Southwest Adventure, Living & Travel

Twentynine Palms, California

Things To Do and Events

Things To Do and Events

Annual Hilltoppers Motorcycle Wild West Grand Prix - Late Spring/Early Summer

The annual Hilltoppers Motorcycle Wild West Grand Prix offers motorcycle-racing fun for the whole family. All races are held at the 29 Palms Motorsports Arena located three miles east of town on 29 Palms Highway.

The AMA (American Motorcycle Association) sanctioned, FMF Big 6 Grand Prix series is comprised of 6 races, each held in different communities and hosted by a District 37 Motorcycle Club. The 29 Palms Grand Prix is the third race of the Big 6 Grand Prix series. Twentynine Palms has hosted the Hilltoppers event since 1996.

There are different classes in which riders participate including Kids and Pee-Wee racing, Vintage, Classic, and a Pro Team race with a minimum $3000 purse. Over 1300 riders participate. Races begin at 8:00 a.m. on two days; grandstands are available for spectator viewing. Vendors and food booths are open both days.

Gate fee is typically $10.00 per person, per day or $15.00 per person for the weekend. AMA, D-37 cardholders, seniors and military I.D. holders typically pay $5.00 per day or $10 for the weekend. Children aged twelve and under are free. Overnight camping is allowed. This event is held annually in the late spring/early summer. Please contact the Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce for details.

National Park Art Festival - April

Come visit the Annual Art Festival at the Joshua Tree National Park's visitor center in Twentynine Palms. You'll have the pleasure of seeing the work of more than twenty artists. Love and respect for Joshua Tree National Park is the common bond between these artists; you can't escape the feelings of camaraderie at this festival! Each artist has work on exhibit and for sale and enjoys sharing their very personal interpretation of Joshua Tree National Park with you.

Painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, and jewelry are some of the media included in the Art Festival. Joshua Tree National Park Association, sponsor of the Art Festival, is a nonprofit organization that provides support and assistance to the Park's interpretive, educational and scientific programs. Open to the public, there is no fee to attend the Art Festival. Begun in 1992, the festival is held on a consecutive Friday, Saturday and Sunday in early April each year

Joshua Tree Music Festival - Mid-May

Usually in mid-May, the Joshua Tree Music Festival is a three day event held at Joshua Tree National Park. This annual festival attracts music lovers and musicians from around the world. For band lineup, pricing and other information, please visit the website at

Street Fair & Car Show - 1st Weekend in June

Don’t miss the annual Twentynine Palms Street Fair and Car Show! This extravaganza is held on the Twentynine Palms Highway (State Route 62) in downtown Twentynine Palms the first weekend in June. Vendors line the street and downtown merchants extend business hours for your shopping and dining pleasure. Enter your own classic car or help us elect winners in a "People’s Choice" contest. Have a snow cone or visit an old fashioned soda fountain. Get an airbrush tattoo or face paint for the kids. You can even test wireless internet services or check out new wireless phones! Local radio station Z107.7 provides music with a live, remote broadcast. Join us for hometown summer fun. Contact the Chamber of Commerce at 367-3445 for vendor applications, car show entry forms or more information.

Morongo Basin Orchid Festival - October

Just in time for the orchid blooms in October, this festival is a fundraising event for charity programs throughout the Morongo Basin. There is food, entertainment, flower education and plenty of fun to be had at this event. For more information, please contact Gubler Orchids at (760) 364-2282 or visit their website at

Pioneer Days - October

What we know as Pioneer Days began in 1937 with a community May Day affair in which all school children participated. The grammar school furnished a rhythm band and a queen and her court were chosen from the high school.

The hit of the day was the comedy provided by a group of townsmen who dressed up as girls and clowned through a May dance of their own. Their May Pole was a crooked tree branch stuck in a nail keg with dangling carpet rags for streamers. A well-attended dance was held that night at the tennis courts. In all, the celebrations netted $28.

A rodeo was held the next day. Events included a boot race, package race, rescue race, potato race, relay race, musical chairs events, a take race, and a pony express race. The afternoon was climaxed by a beef barbecue and ice cream. A soft drink concession was opened, and Twentynine Palms Produce furnished free coffee.

1938 found the celebration called Pioneer May Day, and in 1940 a parade was added. In 1941 the Chamber of Commerce took over the arrangements, changed the date to April. Rationing during World War II postponed further yearly events until 1946 when the celebration was once again held in May. In 1948 the Pioneer Day events moved permanently to October and Western days were adopted as the fixed theme.

Three-day celebrations started in 1950, and Pioneer Days that year featured an ever increasing number of parade entries, booths, and exhibitions. As the town has more than tripled since the 1950s, Pioneer Day's activities have grown with its populations, increasing in scope and variety to become an annual event that both newcomers, as well as old-timers, look forward to with interest each year.

Today, Pioneer Days encompasses nearly a dozen separate events including a wonderful hometown parade, a children’s carnival, an Honorary Judge & Sheriff contest, arm wrestling tournament, rodeo, carnival, children’s costume contest, charity walk, pancake breakfast, chili dinner, a beard and leg contest (for men!), concerts, dances and the unique and wacky Outhouse Races. Most events are free to spectators, courtesy of sponsorships by local merchants. Enjoy family fun in a safe, casual environment! Contact the Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce at 760-367-3445 or for more information and a schedule of events.

Open Studio Art Tours - Late October/Early November

Morongo Basin Open Studio Art Tours is held each year in late October and very early November. The tours include several venues of theatre, art exhibitions and music as well as tours of artists' studios.

For two weekends and the days and nights in between, the Morongo Basin comes alive with the sights and sounds of art - in studios and galleries and from performance venues throughout the region including the communities of Morongo Valley, Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, Twentynine Palms, Landers, Pioneer town and Wonder Valley.

Programs and Studio Tour Information handbooks are available free at area Chambers of Commerce and the California Welcome Center.

Weed Show- 1st Weekend in November

The Weed Show is one of Twentynine Palms’ oldest and most unique artistic traditions. This annual display, now in its seventh decade, features artistic arrangements of indigenous desert vegetation as well as found objects both natural and man-made - a desert rendition of the traditional concept of floral display. Each show follows a specific theme. Entries are judged on subject matter, use of desert vegetation, use of accessories, artistic composition and originality. Awards are granted in nine categories, with a “People’s Choice” award to be decided by visitors to the exhibition.

The show’s roots go back to July 1940, when the Women’s Club of Twentynine Palms invited Pasadena printmaker Mildred Bryant Brooks to deliver a lecture on “The Art of Etching.” Legend has it that the local ladies, ever mindful of etiquette, were deeply embarrassed by the lack of fresh flowers with which to decorate the podium and honor their esteemed guest. The ladies of the club expressed their apologies to Brooks, who is then reputed to have said, “Why do you need fresh flowers when you have so many beautiful weeds?” The ladies then dispatched two of their members to gather sun dried desert flora from the grounds of the Twentynine Palms Inn, which they brought back for Brooks to arrange.

The Weed Show made its official debut the following year in 1941. Initially held in private homes, its popularity soon grew to the point where it became a bona fide community event. After the Women’s Club disbanded in 1976, sponsorship of the show passed to the Twentynine Palms Gardening Club then when the Gardening Club disbanded, the Historical Society revived the show which has been going strong ever since.

It is one of Twentynine Palms most characteristic events. The Weed Show highlights the beauty of the local flora and the skill of our town’s artisans, and the history and culture of Twentynine Palms itself. For more information contact the 29 Palms Historical Society.

Winter Light Parade - 1st Saturday in December

The Twentynine Palms Winter Light Parade is held annually on the first Saturday of December. Join us at 5:30 p.m. as we light up the desert sky with floats and entries of all kinds. Enjoy shopping, dining, and entertainment downtown following the parade as merchants extend business hours for the holidays.

The Winter Light Parade tradition began in Twentynine Palms in 1994. This winter celebration features floats of every imaginable breed. In fact, if you can put lights on it; you can enter it! No judges, no trophies - it's all just for fun. Join us in December as we light up the beautiful desert sky, then join us downtown for evening holiday shopping, a giant "Christmas in 29" gift basket drawing and more. Contact Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce at 367-3445 for more information.

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