San Diego Pride celebrated its 40th Anniversary the weekend of July 18-20 in the Hillcrest district and Balboa Park. Its’ annual LGBT parade is among the largest in the country, attracting over 300,000 spectators and was on Saturday, July 19. This year’s theme “Reflections of Pride” truly showed in the Leather community’s contingent as the San Diego tribe was joined by Leatherfolk from all over Southern California.
Ms San Diego Leather 2012 Wish did a great job as parade monitor again. The San Diego Eagle’s float, organized by Mr. San Diego Eagle 2014 Paulo Batista, followed the Leather-clad marchers. The Los Angeles and San Diego Ponies and Critters groups brought up the rear with their crowd-pleasing pony carts and dog sled. Bears San Diego had a truck as well.
Over 150 Leatherfolk continued marching into Balboa Park and headed directly into the Leather Realm to volunteer for, or attend, a weekend of fun and education. This year’s Realm was made possible by a generous donation from Club X.
The Realm opened with new co-producers, Bikkja Amy and Cobi Maravilla, a new committee, a new logo, designed by Sarge Servitus, and a new motto, “Turn Fantasy into Reality."
Beyond Vanilla will be held September 26 in Dallas, Texas, celebrating almost a quarter of a century on fun in the Lone Star State. Hotel Rooms are going fast at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Downtown Dallas. Reserve yours in the Beyond Vanilla block to get the lowest rate. In addition to discounts in overnight parking.
The fun begins Thursday evening at 6 PM at The Dallas Eagle for the Beyond Vanilla Kick-Off. A complimentary shuttle bus will be running to and from the Crowne Plaza and The Dallas Eagle from 5:30 PM to 2 AM. Early Check-In will be available at The Eagle so you can avoid the lines on Friday.
Friday registration opens at 10 AM, with Vending, and Silent Auction opening at 12:30 PM. Workshops run from 1-6:30 PM. The night's entertainment starts at 7 PM.
Saturday will pry eyes open at at 8:30 AM when Vending, and Silent Auction opens. Workshops start at 9 AM and run all day with a break for lunch.
ROMP San Diego will be held August 22-24 at the Victory Theater in National City and will feature the Mr. and Ms San Diego Leather 2014 contests and the first San Diego Bootblack contest.
The judging panel will include International Ms Leather 1987 Judy Tallwing-McCarthy, International Mr. Leather 1979 David Kloss, International Mr. Leather 1992 Lenny Broberg, American Leatherwoman 2013 OB Hamm, American Leatherman 2013 Aaron Duke, Ms San Diego Leather 2012 Wish and International Mr. Bootblack 2004 Allen Tunstall.
The San Diego Bootblack judges will be International Ms Bootblack 2008 Q, International Community Bootblack 2006 Henry James, Maryland Mr. Leather Rik "Hooker" Newton-Treadway.
The Mr. Long Beach Leather contest will be held on the weekend of September 12-13 at the Mineshaft When the location was announced last year it was about generating new interest in the contest.
Although the producers of the contest received a lot of polite smiles and some out right discontent within the general Leather community, the contest went on to justify the change by attracting the curios who would not normally go to such an event as well as Leatherfolk and the locals who had not worn their Leather in many years. It will be interesting to see if the buzz generated last year from guys wanting to enter the contest will carry over to this year as the contest is still open to anyone who loves Leather and lives or supports the Long Beach community.
Again this year a bar run is planned for the weekend before the contest on Friday the September 6 to promote the contest and Leather pride. Over 40 people participated in the first bar run held for the 2013 contest. The bus will travel to various locations in and around Long Beach with the contestants, emcees and friends to help promote the MrLBL 2014 contest.