PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

Today is the feast day honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe. It recalls the day in December 15-31 when church teachings say the Virgin Mary miraculously appeared before a man named Juan Diego on a hillside in what is now Mexico City. She is said to have left her image on his cloak. 

In 19-99, Pope John Paul II proclaimed our Lady of Guadalupe Patroness of the Americas, Empress of Latin America and Protectress of Unborn Children. 

Her feast day is a big deal in the Coachella Valley.   

Special Masses, festivals and processions have been scheduled in Riverside County in connection with the feast day.

But what is believed to be the longest procession started off in Palm Springs at 6 a.m. this morning.   Marchers head from Our Lady of Solitude Catholic Church along a 32 mile procession route which ends at Our Lady of Soledad Church in Coachella. 

A thousand of people walk the route every year, and this year is expected to be no different.

Please be courteous to the people walking today.

The route begins in Palm Springs at Alejo Road and Palm Canyon Drive then continues east along Highway 111 to Frank Sinatra Drive.

Walkers will then take Frank Sinatra Drive to El Dorado Drive where they will then head south to Hovley Lane, east to Warner Trail, south to Miles Avenue, east to Clinton Street, south to Doctor Carreon Boulevard, east to 52nd Avenue then finally to Valley Road. 

A much smaller procession will be taking place today from Lake Elsinore to Wildomar.