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Snapshot

10 Nov 2014
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Tens of thousands of people showed up for a revamped and relocated Greater Palm Springs Pride Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 8 and 9. After years at Palm Springs Stadium at Sunrise Park, the two-day festival was moved to downtown Palm Springs—specifically Palm Canyon Drive between Baristo and Amado roads, and Arenas Road between Palm Canyon and Calle Encilia. The better location, expanded festival hours and free admission meant a markedly larger crowd than in recent years. The Independent was at the festival from start to finish (literally; we gave out some 1,900 papers at our booth during the festival's two days). Scroll down to see our photo gallery of snapshots from the 2014 Palm Springs Pride Festival.
27 Apr 2014
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Colder-than-normal temps could not stop tens of thousands of party-goers from reveling at the Palm Springs Convention Center during the main event of White Party 2014. The weekend of parties kicked off on Friday, April 25, with a pool party at the Renaissance, and continues through Sunday, April 27, with another pool party, the popular "Circus Icon" Sunday T-Dance and a closing party. But as always, the main event—the White Party itself, on Saturday, April 26—drew the biggest crowd and the best visuals. Attendees danced until the wee hours, with the event highlighted by a 1:30 a.m. performance by Ariana Grande. Scroll down to view the Independent's photo gallery (and keep your eye on the gallery, as we will add pics from some of Sunday's festivities later). Enjoy!
04 Apr 2014
As she teed off Thursday morning, April 3, at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, Nicole Castrale had a lot to prove. The 11-year LPGA veteran and onetime Palm Desert High School golfer needed to show that any physical concerns caused by her September 2013 hip-replacement surgery were behind her. She has been swinging the club again for just three months, after all. By the end of the day, she had proven a lot, turning in a one-under-par 71 that put her five strokes off the lead and in a tie for 14th place. “I now have a right hip that works, so it’s nice,” said the Palm Desert resident. “I’ve been able to pick up some speed, which is good, so I’m hitting further off the tee.” To what did she attribute her opening round success? “I just played real solid,” Castrale said. “I hit a lot of fairways, a lot…
02 Apr 2014
Monday marked the beginning of the now 42-year-old LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship, and the event began with a one-day tournament featuring California’s top young amateur female golfers. The prize for the winner of the KNC Champions Junior Challenge: the final qualifying spot in the major championship’s field. This year marked only the third anniversary of this new tradition and offered 39 excited young golfers—selected by a committee of the Southern California Golf Association—a special opportunity. Two of the talented amateurs—15-year-old Jiyoon Jang, of Rancho Mirage, and 17-year-old Mackenzie Raim, of Palm Desert—are locally grown, and both were members of the Palm Desert High School varsity girls’ golf team. Each team of three players was accompanied by a previous winner of the prestigious Kraft Nabisco Championship, which was founded by Dinah Shore back in 1972. This year’s champion coach squad included, among many others, LPGA legends like Annika Sorenstam, Nancy Lopez,…
23 Mar 2014
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Foodies from around Southern California and beyond have descended on Palm Desert this weekend for the 2014 Palm Desert Food and Wine Festival. At the Saturday, March 22, grand tasting, attendees dealt with sweltering heat inside of the giant white tent on Larkspur Lane, just off of El Paseo. Despite the toasty temps, however, people seemed to have a great time, enjoying bites of food from various local restaurants, as well as sips of wine and cocktails from various vendors. The Food and Wine Festival also spawned various food-related satellite events, such as the Taste of the Saguaro. Jose Garces—the Iron Chef and head of the Garces Group, which operates Tinto and El Jefe at the Saguaro—came to town for the weekend, and attended a special dinner at the Saguaro on Friday, as well as an event called Taste of the Saguaro on Saturday. The Independent attended the Palm Desert…
18 Mar 2014
On Friday, March 14, the women’s singles semifinals at the BNP Paribas Open were played under relatively cool and star-filled skies at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Both matches were decided in straight sets, with Agnieszka Radwanska moving easily into the finals, and Flavia Pennetta overcoming a stiff challenge from 2014’s best women’s player, Li Na. On Saturday, it was the men’s turn on the Stadium 1 Court. First up in the ATP singles semifinals under the blazing noon sun was the pairing of No. 7 Roger Federer and No. 28 Alexandr Dolgopolov; Federer won convincingly. During the next match, temperatures on the court pushed well past 90 degrees, and the brilliant sunshine glared into the eyes of both players when they were serving. John Isner and Novak Djokovic battled hard through three sets, with Djokovic finally pulling away to deliver a fans’ dream matchup when he faces Federer in…
12 Mar 2014
As the 2014 BNP Paribas Tennis Open moves into the fourth round, many big names on the men’s side have tumbled in the heat and swirling breezes at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Only five of the Top 10 players have survived. Among those already heading home are No. 4 seed Tomas Berdych, No. 9 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and most shockingly, No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal. But Team Fed remains in the game. That’s the name the worldwide tennis media has given to Roger Federer and his coterie of coaches, family and friends. This year's No. 7 seed and a four-time BNP Paribas Open champion, Federer is a perennial fan favorite. He is lionized by legions of loyal fans who track his every move around the expansive Tennis Garden grounds. For them, Coachella Valley’s two-week tennis fest is a chance to enjoy all the pleasures of “Club Fed”—and it doesn’t…
05 Mar 2014
A good time for a good cause was the goal at the Will Powered Golf Classic, held Monday, March 3, at Palm Desert’s Bighorn Golf Club, and the Desert Smash tennis tournament, held Tuesday, March 4, at the La Quinta Resort. The events were hosted by actor/comedian Will Ferrell and cancer survivor Craig Pollard, the founder of Cancer for College. Players competed in a “shamble” format in the annual golfing fundraiser, which has been funding scholarships for cancer survivors since 1994. The golf tournament kicked off Cancer for College’s 2014 Desert Showdown, which continued on Tuesday, March 4, with the Desert Smash tennis tournament, as well as a concert featuring Nelly and Boyz II Men at The Show at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa. Ferrell and Pollard were joined this year by Kevin Spacey, the two-time Academy Award-winning actor and star of the hit Netflix series House of Cards.…