Palm Springs 75th Anniversary


Story and photos by Pat Krause
Story and photos by Pat Krause

Palm Springs celebrated its 75th anniversary in the biggest way possible. A party to top all parties was held at the O’Donnell Golf Course in Palm Springs on Saturday, April 20th. The event was free to the whole family from 3 to 8 pm with fireworks ending the evening at 8:30. Thousands of people came to celebrate with the City.

There were free carnival games for the children. A petting zoo for the little ones and a “Kids Zone” with huge inflatables for bouncing , jumping, climbing, sliding and just doing what kids love to do. There were so many activities for children I am sure there were some very tired parents at the end of the day.

Adults were enjoying the vintage cars, fire trucks and the many carnival booths. It seemed that everywhere you walked there was something new to see. Food booths were all along Belardo Rd and there was also a Beer garden on the lawn.I watched several people try to ring the bell and toss a ball to hit the target to get a guy wet. There were two huge blow up people dressed as gay and lesbian brides and grooms. Large blow up balloons in the shape of 75 tied to tables.It was just a really fun atmosphere everywhere.

Entertainment included the Palm Springs High School Band, The American Glee Club and singers including Joey English, Mara Getz, Vicki Knight, Francesca Amari, Keisha D, Ben Reese, Jeff Stewart, John Ferrare, Steve Connolly, Nicole Parker and so many others. There was an Elvis and Marilyn impersonators. The singers and dancers told the history of Palm Springs with songs from every decade. The dancers made a lot of costume changes for each era. Brian Wanzek, aka Bella da Ball, was the Emcee. The encore had all the performers, Sponsors, Councilmen on stage with Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet singing Happy Birthday with the crowd. John Benoit gave a proclamation to the City of Palm Springs.

The finale was the largest display of fireworks in a long time that could be seen all over the valley. It was like July 4th all over again only better.

Sponsors included the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians that also provided free bottles of water because it was a hot day. Sponsors like Harold Matzner and Jim Houston and Palm Springs Resorts paid for a majority of the events of the day. Abel and McCallister designs donated their time to put on this extravagant affair. It took a lot of local sponsors to pay for all this. Major sponsors included Jackie Autry, Helene Galen, Donna MacMillan, TV stations, 3,6,5 and 2, The Desert Sun, Palm Springs Life, the City of Palm Springs to name just a few. Sorry if I missed naming some as there were just too many to name them all.

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