Palm Springs, CA
Much loved singer and part-time desert resident Nancy Sinatra, whose father, the legendary crooner Frank Sinatra, helped put the Palm Springs destination on the map, will cruise her way to the Downtown Park as she headlines the City’s 85th Anniversary Classic Car Parade on Saturday, April 8 as part of the City of Palm Springs 85th birthday celebration.
The entire Coachella Valley is invited to celebrate the City’s legendary past and bright future at a FREE to the community, fun-filled birthday party all day long. It’s all brought to you by the City of Palm Springs, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, P.S. Resorts, the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce, Splash House and Poppy Vacation Homes.
The fun kicks off at 11:30 a.m. with a magnificent classic car parade called “Cruising Through the Years” that takes off along Amado Road from the Palm Springs Convention Center to the Downtown Park, featuring Sinatra and a host of local celebrities, community leaders, and city pioneers riding in 85 classic cars from 1938 when the city was incorporated — to the present day!
Some of the participants joining Sinatra in the parade include football legend and Palm Springs resident Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, Super Model and local resident Beverly Johnson, the first African American woman to appear on the cover of American Vogue, local philanthropist Harold Matzner, Chairman of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Charlie Pasarell, founder of the BNP Paribas Open, tennis legend Rosie Casals, Lisa Vossler Smith, CEO of Modernism Week, globally renowned Palm Springs artist Phillip K. Smith, local resident Nelda Linsk, immortalized in the famed 1970 Slim Aarons photograph “Poolside Gossip”, acclaimed local architect Hugh Kaptur, Evernell Black, the City’s 86-year-old Senior Inspiration honoree, several former Palm Springs mayors including Ron Oden, Rob Moon and Will Kleindienst, along with Grant Fuhr and Gino Lamont from the Coachella Valley Firebirds, Emmy Award-winning journalist Hank Plante, local KESQ News Channel 3 anchors John White, Haley Clawson and members of the news team, Mike Mozingo and Kris Long from the KNEWS Morning Show as well as a host of other local media figures and well known residents who have made an impact on the Palm Springs destination. Free bleachers will be set up near Jackie Lee Houston Plaza for residents to view the parade on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have the fabulous Nancy Sinatra and so many other local celebrities, community leaders, and pioneers join us for what is sure to be an epic parade and incredible day celebrating 85 years of the magic that makes Palm Springs like no place else,” said Mayor Grace Garner.
Following the parade, the vintage cars will be displayed around the Forever Marilyn sculpture for all to enjoy. Everyone is invited to get a selfie in front of the car from the year they were born!
This year’s media partners are KESQ News Channel 3, The Palm Springs Post, Alpha Media, KGAY 106.5 FM, MeTV Music 103.1 FM, Gay Desert Guide and Palm Springs Life.
“Our 85th Anniversary Classic Car Parade & Show is sure to go down in the history books!” said organizer and long-time resident Keith McCormick, founder of PalmSprings Exotic Car Auctions. “No other City that I know of has ever had 85 cars representing 85 years all in one place,” said McCormick, who added that the Guinness Book of World Records will record this historic happening in Palm Springs.
Here is a listing of the events planned for the 85th Anniversary Celebration:
12:30 p.m. Opening Ceremony in the Downtown Park. Following the parade, Dave Karger, host of Turner Classic Movies, will emcee a brief opening ceremony at Forever Marilyn with Mayor Grace Garner, members of the City Council, and community leaders.
- Throughout the day residents are invited to view a curated exhibit of historic photos chronicling Palm Springs through the years, presented by the Palm Springs Historical Society and Palm Springs Life. Free to the public.
- Palm Springs Parks and Recreation will be in the park offering free, fun activities for youngsters, including face-painting, arts and crafts, interactive games, and much more.
- The Palm Springs Art Museum, who is also celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, will host family activities in front of the museum, including color sheet drawings of the museum created by local artist Danny Heller. Families who present their completed color drawings will receive discounted museum admission for $8.50. Once inside, families will have the opportunity to explore the exhibition Phillip K. Smith: Light + CHANGE with a guided activity book and then go on a scavenger hunt to learn about the collection.
- Welwood Murray Memorial Public Library, LGBTQ+ History & Archives of the Desert will exhibit Sharing Our Desert’s LGBTQ+ History, chronicling the history of events, organizations, and individuals that have helped to make Palm Springs a welcoming place for LGBTQ+ individuals. The exhibit is FREE to the public.
1 p.m. Car Show and DJ set by Joe Kay, the founder of Soulection, a globally recognized platform for music and the host of the critically acclaimed Soulection Radio show on Apple Music. Kay will curate a special DJ set for the 85th Anniversary Car Show & Dance Party, featuring Souldies, Lovers Rock, Reggae and more. A go-to worldwide musical tastemaker, Joe Kay has received praise from the BBC, Billboard, Forbes, LA Times, Low End Theory, Red Bull Music Academy, Rolling Stone and more.
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Joe Kay to 85th Anniversary,” said Palm Springs native Tyler McLean, founder of Splash House. “Joe is a pioneer in the world of music curating the sounds of tomorrow. His love for the desert and soulful musical taste will make for a perfect complement in our celebration of Palm Springs.”
6 p.m. Canine Celebrity Costume Contest. Bring your pup to the Downtown Park! Residents are invited to dress their pooch as their favorite Palm Springs celebrity for a star-studded Canine Costume Contest, presented by the Palm Springs Animal Shelter. Is your pup a dead ringer for Liberace, Elvis Presley, Sonny Bono, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball or Bella daBall…let our judges decide and win a prize!
7 p.m. FINALE: Elton John Tribute Concert in the Downtown Park. The birthday bash concludes with a rockin’ Elton John Tribute Concert, presented by the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce. The Rocket Man will play all his greatest hits!For more information, visitPalmSprings85.com