Happy New Year 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 18, and the Palm Springs International Film Festival has been canceled:
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, 2022. 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. Don’t let that pretty logo merch go to waste: for a limited time, Destination PSP is offering 50% off (Use the code 2022Festival at checkout) on all Palm Springs Film Festival merchandise! Learn more
🥳 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.
- Eagle 501 has music from DJ Sir Doggy, free champagne toast, no cover.
- 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.
- Trunks Bar has Anita Treadmill and Divas on the Dancefloor, then a Country Dance Party with DJ Stephen, champagne toasts at 9pm and midnight.
- AMP Sports Lounge has a Hot Desert Disco with a SHADE Drag Show, DJ Fishcoteque, and a Midnight Money Balloon Drop with champagne toast.
- Playoffs Sports Bar is celebrating in the style of “The Great Gatsby,” so don your finest 20’s attire and come for DJ music and champagne toast.
- AsiaSF Palm Springs has canceled their New Year’s Eve Party out of an abundance of COVID caution, and they’re currently scheduled to reopen with dinner shows on January 7.
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
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
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. For now, they are still serving New Year’s Eve Brunch and New Year’s Eve Dinner with a prix fixe menu by Chef Aric.
Joshua Tree Gallery Features Michael Childers and Gordon Clark
The Joshua Tree Gallery of Contemporary Art presents EMERGENCE, now through March 13, featuring the photographic artwork of Michael Childers and Gordon Clark. The exhibition presents new works from each artist as well as works that have adorned the walls of esteemed museums and galleries around the globe. Gallery is open Thursdays 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 1:00–5:00 p.m. More info
“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.”
New LGBTQ Youth Hike
The newly opened Center Coachella offers their first LGBTQ Youth Hike on Sunday, January 2 at 8:30 a.m. to explore the Indio Badlands Trail. The Center Coachella is partnering with Venessa Becerra of Friends of the Desert Mountains and in collaboration with Desert Recreation District to offer a program combining art and nature, as well as always providing a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth. Meet at the Indio Teen Center. More info
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
‘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!
Upcoming Theatre Productions
Here’s a glance ahead at local productions taking the stage soon after the New Year!
- Always, Patsy Cline from Desert Theatreworks, Jan. 7–Feb. 6
- Mid-Century Moderns from Desert Rose Playhouse, Jan. 19–Feb. 19
- Life X 3 from CVRep, Jan. 25–Feb. 6.
- Artificial Morality from Desert Ensemble Theatre Company, Jan. 21–30
- Les Miserables from Palm Canyon Theatre, Jan. 28–Feb. 13
- The Mountaintop from Dezart Performs, Postponed to Mar. 4–13
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
- Light It Up 2022 New Year’s Eve
Fri. Dec. 31 at Agua Caliente Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, & Cathedral City
- Always, Patsy Cline – presented by Desert Theatreworks
Jan. 7–Feb. 6, 2022 at the Indio Performing Arts Center
- Modernism Week 2022
Feb. 17–27, 2022 at various locations throughout Greater Palm Springs
- International Bear Convergence (IBC) 2022
Feb. 24–28, 2022 at Hotel Zoso
- Top 10 LGBTQ National News Stories of 2021
- A First for LGBTQ+ Media, a Permanent Seat in White House Briefing Room
- The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens’ Rhino Savanna Habitat Is Now Open!
- A Chat With Lili Rodriguez, the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s Artistic Director
- Restaurant News Bites: AsiaSF Set to Reopen; New Restaurants Coming to Downtown Indio; and Much More!
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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., it’s Coachella Valley resident Ross Mathews with his very own radio show!