Annual Events in La Quinta

Annual Events in La Quinta, California

Nestled against the Santa Rosa Mountains, La Quinta boasts an array of nationally acclaimed art events that draw thousands of people to our beautiful city year after year. La Quinta is also the home of many outstanding local events including the Annual Hot Rod and Custom Car show, which boasts over 130 custom and vintage cars from as far away as Northern California.

La Quinta Arts Foundation (LQAF) has provided leadership and support to the many artistic initiatives within La Quinta. Twenty-seven years ago, with the backdrop of the majestic Santa Rosa Mountains as their inspiration, a small group of civic leaders fantasized about creating an image for the newly formed City of La Quinta. They envisioned that La Quinta could become the “cultural and artistic center of the Coachella Valley, providing the community with the cultural and artistic offerings that are vital to a functional society,” as prophetically described by Fred Wolff, La Quinta’s first mayor.

The Annual La Quinta Arts Festival returns each year in March to the visually stunning setting of La Quinta’s Civic Center campus. Produced by the La Quinta Arts Foundation—in partnership with premier sponsor, the City of La Quinta—the La Quinta Arts Festival is the primary fundraiser. The La Quinta Arts Festival is renowned by artists and art patrons alike as one of the premier art festivals in the nation. This award-winning event attracts art patrons and tourists from across the nation and is one of the Coachella Valley’s premier attractions.

Art Under the Umbrellas embraces a combination of artist newcomers, along with veterans of the La Quinta Arts Festival. Artists set up along the closed-off streets of the charming outdoor shopping complex of Old Town. LQAF has developed a loyal following of art patrons and discerning customers who enjoy strolling through this charming event while listening to live music, wine tasting or sipping cappuccino.

This event attracts Coachella Valley residents (including our annual population of snowbirds) and visitors, and is considered a quality activity by local and regional concierges known to direct hotel guests to this recurring event. This full day event, located in Old Town La Quinta, is held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on designated Saturdays, from early October through early April.

LQAF sponsors a number of local outreach programs that include the Elementary School Docent Art Program, Visual Arts Scholarship Program, and other cultural and learning experiences. For more information about LQAF and their events, go to, or or call (760) 564-0124.

Old Town Artisan Studio is a unique sculpture and pottery studio in Old Town La Quinta offering a variety of classes for beginner, intermediate and advanced students. Old Town Artisan Studio features a kiln and five potter’s wheels, along with a variety of glazes. Resident instructors also display art that is for sale including true conversation pieces such as life-sized sculptures and eclectic works.

This studio fits perfectly into the tapestry of the village area, a major destination initiative of the City of La Quinta. Art is a big part of the La Quinta culture. Old Town Artisan Studio provides a forum for anyone looking to experience and grow their love for sculpture and pottery. For more information, go to or call (760) 777-1444.

The La Quinta PlayHouse, a nonprofit theater located in Old Town La Quinta, has been producing quality professional plays since 2004. The passion of the Playhouse staff who believe “culture makes a community” is seen in adult programs, which emphasize laughter, as well as the children’s programming, which helps developing future theater goers, young actors and performers. For more information, visit or call (760) 360-9191.

The Annual Hot Rod and Custom Car Show features custom, hot rod and vintage cars from years past to present. Hosted by the La Quinta Chamber of Commerce, this fun-filled event boasts participants and car lovers from as far away as Northern California. Cars are put into categories for professional judging with trophies awarded for such categories as “Best of Show” and the “Mayor’s Choice.” The event is scheduled to be held in January 2010 in an open area that allows for free flowing visibility, live music, vendors, a food court and a family area. For more information, contact the La Quinta Chamber of Commerce at (760) 564-3199.

Additional Annual Events in La Quinta, California

Desert Classic PGA Tournament takes place in mid- January. La Quinta is proud to host all four courses.

Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS) Desert Circuit runs from late January to mid-March at its new home, Desert Horse Park in Thermal. HITS is one of the largest hunter/jumper horse show venues in the U.S.

BNP Paribas Open Tennis Tournament, the largest non-major tournament, is held in March at the Tennis Gardens in Indian Wells.

Concourse De Elegance Desert Car Show.

Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival is a three-day event in April held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio and boasts of hundreds of bands from around the world.

Stagecoach California’s Music Festival is held over two days in April at the Empire Polo Club in Indio with over 100,000 fans in attendance.