Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade / Oct. 27
It might look simple, but rolling a fleet of golf carts down El Paseo isn’t easy. “It’s kind of like the duck on the water,” Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade co-chairman Mike Hardin explains, “where you paddle underneath and it looks real smooth on top.” He and about 15 fellow committee members spend up to 10 months planning and executing the ever-growing event, which includes children’s activities, food trucks, and a classic car show. However, everyone is there for the main affair: delightfully decorated golf-cart floats.
The parade has been a Palm Desert institution for 55 years, beginning when residents at the Shadow Mountain Club decided to doll up their golf carts. The event now draws more than 15,000 attendees. “Seeing it all come together in a safe manner after months of working on it,” he says, “that’s why I’ve been coming back every year.” Hardin’s favorite float? A massive pirate ship made by the nonprofit group Desert Arc shivered his timbers in 2012. “It was 30 feet long,” recalls Hardin, who’s served on the parade committee for 20 years. “It was impressive.”