attending the College of the Desert. More info
New LGBTQ Youth Hike
The newly opened Center Coachella invites you on their first LGBTQ Youth Hike on Sunday, January 2 at 8:30 a.m.to explore the Indio Badlands Trail. Meet at the Indio Teen Center. More info
Upcoming Theatre Productions
Here’s a glance ahead at local productions taking the stage soon after the New Year!
- The Mountaintop from Dezart Performs, Jan. 14–23
- Life X 3 from CVRep, Jan. 25–Feb. 6.
- Always, Patsy Cline from Desert Theatreworks, Jan. 7–Feb. 6
- Les Miserables from Palm Canyon Theatre, Jan. 28–Feb. 13
- Artificial Morality from Desert Ensemble Theatre Company, Jan. 21–30
- Mid-Century Moderns from Desert Rose Playhouse, Jan. 19–Feb. 19
Save the Date: Info-A-Go-Go
On Friday, January 28, 2022 from 3:00–6:00 p.m., The LGBTQ Center of the Desert presents their annual Info-A-Go-Go at the Compass Rose Ballroom at Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs. This is a one stop shop for all things LGBTQ+ in the desert, a sort of Welcome Wagon for our snow-birds, new residents, retirees, as well as folks that have been here awhile. Come see all that our amazing community has to offer to get plugged-in and involved. January’s Center Social, sponsored by KGAY 106.5, will also take place on January 28 at the Compass Rose Patio from 5:00–7:00 p.m. If you’d like to be an exhibitor for Info-A-Go-Go, registration must be completed by January 14, 2022. More info
‘This Way Out’ Sundays on KGAY
“This Way Out,” the internationally distributed weekly LGBTQ radio program, airs every Sunday at 6:30 a.m. on KGAY 106.5. This award-winning half-hour magazine-style program features a summary of some of the major news events in or affecting the queer community (NewsWrap), in-depth coverage of major events, interviews with key queer figures, plus music, literature and entertainment news. Learn more at thiswayout.org and tune in on KGAY 106.5, Sunday mornings!
- Light It Up 2022 New Year’s Eve
Fri. Dec. 31 at Agua Caliente Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, & Cathedral City
- Boozehounds New Year’s Eve Party
Fri. Dec. 31 Travel back to the era of Studio 54
- Palm Springs International Film Festival 2022
Jan. 6–17, 2022 at various venues in Palm Springs and Cathedral City
- The Mountaintop presented by Dezart Performs
Jan. 14–23, 2022
- Modernism Week 2022
Feb. 17–27, 2022 at various locations throughout Greater Palm Springs
Listen to KGAY 106.5 over the air, stream it [here], or listen on TuneIn Radio with Alexa or Siri by saying “Play K-GAY 1065 from Tune In Radio.” John Taylor is on mornings 6–10 a.m. and program director Chris Shebel is on afternoons. Our Retro Lunch with DJ Galaxy and DJ Eric Ornelas is now heard on Sundays as the Retro Lunch & Sunday Brunch from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. And Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. through the Holidays, it’s Coachella Valley resident Ross Mathews with his very own radio show!