In 1994, Congress passed the California Desert Protection Act, which made Joshua Tree a National Park. The Act also created Death Valley National Park and the Mojave Desert National Preserve. To celebrate this momentus event, the Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce, the Mojave Desert Land Trust, and the Morongo Basin Arts Council are throwing a party.
The celebration takes place in the Starlite Courtyard in downtown Joshua Tree this Saturday and Sunday, October 24th and 25th, during the first weekend of the of the HWY 62 Art Tours. The Starlite Courtyard is a bucolic little patio nestled in between the Instant Karma Yoga and True World Gallery (which is also participating the the Art Tour). The Courtyard backs onto the Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce office backdoor, so you can also enjoy Teacakes Bakery (I’ve ranted about this authentic French bakery before) and the oddball Mt. Fuji General Store, which, frankly, defies description (just stick your head in the door).
The party starts at 11am both days, and runs through 10pm Saturday night and 5pm Sunday night. Live acoustic music will be played throughout both days. On Saturday night, the Chamber will kick out the jams, so to speak, and open up the bar for live rock bands.
Admission is free. This is an excellent spot to rest your feet, whether you’re working your way through the Art Tours, or if you’re just looking to spend a little time in J-Tree, and meet many of the locals that make Joshua Tree an art and music desert mecca. Also, the Starlite Courtyard is across the street from the Joshua Tree National Park Office, where you can meet and talk with Rangers and get tips and guidance on how best to explore the Park.
For more info: Another good resource is the new online publication Hwy 62 Weekly.