25 years of the DinahTop Highlights, Section 4A, Entertainment News, Entertainment Feature Thursday, March 19th, 2015
In 1991, Mariah Hanson held the first Dinah in the Palm Springs Museum. It was out of control: 1,500 girls were climbing the walls, the ceiling reverberated, shirts came off and the party-goers brought the roof down. Needless to say, Hanson was no longer invited to the museum. Twenty-five years later, the City of Palm Springs is historically home to the largest all-girl event and music festival in the world, bringing around 15,000 women to The Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend, fondly known as The Dinah. Mariah Hanson under her Club Skirts’ marquee, produces the five-day one-stop destination and international world-class event packed with non-stop activities, which include sexy pool parties, blow-out night entertainment, live concerts by Top Ten Billboard recording artists, comedy shows, sport-games and social networking opportunities.
The achievements of The Dinah can be seen by the successful coinciding of the Ladies Professional Golf Association’s Kraft Nabisco Championship Golf Tournament (formerly the Dinah Shore Golf Championship) as well as the event’s garnering of heavy-hitting national sponsors like Bacardi (platinum), Bud Light (gold), and Orbitz (silver). High-end hotels like the Hilton and the Hotel Zoso tend to sell out 100 percent to the out of towners flocking to the lesbian weekend. The Dinah has partnered with a variety of activist associations and charity organizations such as GLAAD, NOH8, Love is Louder, Equality California and The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, among others.
The location of The Dinah lends significance to Palm Springs being a mecca for LGBT travelers. In fact, Palm Springs was reported as one of the world’s most famous destinations for LGBT leisure travelers by Community Marketing, Inc., a market research firm specializing in LGBT travel. The city is thought to boast more gay and gay-friendly restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, retailers and other businesses than any other one gay destination in the world. It goes without saying that lesbians are at home in Palm Springs.
The Dinah is known for bringing A-list celebrities to their events. Past guests have included Ellen DeGeneres, Wanda Sykes, Jane Lynch and Oliver Stone. The Dinah also brings top music artists to perform concerts. Some of the world-famous names include Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Iggy Azalea, Chaka Khan, Salt’n Pepa and India Arie. Showtime’s popular television drama series The L Word, and its TV reality spinoff The Real L Word have had scenes filmed at The Dinah, and have created national and international attention to the event.
The Dinah reports that last year was their biggest year ever, calling it the “Best Dinah Line-Up in History”. Tegan and Sara, Mary Lambert, Eve and a then unknown Iggy Azalea headlined the epic event. That means the lesbian weekend can only continue to grow. L Word iconic stars, Leisha Hailey and Kate Moennig, better known to their fans as Alice Pieszecki and Shane McCutcheon hosted an exclusive meet and greet in the grand ballroom. Another one of the L Word stars, Laurel Holloman, aka Tina Kennard, sold her eclectic prints of a series entitled “Written on the Body” at one of the pool parties.
April 1-5, 2015 may be the biggest Dinah yet! Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend is celebrating its 25th anniversary with two of the biggest dance-floor legends: Rose Royce and Crystal Waters. “Rose Royce and Crystal Waters bring a legendary aspect to The Dinah. They are both iconoclastic performers who will bring years of experience and showmanship to our attendees. Both shows are going to shake the pool deck, no doubt! I’m excited to bring two artists who attract a broad range of admirers and to expose these legends to our younger clientele as well,” says Mariah Hanson, founder and producer of Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend. Women will gyrate to Crystal Waters’ singles “Dancefloor” and “Never Enough” at the Saturday Cabana Pool Party, and then to Rose Royce’s “Car Wash” at Sunday’s Wet & Wild Pool Party.
This year, some of the DJs performing will be DJs Asha and Amara from Los Angeles and DJ Mary Mac and Whitey Day from New York. On Wednesday, the Dinah Official Opening Party will take place at the Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club. The fun and definitely the laughter kicks off Thursday, April 2 at 8 p.m. with the Dinah Comedy Night. The four comedians include Gloria Bigelow, Dana Goldberg, Suzanne Westenhoeffer and Dinah Leffert. Gloria Bigelow is known for being a contestant on Last Comic Standing as well as an actress on the lesbian webseries Cherry Bomb. Dana Goldberg was one of five national finalists to perform in the Wendy’s Good Taste Comedy Challenge produced by HBO and TBS in Las Vegas as part of The Comedy Festival and voted one of the “Top Five Funniest Lesbians in America,” by CURVE Magazine. Suzanne Westenhoeffer has appeared on Letterman and HBO, while Dinah Leffert has performed standups on CBS, NBC and VH1. The Dinah Opening party that night will again take place at Zelda’s Nightclub starting at 9 p.m.
Arguably, the most anticipated events at The Dinah are the pool parties. From 12-5 p.m. on Friday, the TGIDF Pool Party makes its appearance at the host hotel, the Hilton. An evening concert with rising star, Christina Perry takes place at 9 p.m. at the Palm Springs Convention Center, and the not-to-miss White Party also will be happening at the Convention Center. The star of the White Party is pop sensation, Ivy Levan. “Ivy Levan. Wow, what a force. She is so mesmerizing and sultry! I love her music and her raw intensity. She brings serious girl power to The Dinah and that’s what we’re all about. I have no doubt she is going to be a force to be reckoned with in 2015 and we get a sneak peak in April. I personally can’t wait!” comments Hanson.
Saturday, ladies will get sexy in their swimsuits at the Cabana Girl Pool Party at the host Hilton Hotel, while the concert that night at the Palm Springs Convention Center stars Meghan Trainor, who was honored as the 2015 Breakthrough Artist. Things get sultry at The Black Party Saturday night, which The Dinah says will be the largest party of the weekend. The Black Party is taking place at the Convention Center headlined by Bebe Rexha. “Bebe Rexha is a girl on fire and we are so excited she is going to burn it up at The Dinah. She’s slated to have a big year in 2015 and we’ll have the opportunity to see her before she takes off,” says Hanson. Sunday brings the Wet & Wild Pool Party at the Hilton, followed that evening by The Closing Party at Zelda’s Nightclub.
In 1996, there was such a huge windstorm at The Dinah’s Riviera’s Sunday Pool Party that a heat lamp was lifted up 20 feet in the air in a mini twister. There may not be a twister this year, but there will be many boisterous moments that mean The Club Skirts Dinah Shore 25th Anniversary will be talked about for a long while.
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