Saturday, March 29, 2014

"Farewell Marilyn" ~"The Last Hurrah" ~ Palm Springs, California

“Forever Marilyn” is about to say farewell to Palm Springs.  The 26 foot 17 ton statue has been visiting here for almost 2 years and has been enjoyed by thousands of visitors, most of who have posed to have their photo taken with her.  Marilyn Monroe is still a big draw even as a statue.

"Forever Marilyn" Monroe in Palm Springs, CA
Marilyn has been standing on this corner which has become a kind of town center but due to upcoming construction, the spot is no longer available so her departure is done in good timing.  The new center will have a place available should Marilyn return and that is the hopes of the city of Palm Springs.

"Farewell Marilyn" ceremony in Palm Springs, CA
Marilyn’s Farewell party was held downtown Palm Springs as thousands gathered to watch the ceremony to celebrate her visit as well as say ‘farewell’.  The hope is that this great tribute to Marilyn Monroe, “Forever Marilyn” will return to Palm Springs once she has spent her time at The Sculpture Foundation in New Jersey, where she will soon be.

"Forever Marilyn"is leaving Palm Springs, CA
Seward Johnson, the sculptor of “Forever Marilyn”, will be turning 84 years of age and The Sculpture Foundation will truck the statue across the country to New Jersey so she will be there to celebrate this birthday with him.

Desert Winds Freedom Band
The Desert Winds Freedom Band performed for the evening’s farewell.  It wasn’t easy to get up front to get a photo where they could also be heard, for most of our time there I was out of earshot so was not able to hear the band.

Palm Springs Gay Men's Chorus
The chorus was wonderful to hear, when within earshot.  The crowd was large, the noise that goes along with that as well as there not being large speakers that would have projected the voices for more people to enjoy.  I barely heard the “happy birthday” song sung by Carol Channing and sure was not able to see her, and that was very disappointing.  This photo from behind was the best one I could get of the chorus!
Signatures for "Marilyn" in Palm Springs, CA
People were signing their names to the board showing the “Farewell Marilyn” agenda.  It is pretty amazing to see the support that was given to this occasion and hopefully “Forever Marilyn” will return to the area again.

Villagefest in downtown Palm Springs, CA
The Villagefest is a streetfair in downtown Palm Springs every Thursday evening.  It has offered artists to showcase and sell their wares as well as a great selection of foods.  Palm Canyon Drive is closed down to traffic for several blocks and over 200 booths are there for all to visit and enjoy.  There is always a big crowd for this 20 year old market but tonight seems to have a few extra thousand with the “Farewell to Marilyn” included.

Plaza Theatre in Palm Springs, CA
The old Plaza Theatre is where the Palm Springs Follies have performed and it is a gem of an old theater that is a 77 year old movie house.  I don’t believe cameras would have been allowed in there for our visits when they were performing but I wish I could share some of the wonderful interior.  I do hope that this will not become an empty old building but be something that others can enjoy for years to come.

Follies "The Last Hurrah" Palm Springs, CA
The Palm Springs Follies has been a great part of the city for 23 years now but it too is leaving.  In this case it is not going elsewhere but is closing down due to the economy incline that has affected live theater all over the country.  This is the last year for these performances, it really is “The Last Hurrah”.  We’ve seen it several times over the years and have enjoyed every show, the Follies will be greatly missed.

Marilyn is leaving, the Follies are closing and our stay in the desert has come to an end, too…… lots of good-byes!  Some of us will return but only time will tell which ones.

1 comment:

  1. Love all your blogs, Sheila, especially this one since I got sick and could not say good-bye to Marilyn. You are my soul sister expressing all my feelings for Marilyn and The Follies: They will be greatly missed! I will surely look back at all this with great nostalgia. LOL, Elisabeth



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