With Pride weekend festivities around the corner, the City of Palm Springs is kicking off the celebrations.
The annual Pride flag has been unfurled and the newly announced Arenas District was unveiled.
“It’s a symbol of the beginning of Pride weekend for many people.. and it’s a great symbol for those that are visiting our city to see as they enter Palm Springs, and then it’s lit up all night long so folks can enjoy it and see it as a beacon of Pride throughout the entire weekend.” says Ron deHarte, president and CEO of Palm Springs Pride.
DeHarte touched on what Pride means for not only the LGBTQ+ community but what the celebration represents for the city by saying “I think Pride in general for the City of Palm Springs tells the world that Palm Springs is a welcoming community for the LGBTQ communities… and everybody is welcomed and embraced in Palm Springs.”
Just down the street, a ribbon cutting, signage unveiling, and ceremony, celebrating the new Arenas District.
Mayor Lisa Middleton says the new district has a big impact on the LGBTQ community in the Coachella Valley.
“Designate the Arenas Street as a new district in Palm Springs to the Arena’s District… it is the heart of the LGBT business and entertainment community here in Palm Springs, and this is such a fabulous occasion for so many of the people who have been a part of making this street the center of commerce in our community for over 30 years.” says Mayor Lisa Middleton.
“Well, what we know that the rest of the world doesn’t know is that it’s a special place. LGBTQ+ people call this place home. For me, it’s somewhere we feel safe to come down to.” says the owner of Blackbook, Dean Lavine.
Lavine says the business owners on Arenas have called themselves a “district” for about four years prior to the actual designation.
“It means we have a place in palm springs in this valley where people can come to be comfortable, break bread, drink, have a good time and feel safe.” Lavine states.
The official Pride weekend starts tomorrow at about 10 a.m. with a Pride on The Page event, presenting books written by the LGBTQ+ community.
The weekend continues on, leading up to Sunday’s Pride Parade where local organizations, activists, and colorful floats march up and down Palm Canyon Drive.