The third annual Swing ‘N Hops Street Party was held on Feb. 4 at the city of Palm Desert’s esteemed El Paseo shopping district. Lasting from noon to 5 p.m., this retro-themed event paid homage to the classic era of the 1940s with a dance floor, vintage cars, craft beer and vendors, and artwork inspired by that era.
The Swing ‘N Hops Street Party is part of a program called First Weekend, which is an arts and culture event that takes place in Palm Desert every first weekend of the month from November to May. Its many sponsors include The Gardens at El Paseo, El Paseo Cruise Night, CV Weekly newsletter, the Coachella Valley Art Scene, Alpha Media Group and the Sunny 103 radio station.
Those who attended dressed to impress in their best costumes reminiscent of fashion between the 1920s and 1940s. For those looking to perfect their hair and makeup looks, retro-style headbands and accessories were available for purchase while makeover services were provided by local salons and retailers, including Uno de 50, Savory Spice Shop, Pacifica, Body Deli, L’Occitane, Spectacular Shades, Cactus Flower Shoes, BG’s and Bare Minerals.
“I love how unique Swing ‘N Hops is with its theme and how it provides something different in the desert. Seeing everyone dressed up and dancing really gets you in the spirit and there’s no other street party like that out here,” said Palm Desert resident Sharon Meyers.
At the center of the event was the dance floor, where guests could grab a partner and flaunt their best swing moves. Throughout the course of street party, live renditions of classic love songs were performed by the Jennifer Keith Quintet. Free dance lessons were also provided for those nervous to test their moves on the dance floor. Instructor Lupita Limon taught attendees various Charleston, jitterbug, and lindy hop moves.
The craft beer garden was a hit during Swing ‘N Hops, with a special section gated off from the rest of the block party to highlight the beverages from local breweries. Vendors from Coachella Valley Brewing Company, La Quinta Brewing Company and Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse had a selection of spirits available for purchase. Wine and other cocktail products were offered by Liquid Catering powered by TRIO Restaurant among an assortment of food items.
“Out of all the events here in the Coachella Valley, [Swing ‘N Hops Street Party] has to be one of my favorites,” stated 30-year resident Bill Claridge. “There is so much heart and spirit put into this celebration and you can tell the people in charge of it really care about getting the community involved. I come here every year!”