INDIO, Calif. - The rain headed towards the Coachella Valley comes during a packed weekend of outdoor events. Rain could put a damper on some of them, but for the Palm Springs aerial tramway, the clouds are a welcome sight. A dry winter has left the tram without any snow, during a time three to four feet is usually the norm.
Winds made their way into the valley in advance of the storm on Thursday. They caused some problems for the 6th annual Art in the Square festival in Indio. Artists of all ages dealt with the wind while putting together pieces from chalk. Organizers are getting creative to protect the art with the rain expected for Friday. "We're actually going to spray some of the art with hair spray which will keep it intact," said Jim Curtis, the community events manager for the city of Indio. "Then we'll wrap it in plastic over night tonight."
The wet weather could also create problems for a couple of events benefitting good causes on Saturday. Participants in the "Walk to end Alzheimer's" and the Patrick Warburton Celebrity golf tournament for the St. Jude's Children's Hospital are ready to brave any conditions. "The families in this valley need us," said Anne Gimbel, the regional director for the Coachella Valley Alzheimer's Association. "Rain or shine, they're still being caregivers and everybody needs the help."
"We're very excited, no rain is going to daunt us," said Andrea Carter, the public relations chair for the Warburton tournament. "We're going to have a good time no matter what, I don't think we're going to have a downpour by any stretch of the matter."
Meanwhile, set up for the "Rhythm, Wine and Brews Experience" is well underway at the Empire Polo Club. Any rain at the outdoor event will be met by lots of covered areas. "We've got a huge amount of area under tent," said Alexander Haagen. "We also have other tents that we've brought in. The nice thing is that if it rains, it'll only make the grass a little greener."
Not everyone hopes the storm blows over. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway could use a good dusting of snow on the mountain after a dry winter season. With snow levels expected to drop to 6,000 feet, they could get it. "Well, of course we're hoping for feet of snow, at least 2 to 3 feet," said Lena Smith, the director of public affairs for the tram. "But I think it's calling for a couple of inches which will be good. People can kind of come up and make a snow ball."
No matter what the storm brings, most people are just trying to stay optimistic with the change of pace. "Saturday it's going to be a beautiful day, just come on out and spend a day with us," said Haagen. "We've talked to Mother Nature, and she says we're good to go."