VIDEOS: The Dinah Blog wrap-up - A kick-off with comedy and dancing

Check out who doled out the comedy on Thursday night and what kind of crowd welcomed The Dinah to the desert!

PALM SPRINGS -- Took a little break from the blog as many have noticed, due to a horrible case of the flu that lasted the better part of a week. That shook me to the core and I heard I wasn't the only one to return with a bug.

Despite that lingering illness, over the last week Connie Kurtew (my Dinah cohort in crime) and I have spent countless hours, drank many glasses of Pinot Noir, and gobbled down even more luscious tidbits of chocolate, all while pouring through thousands of photos taken during The Dinah 2012 in Palm Springs.

I know, but someone had to do it.

After much contemplation regarding how to share these many photos with you, we decided to pick the "best of the best" from the entire weekend and create a series of slide shows. I will roll them out over the next several publication days.

Let The Dinah 2012 begin!

Thursday, March 29, 2012 was not only a fun-full night of great comedy, it was also the official kick-off party for Club Skirts presents The Dinah, held at the notorious Zelda's Nightclub on the edge of Palm Springs.

The legendary Comedy Night, this year held in the Grand Ballroom of the Riviera Resort and Spa, has been welcoming Dinah Shore Weekend guests for decades and has always brought you a stellar line-up. This year's emcee Fortune Feimster weaved her gift of gab through the sets of Karen Williams, Jessica Kirson and Suzanne Westenhoefer, tying up the start of this opening night with lots of laughter.

Zelda's has long been the opening and ending party place for Dinah Shore Weekend activities, but this year they moved further south of their previous site (on Indian Canyon near Tahquitz), to 611 S. Palm Canyon Drive. The new location is on the edge of Palm Springs and Cathedral City, is right where Palm Canyon splits into two and creates Indian Canyon.

This particular venue has been home to numerous other gay bars in Palm Springs in the past, but Zelda's has done a great job with the inside and we hope it sticks around in this location for years to come.

Jessica Sutta, who catapulted to fame while with the PussyCat Dolls, helped Club Skirts start the weekend off right with a fantastic set of dance music including her solo "Show Me" released last August.

Sutta was surrounded on stage by some of the many Club Skirts dancers we would all continue to see throughout the weekend performing at various locations. Before Jessica left the stage, she said she told a raucous, cheering crowd she would "always be outspoken about LGBT rights". We believe her. Follow her on twitter at @IAMJessicaSutter.

Zelda's was definitely the place to be that Thursday, and after Jessica's set more dancers took to their go-go boxes and the club's DJ mixed up a several great hours of danceable music for all to enjoy.

Fortune Feimster was spotted in the crowd, being chatted up by fans. Sirius OutQ radio host Frank DeCaro and his sidekick Doria Biddle also made an appearance at the night's festivities. Someone even brought a blow-up doll to the party, which I must say, got a bit more action than most of the women in the room.

The doll, whose keeper apparently named her Susan, was later also seen partying poolside over the long weekend. Stay tuned!

Below, see the engaging slide-shows from both Comedy Night and The Dinah kick-off party featuring Jessica Sutta on Thursday, March 29, 2012.

Club Skirts presents The Dinah Comedy Night:


Zelda's kick-off party, featuring Jessica Sutta and Club Skirts dancers:

All photos and slide shows courtesy Kurtew Photography.

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