The Dinah :: At 21...She’s Legal!
Initiated into the ladies party scene will be a remarkably new and refreshing experience for me. As a first-timer, to The Dinah, the world’s largest women’s party of its kind, who better to chime in on what the event is dishing out this year than the founder/producer of The Dinah, herself, Mariah Hanson. This trailblazer has taken the Dinah Shore Weekend - an event that was once simply a time for women to gather in California’s resort city of Palm Springs, play some golf and enjoy a little partying, and has now turned it into what is simply referred to as The Dinah. Women from all corners of the planet flock to this event to celebrate, liberate, and commemorate. The Dinah turns 21 this year so I was excited to see what Mariah has in store for this milestone event.
Feeling a bit like a kid in a candy store, I admitted to Mariah I was feeling excited and anxious not knowing what to expect - she was after all in the midst of coordinating the lineup for this year’s bash. Her spectacularly easy breezy attitude; she’s down to earth, warm and genuinely wants nothing more than for people to feel "good, empowered, and sexy" at her events. Her passion is palpable, one could say she is the sole...or better yet soul, reason for the success of this long-standing party. With 20+ years with the organization her enthusiasm is infectious when she talks about the talent set to main stage at The Dinah this year. "This lineup to me," she says "is the best lineup I’ve ever booked!" Earlier that very day Mariah confirmed recording artist Natasha Bedingfield. "I’ve been trying to book her for the past three years," Mariah tells me "and finally the schedule worked."
The Main Event...
In 2009 Mariah booked mega-talents Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. Her knack for getting artists on the cusp of superstardom has made her somewhat of a psychic, predicting the next big female artist or breakout acts. Citing this year’s lineup she says, "I think people are really going to be blown away this time next year at both Dev and the Cataracts and Natalia Kills." In addition to this killer lineup the Dinah will also host performances from Kris Kardashian’s girl group Beach Girl 5 (or BG5), Luciana, Tiffany Dunn and Chely Wright. Wright of course is the country-western artist who appeared on Oprah last year to bravely announce her struggles with coming out and being the first openly gay country-western singer. Mariah, a true country girl at heart disclosed that as a young child she wanted to be a cowgirl dressed in chaps, a leather vest and wielding a sixgun shooter, recognizes the wide array of tastes of our community and is excited to add a country-western artist to this year’s roster. "It’s the year of the ’eye-candy’ for sure," Hanson adds. "They’re all really attractive women. They’re all really talented women!"
Musical acts aren’t the only attraction at this event. Celebrities are also a big draw to attendees and this year is no exception. Mariah and Curve Magazine partnered up with two of Showtime’s The Real L Word’s reality stars, Rose Garcia and Whitney Mixter for one of the greatest stunts ever - attendees at The Dinah this year have an opportunity to WIN A DATE WITH ROSE AND WHITNEY. Hopeful contestants submitted videos online and the fans chose the winners. Rose and Whitney will be meeting them at the event to share in the festivities!
Win A Date!
I met with these beautiful women for a cup of coffee to discuss their participation at this year’s Dinah. The Real L Word’s Rose Garcia is no newbie to the event - she’s been a Dinah repeat offender for the past 11 years and Whitney is bracing herself for her first return since debuting at last year’s event. When asked to describe the Dinah, Garcia shared, "It’s amazing and lives up to everything you’d think it would be." The two ladies smiled and shared a glance - the kind that only good friends can understand. Rose adds, "It’s not even fair hosting an event at The Dinah - it’s not even a job...it’s a dream."
So what do these two notoriously single party girls have in store for their prospective dates? Whitney answered, "If somebody has taken the time to submit a video - put time and effort into it...I definitely want to give them the attention that they deserve." Rose agrees, "If we vibe [on the date] it could be ’Win a Breakfast’." As we talked about the Dinah I learned that it’s become an actual adjective in the lesbian community used to describe ’a good time, a great place, something or someone hot’. I also learned that you don’t want to be referred to as a ’Deb’ aka Debbie Downer. After spending a morning with these super fun women the lucky winners of the "Win A Date" contest are in for one helluvah Dinah time!
As my crash course in Dinah 101 came to an end I asked Mariah if after 21 years the Dinah has lived up to her expectations. She reminded me, "I didn’t start the Dinah Shore Weekend, but I’m certainly credited with starting the modern-day Dinah." About that very first event back in 1991, she said: "My hopes were to produce a higher caliber of event than what was out there. There was a virgin crowd that was growing and I didn’t feel like there was a lot there being offered, so it was my dream to create an event that really spoke to a higher standard. I thought that was what we deserved - that we could be attending events that were upscale, glamorous and fun."
A force to be reckoned with in and out of our community Mariah Hanson continues a wonderful tradition proving without a doubt she’s a mover and shaker enhancing the make-up of the party scene with the original, the biggest, and the best event this side of the sun! Grab your skirts ladies! The Dinah has dawned.
The Dinah takes over Palm Springs, March 30 - April 3 with headliners Natasha Bedingfield and Chely Wright. For tickets and details to this year’s event including VIP packages visit The Dinah website.