Like you, when I drive by it on 82, I snicker and shake my head at the same time.

I drove by it the other day and it’s looking tired. 

Let’s be honest – it’s looking a little janky these days. The paint is peeling. The colors have faded. It’s in dire need of attention. Will the owner update it? Clean it up? Repaint it?

Better question - do we Yakimans WANT this sign cleaned up and painted to continue its welcoming power to those visiting our fine city?


The sign is privately owned. Gary Lukehart put it up in 1987. His idea behind the sign was to contrast the difference between our brooding neighbors in Seattle where the sun rarely shines, versus our abundant sunshine here in the Eastern part of the state.

Palms Springs was happening back in the day, so I can see the inspiration behind the sign. But we are now in 2021. It’s time to start having the conversation, what is the future of the ‘Palm Springs of Washington’ sign?

Should the city embrace the slogan and sign? Or should Yakima come up with its own slogan and signage? Should we set up a Go Fund Me event to get it painted and cleaned up?

Many city officials over the years have tried to reason with Mr. Lukeheart to take it down, but he refuses. I mean, it is his Constitutional right to express himself.  



At some point, the sign is going to have to be attended to in one way or another. We can’t have a sign that is representing our city that is falling apart, can we? It’s a bad look.

Many look at the sign as a joke. Some say it would be better served to have the sign in Tri-Cities which has more in common with Palm Springs than Yakima does. Then again, it is one of this things which adds to the charm and vibe that is Yakima – whether we like it or not.

All My Best,

The JimShow

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