If you weren't at the BNP Thursday night enjoying some tennis, you might have been in downtown Palm Springs for Villagefest – which is now bigger than it's been for the last year and a half.
And hundreds of people gathered at Civic Center Park in Palm Desert for the long-awaited return of some live music.
A popular tradition of more than 25 years, Concerts in the Park was revived Thursday following a break because of the pandemic.
Kicking off the fall concert series was Beach St. A GoGo, with tunes in tribute to the groovy sounds of the 60s.
Band member TJ Roseman was back up in front of the first live audience of the series.
"We just had the best time," Roseman said. "It was so much fun. They sang, they danced and they remembered all the songs that we do."
Over in Palm Springs, people packed Palm Canyon Drive for Villagefest, which for the first time was back to its pre-pandemic size.
"Very exciting; glad to see the street fill up again and having a lot of local vendors come out and sell their wares," said Villagefest vendor Dana Hogan.
Villagefest made its initial comeback in July, but on a limited layout basis – about half as big as normal. Now, the closure extends from Amado Road to Baristo Road, back to its usual half-mile in length.
Masking at Villagefest is still mandatory regardless of vaccination status, but little enforcement was in place Thursday and many went maskless.
"It is an open air event so I think there's a little better spacing," Hogan said. "I'm glad that we're out; get to do something fun."
Looking ahead, some Palm Springs locals are working toward bringing the LGBTQ community together for the inaugural Pride Under the Pines festival at the Rustic Theatre in Idyllwild on Oct. 23.
Rosemary Galore is the hostess of the festivities. "It is going to be so much fun having the first pride in Idyllwild," she said. "They aren't going to know what hit them!"
"It's very nice to get going, get out of your shell again and meet people that you haven't seen in a long time and just celebrate pride again together," said Niels Kosman, owner of PS Homeboys and one of the events producers.
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