President Obama, First Lady Arrived Friday in Coachella Valley



President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama traveled to Palm Springs Friday as part of a weekend-long visit that will include a side trip to Orange County for a fundraising stop and commencement speech for UC Irvine.

It is the president’s third trip to the Coachella Valley in the past year. The White House hasn’t announced where the Obamas will be staying, or if they have any scheduled events or meetings in the area.

The Obamas were expected to land at Palm Springs International Airport at 6:15 p.m.

Kirk Douglas Way between Ramon and El Cielo roads, and Airport Center Drive between Avenida Evelita and El Placer Road in Palm Springs will be closed from 11 a.m. Friday to noon Monday, according to the Palm Springs Police Department. Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Armando Munoz said the sheriff’s department isn’t anticipating any road closures.

There will also be temporary flight restrictions in the Palm Springs area from 5:30 p.m. Friday to 8:30 a.m. Saturday, and 1:45 p.m. Saturday to 12:30 p.m. Monday. Guidelines are posted at

Before flying to Palm Springs, the Obamas will visit Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota.

On Saturday, the president will depart Palm Springs at 8:25 a.m. bound for Orange County, where he is expected to attend a private fundraiser in Laguna Beach before heading to Angel Stadium in Anaheim, where he deliver UC Irvine’s commencement address. The event will also mark the 50th anniversary of the university’s 1964 groundbreaking, an event that was attended by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Obama will return to Palm Springs at 2:10 p.m. Saturday and stay for the weekend in the Coachella Valley, departing at 10 a.m. Monday.

Last June, Obama met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage. In February, met with King Abdullah II of Jordan at Sunnylands. He also played golf there with friends on both weekends.

The first lady didn’t come to the Sunnylands meetings, but she attended former first lady Betty Ford’s memorial service in Palm Desert in July 2011.