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Palm Desert celebrates Independence Day with community-wide listening party

Group of 4 dogs sitting in the grass with 4th of July head bands.Cancelled fireworks? Sadly, yes. But cancel the 4th itself? That simply can’t be done!

Palm Desert residents and visitors alike are invited to celebrate our nation’s independence by joining in at two events: a drive-in movie at Westfield Mall on Friday evening, July 3, and a community-wide patriotic listening party on Saturday, July 4, starting at 9 p.m.

Friday, July 3
As the sun sinks below Mt. San Jacinto on July 3, the top deck of the parking structure behind Macy’s at Westfield Palm Desert will be transformed into a pop-up drive-in movie theater for a special screening of the 1985 family-friendly classic film, Back to the Future. Each arriving car will be allocated two spots to allow for social distancing. Movie-goers will be allowed to set up chairs in the spot adjacent to their car to watch the film in the open air.

Pre-show entertainment starts at 8:00 p.m., followed by the film at 8:30 p.m. The “doors” open at 7 p.m., and attendees are asked to arrive early to settle in. And what’s a movie without popcorn? Snacks will available for purchase by stopping first on the second level of the parking structure where Tristone Palm Desert Cinemas 10 will have a concession stand. Stuft Pizza will be open for advance online ordering and convenient curbside pick-up on your way to the show, too. Mention or enter the code “Drive In Movie” when ordering for 20% Off your order.

Capacity at this event is limited and advance reservations are required. RSVPs can be made now via the Westfield Palm Desert website.

This event is free to the public, but movie-goers are asked instead to bring a bag of non-perishable food to be donated to FIND Food Bank. Additional details and event guidelines can found on the event listing on this website.

This special event is presented by the City of Palm Desert in partnership with Westfield Palm Desert, Tristone Palm Desert 10 Cinemas, 5 Star Productions and Mobile Drive-In Theater.

Saturday, July 4
Unite Palm Desert logoPalm Desert is a community that looks forward to celebrating Independence Day together every year. Faced with a prohibition on large gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Palm Desert chose to cancel our biggest event of the year, the traditional 4th of July fireworks display and concert at Civic Center Park.

While it was the responsible thing to do, City staff wasn’t quite prepared to simply wipe that July 4 date clean off our calendars. If there’s one thing that we have learned after spending the last few months at home, it’s that we are more than ready to celebrate freedom.

And who’s to say Palm Desert can’t do so, albeit in a socially distanced and acceptable manner? Inspired by images of New Yorkers banging pots and pans at sunset and Italians singing from their balconies, City staff is encouraging everyone to “stay home together” to celebrate the 4th in a completely unique way.

At 9 p.m., two local radio stations – 98.5 the Bull and U-92.7 – will play a selection of favorite patriotic tunes in synchronized stereo. Residents are encouraged to step outside, turn up the volume on their radios, and let music and freedom ring out under the stars for all to hear in a once-in-a-lifetime shared experience that we’d like to think of as a socially distanced block party.

After that, it’s all up to you. Sing along if you like or wave the Stars and Stripes. Part of the togetherness will be provided by the shared experience, so be sure to show off your red, white and “you”! Everyone who participates is invited to post pictures of their listening party on social media using the hashtag #UnitePalmDesert. The listening party is part of Unite Palm Desert, a campaign created to support and rally Palm Desert residents and businesses through the pandemic and beyond.

“While it may not have the big bang of our normal pyrotechnics, we think this event has the chance to make a lasting impact on our community,” said Mayor Gina Nestande. ”We will always remember 2020 as the year when we wouldn’t let a global pandemic stop us from celebrating our nation’s independence.”

To really get into the Spirit of ’76, we’ve also collected 4th of July decorating, apparel and menu ideas on the Visit Palm Desert Pinterest page page. Many of the featured products are available locally from Palm Desert retailers.

The City is also working with select local restaurants that will offer Independence Day “picnic baskets,” which holiday revelers can pre-order and enjoy at home before, during, or after the listening party. Participating restaurants are being added every day. Here’s who’s signed up now:

California Fish Grill
73547 Highway 111, Ste G-4, Palm Desert
760-469-9969
Four Person Meal: Four each Grilled Swai Plates and Shrimp Skewers, one Kid’s Chicken and Side Salad. $39.99
Six Person Meal: Three each Grilled Salmon Plates and Grilled Swai Plates, six Shrimp Skewers, two Kid’s Chicken and Side Salad. $59.99

Fresh Agave
73325 Highway 111, Palm Desert
760-836-9028
Choose from:
TACO FIESTA
Carne asada, pollo asado, carnitas, chorizo, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, jalapenos, and cheese. With your choice of flour or corn tortillas. (Serves two)
FAJITAS GRANDE
Marinated chicken, beef, shrimp and calamari. Tossed with onions and peppers. Garnished with guacamole, pico de gallo, and sour cream. (Serves two)
$30 each. Each special includes two soft drinks. Upgrade your drinks to Margaritas for $40. Not valid with any other promotions. To-go orders only.

Haus of Pizza
72795 Highway 111, Palm Desert
760-340-9040
4th of July basket includes:
1) 10″ cheese pizza or any 6″ sandwich (italian, meatball, sausages cheese, veggie, ham & cheese);
2) Chicken Wings with buffalo or sweet chili sauce;
3) Russian Empanadas with meat or mushrooms.
$20 plus tax

Karen’s Café
77682 Springfield Lane, Palm Desert
760-772-2800
Four Protein Burritos, any choice – $49
Four Chicken Strips and Fries – $39

Keedy’s Fountain & Grill
73633 Highway 111, Palm Desert
760-346-6492
Hot Dog family four pack (hot dog and fries) – $20.00 / $5.00 for one
Hamburger family four pack (hamburger and fries) – $30.00 / $7.50 for one
Milkshakes – $5.00
Available To Go Only

Nothing Bundt Cakes
72216 Highway 111, Suite F3, Palm Desert
760-346-3440
Don’t forget dessert! Be sure to order your festive 4th of July cake or bundlets. The cake even comes with sparkler candle!

Which Wich Superior Sandwiches
73405 Highway 111 #102, Palm Desert
760-895-4378
Choose from their regular menu or many options available on their catering menu.

Wilma & Frieda
73575 El Paseo #2310, Palm Desert
760-773-2807
Wilma & Frieda Fourth of July Picnic Pack for four:
8 Brioche Slider Rolls
32 oz. Barbecue Short Rib
8 oz. Coleslaw for topping
16 oz. Loaded Baked Potato Salad
16 oz. Tortellini Parmesan Salad
4 House-made Lemon Mini Loaves
8 oz. Fresh Blueberry Compote Topping
Call El Paseo location at 760-773-2807 or email info@wilmafrieda.com to place your order.
$90, serves four.
Add The Great American Wine Co. Zinfandel of Pinot Grigio for $10.
Includes a Wilma & Frieda thermal insulated tote.

However you chose to celebrate, remember to keep it safe and sane. Personal fireworks are prohibited inside City limits. Listening party participants are encouraged to observe all public health guidelines including social distancing and face coverings, if appropriate.

With any luck, Palm Desert can return to its iconic Independence Day Celebration next year. But it may just turn out that 2020 is the year that sparked some new Stars and Stripes Forever traditions for you and your family. Happy 4th of July!

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