Decadence in the Desert at the Palm Springs Dinah

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Friday Mar 15, 2013

On Apr. 3-7, the Palm Springs, California desert will bloom with an influx of more than 10,000 lesbians ready to celebrate Spring Break at the Dinah Shore Weekend, the annual party of lesbian music, dance parties and fun in the sun. Between the pool parties, film festival, comedy and live music, every year the event offers more and more women from across the globe the opportunity to mix and mingle.

"The Dinah has grown significantly since I started it, since about 24 years ago," said Executive Producer Mariah Hanson. "We are putting on a good program, and that resonates with our guests. Palm Springs is a great place to produce something like this, with the sun, resorts and attractions."

Founder of Club Skirts and the modern Dinah Shore Weekend, producer Mariah Hanson has worked tirelessly since 1991 to make the event a singular success. Over the years, this has translated to 100 percent lesbian bookings in local hotels.

The Hilton Hotel and Spa, which underwent a $9 million renovation, is already fully booked. The Hotel Zoso is also sold out, but there are some rooms still available at Renaissance Palm Springs, The Spa Resort and Casino and the Palm Springs Marquis.

"It's good to book with our official hotels because we've negotiated good rates," Hanson advised, adding, "But I wouldn't wait much longer!"

From Divas to DJs

Hanson has also found the addition of live music to be a major draw for attendees as well as a legitimate stage for breakout as well as established talent. Her track record speaks for itself, including Lady Gaga and Katy Perry in 2009, and the reunion of Salt ’N Pepa in 2010. This year’s lineup promises a passel of celesbians, among them Leisha Hailey, K. Rose and Karmin.

"Since the addition of the music festival, we have seen the numbers go up exponentially," said Hanson. "We have shown that we bring in the right artists, and in return the music industry has become more enthusiastic about sending better and better talent."

Every day at The Dinah offers new opportunities for fun in the sun, tearing up the dance floor and making new friends. For a few laughs, join "Chelsea Lately" star Fortune Feimster as she headlines Thursday Night Comedy, featuring Australia’s Jackie Loeb and New York’s Jacqueline Monahan, with host Suzanne Westenhoefer. K. Rose will perform for the Dinah official pre-party.

The weekend features numerous poolside fetes, including the TGIDF Pool Party with Anjulie, the Cabana Girl Pool Party with Kat Graham and The Wet and Wild Pool Party featuring Diana King. Ladies can dance the night away at the Dinah White party with Havana Brown, the Dinah Goes to Monte Carlo with Karmin and the Official Dinah Closing Party with Katy Tiz. Up and coming musicians will prove their chops at the Girls That Rock party, including PlayBoy School, Life Down Here and Love’s Darling.

A dozen smoking hot go-go girls are lined up to entertain at the parties with their booty-shaking prowess, and the nation’s top DJs are spinning, including Amara, Kidd Sysko, Lezlee, Lisa Pittman, Saratonin, and Susan Levine.

The Dinah continues to evolve. New this year is the Dinah Film Series, produced by Club Skirts in association with actress Jill Bennett and Director-Producer Page Hurwitz.

The Apr. 5 event will premiere the first two episodes of the new indie sitcom "Second Shot," which features Jill Bennet as Kat McDonald, a woman who left her small hometown to seek fame and fortune as a pro soccer player, but ended up living at home again. Also on the lineup is a Page Hurwitz, who will premiere her highly anticipated Dinah documentary, "Out in the Desert."

Hanson, who recently served on the board of Equality California, is known for her charitable giving, and The Dinah is no exception. On Saturday, Apr. 6, celebs will band together to raise money for HRC in a charity poker event during the Monte Carlo night. A $50 buy-in lets you play along with celesbians including Julie Goldman, Kim Stolz, Brandy Howard, Zuly Ramos, Rose Garcia, Nicole Pacent, Haviland Stillwell and more.

For those with deep pockets, VIP packages are available, and offer priority admittance into all events, VIP seats for comedy shows, private bars at the weekend parties, a VIP Lounge, and admittance to the VIP Towers at Saturday nights main event at The Palm Springs Convention Center.

Time is running out to be a part of the biggest lesbian event in the world. For more information, visit

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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