2018 will be the last year of the Dyke March. For the past 4 years Palm Springs has had a “dyke” march over the Pride Weekend in early November. From the very beginning the march itself was often eclipsed by the hysteria around using the word “dyke”, which for some reason drove some of the older lesbians into fits of hysteria. So they will be happy to know that next year the “D” word will go away and Lesbo Expo, a day long dyke fair will replace it.

Louise Minnick, the founder of the Dyke March, has been planning for the past few years to replace the march with a festival of food, music, arts and crafts, dancing and other entertainment reminiscent of the days of the women’s music festivals. It will take place in 2019 at the Palm Springs Pavilion over the same November weekend.

The highlight will be an attempt to get listed in the Guinness Book of Records for holding the largest lesbian pot luck in the world. Minnick, who has been working on this with a dedicated committee of women and the support of The Center, said, “the Festival moves the concept of the march to another more substantive level and it gives the lesbian community a greater sense of creativity and visibility.”

This last march in November will add some bells and whistles as it gives way to the festival. It will be held, as usual, at Francis Stevens Park but there will be a picnic before the march and a party afterwards. There will be food by Chef Phyllis – a well know lesbian chef – and after the march a party at Azul Restaurant with live music featuring Sweet Baby J’ai – the artistic director of the Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival.

Louise Minnick is to be applauded for the work she has put into both the march and the upcoming festival. She has managed in spite of the controversy around the name of the march and often without a lot of early support for the festival to stick with it. The march has been an opportunity for lesbians to join ranks and support the lesbian/queer/dyke/bi/pan, etc. movement and the festival has the opportunity to raise the level of recognition of Palm Springs as a place to go for women looking to hook up with other women.