For those looking to beat the late-winter blues and get down poolside with thousands of lesbians from all over the country, Dinah Shore Week is back and ready to light up Palm Springs with its annual bash during the first week of April. Club Skirts founder Mariah Hanson brings the Dinah back to Palm Springs for another year of celebrating women who love women in style. The five-day event features live music, comedy, plenty of celesbian appearances and fashion shows. Not to mention dancing to hot tracks from your favorite DJs into the wee hours, and the obligatory wet n’ wild pool parties filled with beautiful bikini-clad women. Hanson hosted the first Dinah Shore weekend in 1991, when she observed that lots of women were coming out for the PGA golf tournament and that there were a few smaller parties already going on. Sensing a possibility for something huge, she got corporate sponsors, national acts and booked an entire hotel, and what we know today as the largest lesbian gathering in the country was born. The weekend was extended by another three days due to the extreme popularity of the event. “Basically, I saw a vision and took the risk needed to make the vision a reality,” says Hanson.
This year the party has found a new home at the Riviera Hotel in Palm Springs, which is already sold out. Besides the sizzling daily action by the pool with a variety of dance music and bevies of half-naked lovely ladies, the evenings tempt you at every turn with VIP dance parties (go go dancers and poles, ladies!), great live performances and comedy shows. Later in the week Margaret Cho takes the stage, and self-styled “bad girl of pop” Katy Perry will be featured in a huge VIP party on Friday night. In a new twist on the usual wet t-shirt contest, this year the Dinah will host the semi-finals for the Hottest Lesbian in the Nation contest sponsored by the city of Philadelphia and Southwest Airlines. Going for the distinguished title and $1,000 in prizes, winners of the semi-finals will get airfare to Philly to compete for the grand prize. The contest will take place at the largest lesbian pool party in the nation with celebrity judges and guest performers including Robin S and God-dess and She. Saturday will culminate the celebrations with a Cabana Girl pool party featuring the sensational Uh Huh Her and the Dinah Idol party, where there will be a showcase of local musical talent. The Dinah will also host the Indigo Girls for the first time, as well as nationally acclaimed performance artist Lady GaGa and her dance troupe. If the performances, dancing and contests ain’t enough, sit back and rate the stars on their strut at the celebrity fashion shows. This year you’ll find the L Word’s bad girl Elizabeth Keener and Dalila of Cherry Bomb among the vixens on the catwalk.
While it’s great to get together for a spring break-style jam with loads of women shakin’ what they got, it’s even better to do it with a socially and politically motivated flava. This year Club Skirts is working with Equality California and GLAAD to host a complimentary cocktail reception where attendees will be offered free membership to the organizations. EQCA will have laptops available for people to send messages to their congressperson about LGBT issues and everyone will have the opportunity to network and discuss our community’s ongoing fight for equality over mojitos. This year’s theme is “Take action and then get some action,” keeping the fun-loving spirit of the Dinah alive.
Wednesday, April 1
Celebrate the hottest Dinah Pre-Party with Club Skirts at The Riviera Resort’s Poolside bar. Inside and outside seating. Roll out to the pool when it gets too crowded. Fire pits at the pool to keep you Dinah hot! Last year we had a line around the block, so get there early.
This event is complimentary. This bar is off the hook gorgeous with patio, and great views!
Thursday, April 2
Comedy show and official opening party at Zelda’s Nightclub. Two dance rooms, courtyard patio complete with go go dancers and pole dancing. No getting on the pole until the dancers are off, girls! Comedy with Suzanne Westenhoefer and Erin Foley.
Friday, April 3
Watch the girls as they start to descend upon the hotel, all day long, making their way out to the pool and Dinah Time! This is a really fun party, not to miss for The Dinah Virgins, at the Riviera Resorts lush main pool. Join us as the weekend shifts into high speed at this traditional T-dance from 12 pm to 5 pm at the The Riviera Resorts’ main pool deck. Our DJs start the weekend off with a smooth blend of classics and current club hits. Margaret Cho comedy hour at the Riviera’s plush Grand Ballroom, doors at 6:45, show at 7:30. White Diamonds party featuring Katy Perry. Exclusive Logo networks cocktail reception at 9pm, celebrity fashion show at midnight.
Saturday, April 4
Cabana Girl pool party and Dinah Idol during the day at the Riviera’s two pools. Great DJs spinning house, hip-hop and R&B, Logo’s lube contest and wet t-shirt contests all day. Indigo Girls playing at the Palm Springs Convention Center, doors at 7. Hollywood party at 9 featuring Lady GaGa and the 3rd Annual Club Skirts Celebrity Fashion Show.
Sunday, April 5
Wet & Wild and Last L Word pool parties at the Riviera with celebrity hosts and guest performers, and L Word t-shirt and merchandise giveaways. Semi-finals for the Hottest Lesbian in the Nation contest, also at the Riviera. Official Dinah closing party at Zelda’s Nightclub at 8 pm. Celebrate the final event at Palm Springs’ favorite downtown nightclub, Zelda’s. Outside patio, two dance rooms. House and hip hop.