It all began in 1972, when entertainer and desert resident Dinah Shore founded what’s now called The Kraft Nabisco Championship
, the first of three annual U.S. championships on the official Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour. Over 100 of the world’s top women golfers still vie for a place in LPGA history (not to mention $2 million in prize money) at the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, this year from April 1st to 8th. The event climaxes with the winner taking a traditional plunge in the 18th hole pond (as demonstrated by 2008 winner Lorena Ochoa below).
The LPGA Tour always enjoyed a strong lesbian following – but what began as a golf tournament all changed in 1991 with the debut of the first Dinah Shore Weekend
in neighboring Palm Springs. The Dinah proved once and for all that despite people’s preconceived stereotypes, lesbians knew how to throw an awesome party and throw it well!
The brainchild of Mariah Hanson
(the producer of uber-popular lesbian dance events in the San Francisco Bay Area, pictured above between two cuties), “The Dinah” has exploded into a five-day women’s party extravaganza – and the largest lesbian event on Earth, attracting at least 15,000 attendees every year
The Dinah now consists of not only circuit-style dance events and pumping pool parties, but also incorporates a lesbian film festival, a celebrity poker tournament, comedy shows, a dodgeball contest, and major live concerts
. Who has time for golf anyway when there are so many parties to get to?
Music has remained the backbone of The Dinah, and in 2006, Mariah took the event to another level by booking The Pussycat Dolls and other top tier performers
, starting a Dinah trend of picking the next big act in music. “In 2006, I finally had the freedom to present a Dinah that was equal to the event’s international fame. The Pussycat Dolls actually left their Black Eyed Peas tour to play the gig. It was momentous.”
Since then, The Dinah has featured live performances by Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Salt ‘N Pepa, Pat Benatar, and Ke$ha
. This year, Iggy Azalea - one of the most hyped MCs/female rapper in American hip-hop - is set to headline Dinah’s “White Party” at the Palm Springs Convention Center on Friday night, April 4th. Other musical artists at this year’s Dinah include Eve, Hunter Valentine, Thea Austin, Mary Lambert, and Tegan & Sara
And if that wasn’t enough music to keep you grooving all weekend long, the Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival brings its smooth tunes to the desert in conjunction with The Dinah (but its own separate event), from April 3rd to 6th
Debuting in 2013, this music event has already grown to take over three major venues this year: The Spa Hotel, The Indian Canyons Golf Resort, and The Escena Country Club, Clubhouse, and Grill. The line-up of major musicians and singers includes Cindy Bradley
, (declared the Best New Artist by the American Smooth Jazz Awards), Pamela Williams
(who went from back-up singer with Patti LaBelle to a respected saxophone player), and Sweet Baby J’ai
(critically-acclaimed singer, songwriter, and producer who also happens to be this year’s festival’s Artistic Director), performing in the video below. The music festival will also showcase a series of award-winning films about groundbreaking and fascinating about women in jazz.
So put on your dancing shoes – it’s gonna be a long, fun, five-day ride!
Below are details on some of The Dinah’s main events, and you can find the entire five-day schedule and purchase tickets online at www.thedinah.com. You can find a full events schedule and ticket info to the Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival at www.pswomensjazzfestival.com.