WESTERN WEEK, began in 1941 and was sponsored by Los Compadres, one of the oldest and most active riding clubs in Palm Springs. The entire event consisted of activities that honored the western culture, which is a vital part of the history of Palm Springs.Residents and tourists alike enjoyed the celebration of Western Week. The event featured a parade down Palm Canyon Drive, a rodeo, a carnival street dance and a deep pit barbecue. Employees of local banks, grocery stores, and service station attendants as well as employees of restaurants, hotels, and retail stores wore western attire and joined in the fun.
VIDEO EXCERPT FROM 1950s PALM SPRINGS TOURISM VIDEO
Written & Directed by Austin Green
This excerpt from this 18 minute video is focused on the Midcentury ModWest Cowboy lifestyle that included a refreshing swim in a swanky pool!
DESERT CIRCUS began four years before the town became a city as a weeklong party that had the whole town dressing like cowgirls and cowboys. Kangaroo court was set up to levy jail time and fines for those citizens and visitors caught not wearing Western wear. Fines paid went to local charities. A long line of stars — Natalie Wood, Lucille Ball, Chuck Connors, and Red Skelton — appeared in the Palm Canyon Drive parade, at El Mirador’s Desert Circus Ball, and in the bleachers at the rodeo. Look closely at YouTube footage of the 1950 parade, and you’ll see Bob Hope, grinning at the camera from the back of a convertible.
(Palm Springs Life)
(The Desert Sun)
(The Desert Sun 1959)
THE CAPTION READS...ALL RIGHT, YOU GUYS, we're ready to slap leather with any California cowpoke, say six stalwart gunmen who will represent Colorado in a fast-draw contest at Saturday's Kangaroo Court matched against some of Hollywood's best screenland cowboys, these six-gun artists are known as the “Six Guns,” the fastest guns In Colorado. Drawn up in a fairly awesome display of firepower are, left to right, Chris Whelan, Chuck Bucks, Robert Six, Desert Circus High Sheriff and president of Continental Airlines; Harding Lawrence, Mark Kramer and Don Wilson. Gov. Steve McNichols will head his home-state team. (The Desert Sun 1959)
THE CAPTION READS...SWINGING THE SEXIEST six guns west of Colorado are these four well-armed lovelies from the Rocky Mountain State. Known as Continental Airlines' “Golden Jet Girls,” this fast-draw quartet arrived from Colorado to participate in the 23rd annual Desert Circus and its salute to Colorado. You’ll see them ready to match guns with any California owlhoot at the hilarious Kangaroo Court, scheduled for the Tennis Club Saturday afternoon, where they’ll serve as court mascots. The old west was never anything like this. (The Desert Sun 1959)
Cary Grant on horseback in the 1950s. Note that he's wearing jeans and a jean jacket with a white dress shirt with French cuffs and cufflinks!