The 6th Annual Coachella Valley Italian Festival has come and gone. This year more than 3,000 people gathered over the weekend on November 12th and 13th to celebrate Italian culture through eating, dancing, singing, and fun. What many of the festival attendees do not know is that for over 700 adults in the with developmental disabilities this festival is much more than a celebration. The Italian Festival is Desert Arc's largest fundraiser of the year and because of all of the volunteers, vendors, attendees, and entertainers many of Desert Arc's clients are able to participate in programs that would otherwise not be available.
It wasn't until 1983 that Desert Arc was given the land they are currently headquartered at in Palm Desert. The Western Italian Golf Association donated the land not knowing that their act of generosity would inspire a community to bring a unique celebration of Italian culture to the Coachella Valley. Today, visitors from all over southern California pack out the Rancho Mirage Community Park to enjoy some of the Valley's best pizza, pasta, sweets, and drinks.
With acts coming from all over southern California attendees were able to enjoy musical acts, live cooking demos, and friendly food competitions on the main stage with Chef Gino Campagna anchoring many of the festivities during the two days. Many of Desert Arc's clients were also available as ambassadors, volunteers, and help to the vendors and were on site interacting with attendees. We look forward many years of celebration "Italian Style" and can't wait to see you all next year! Thank you for helping us create opportunities and improve the quality of life for our clients.