Palm Springs in California is renowned for many things. As a movie star getaway where Frank Sinatra built a house and the rat pack partied. As a resort with a record-breaking number of golf courses, public and private. As a perennial vacation for mobsters and movie stars. As mid-century modern architectural feast. As at town where a cast of singers, actors, dancers and headliners age fifty-and-up play to a full house every night. That’s “The Follies,” Palm Springs California’s signature show. And Palm Springs is also renowned for its annual lesbian party weekend. For the last two decades, in fact, lesbians from around the world in greater and greater numbers gather here in the desert to celebrate themselves and go wild.
Prior to the celebrated weekend, the Desert Sun newspaper had this headline story : A Lesbian Rite of Passage Now and For the Ages?: Thousands of women will be in the desert this weekend to plunge into the pools, crowd bars and fill the dance floors – just as they’e done for the past two decades…” According to many of the attendees, this is the party that is on every lesbian’s bucket list. Slated for the last weekend in March or first weekend in April, the party has grown so large in Palm Springs that all the rooms in town get booked and some hotels close their pools to the regular guests. The organizers trumpet it as, “the greatest women’s week on earth.”
Dinah Shore, who was also famous as the older woman in Burt Reynolds’ love life, was not part of this sisterhood. But today, her name and spirit float in the air on this Palm Springs weekend and she leads the charge of lesbians around the world to this desert resort. The singer and expert golfer, Dinah Shore, established a golf classic event for women – to match the cash prizes only known in men’s golf up to that point. The golf classic has been recently renamed Ladies Professional Gold Association’s Kraft Nabisco Championship Golf Tournament, but gay revelers simply call it “The Dinah“.