The College of the Desert is located on Monterey Avenue in Palm Desert. Every Saturday and Sunday morning they host a street fair with over 300 vendors and a wide (and wild) selection of merchandise, arts and crafts, and produce that you didn't know you couldn't live without. The vendors come from all over and arrive long before the sun comes up to set up their stalls. There is a waiting list to be a College of the Desert vendor! Free parking, free admission, and free entertainment. Plastic chairs scattered along the way so you can rest your feet, people watch, and get your strength back to meander through another row. This sign says it all.
Fresh fruit and dried fruit. After eating raisins from the market stands - plump and moist and sweet - I can't go back to the little dry raisins from a box on the grocery shelf. I bought enough dried fruit to bring back home, share with friends and family, and last until our next trip. Did you know you could freeze dried fruit? It works wonderfully for raisins, cranberries, and dates, too.
The sign at the entrance says "No dogs allowed at the fair" but it's regularly ignored and never enforced. This little guy was carried in a motorized cart with his owner. It seems like everyone in Palm Desert has a dog. There are vendors who carry nothing but dog accessories, outfits, beds, bejeweled collars, you name it.
It's not just the stuff that you shouldn't miss, it's the way it's laid out, the characters who choose this lifestyle of setting up a stall, spending the day selling in the sun, just to pack up at days end. It's the shoppers of every age, smiling, serious, singles and in groups. Different faces every visit. I can't get enough of them.