Greater Palm Springs Pride announced today that four individuals and one national organization would serve as the Grand Marshals for the annual Pride parade scheduled for November 6 in Palm Springs. Recognizing their achievements and community service, PFLAG is the National Grand Marshal, Rev Benita Ramsey is the Grand Marshal, Willie Rhine is the Community Grand Marshal, and Chef Andre’ Carthen is the Celebrity Grand Marshal of the 2022 Greater Palm Springs Pride Parade. The theme of the 2022 Festival and Parade is Say, Gay. 

PFLAG is the first and largest organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people and their families. Leading up to the 50th Anniversary of their first meeting organized by its founder Jeanne Manford, PFLAG is celebrated as the National Grand Marshal. PFLAG’s network of hundreds of chapters and more than 325,000 members and supporters works to create a caring, just and affirming world for LGBTQ+ people and those who love them. 

Rev Benita Ramsey

The 2022 Grand Marshal is Rev Benita Ramsey (they/them/she). A gifted Spoken Word Artist and wordsmith, Benita is a third-generation Pentecostal-style storyteller and preacher. Rev Ramsey is a justice and culture strategist and practitioner, a spiritual director, and a lover of books, words, rhythms & beats. They are an ordained minister and Pastor at Unity Fellowship Church-IE. They serve as a program support manager for the Inland Empire HIV Planning Council and executive director of Rainbow Pride Youth Alliance. 

Willie Rhine

Willie Rhine (he/him/his), a 30-year resident of Palm Springs who is actively involved in the community and always says yes when asked to help, is celebrated as the Community Grand Marshal. Two of Rhine’s favorite words are “Be Nice.” Willie discovered the joy of being nice and giving back in the early 90s when he volunteered his time and donated his construction skills working hands-on with HIV patients at the Special Care Unit at Desert Regional Medical Center. Rhine is the co-owner of two successful eateries in Palm Springs, EIGHT4NINE Restaurant and Lounge and 1501 Uptown Gastro Pub. EIGHT4NINE Restaurant and Lounge has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities large and small.

Chef Andre’ Carthen

Chef Andre’ Carthen (he/him/his) is recognized as the Celebrity Grand Marshal. From working with Vanessa Williams on Broadway to television & movies with Halle Berry and now in the kitchen, Chef Andre’ Carthen, a.k.a. the Fit Chef, is featured in Kathy Ireland’s book “Real Solutions for Busy Moms: Your Guide to Success and Sanity,” and Janet Jackson’s book, NY Times #1 Best Seller “True You” where he contributed over 30 recipes for a healthy meal plan. Chef Andre’ is the only African American appointed to the Nutrisystem Success Chef’s Council. Chef Andre’ has proudly worked with Kathy Ireland, a leading force for diversity, equal rights for all, and continuing the fight against HIV AIDS for over 30 years. He was recently the guest chef for St. John’s Hospital’s Gala “Beyond the Stars” at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.   

“The Grand Marshals stand out in their professions and are among the valley’s most active advocates for equality, diversity, and living their life lifting others,” said Ron deHarte, president and CEO of Greater Palm Springs Pride. Bestowing the Grand Marshal designation recognizes the recipient’s collective work of spreading messages of unity and equality while embracing love, positivity, joy, and kindness. 

The marshals will ride in the Pride Parade on November 6. The parade steps off at 10 am at Palm Canyon Dr. and Tachevah and proceeds downtown on Palm Canyon Dr. to the main entrance of the Pride Festival at Amado. The festival is free for all to attend. 

ABOUT GREATER PALM SPRINGS PRIDE 

Greater Palm Springs Pride (www.pspride.org) is a nonprofit community enhancement organization founded to promote public education and awareness of individual rights and civil liberties of the LGBTQ community and to promote the history, diversity, and future prosperity of the Greater Palm Springs LGBTQ community. Palm Springs Pride has been a tireless advocate for equality and diversity since the first Coachella Valley Pride event in 1986. 

The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization brings together the skills, talents, and vision of our diverse community through its programs which include the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast, Pride Honors Awards, the Cesar Chavez Breakfast, the Pride Parade, Pride Festival, and the downtown Arenas Rd. Block Party.  

For more information about Greater Palm Springs Pride, visit www.pspride.org. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/palmsprings.pride. With the support of the City of Palm Springs, the 2022 Palm Springs Pride Week is scheduled for November 4-6, 2022. Highlights of this year’s event include:

  • The festival’s return to Palm Canyon Dr, the new Oscars Pride stage on Tahquitz, and the Truly Vodka stage on Palm Canyon in front of the Hyatt Palm Springs.
  • LGBTQ+ artists featured throughout the weekend.
  • 200 back-to-back non-profit organizations and exhibitor booths.
  • The festival includes plenty of outdoor food and beverage booths.