The Friday night Formal Leather Cocktail/Dinner at the Palm Springs Hilton saw about 400 in attendance. The food was great and it was clear that Leatherfolk from all over North America and other places would be at Palm Springs Leather Pride. The judges and contestants were introduced. There was no long program so people could make it to the parking lot party at the Barracks.
Speaking of changes, moving the Friday night parking lot party, Hawkers and Vendors Cruise Alley, to the Barracks in Cathedral City was a brilliant. One could easily guestimate that there was more than double the space at the to venues recently used in Palm Springs. It may have been light on vendors, or maybe the huge space made it look there were less - but one can bet there will be a lot more merchants next year. The Bullet Bar hosted a cigar lounge like the one they do at Off Sunset Festival in Los Angeles.
Many were glad to see the Sunday Meat and Recovery Pool Party return to the Canyon Club. A lot can be said for having grass and some shade to make life better. Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert, producers of this
successful weekend, made sure there was plenty of food and drink. Saturday's pool parties were added to the schedule much to the delight of sunshine fans. Mr. CMEN Leather 2017 Esteban Bartholo hosted a nude pool party, Sabado Chingando, on Saturday.
There was a Women of Leather Brunch at the same time as the Meat and Recovery Pool Party at a private venue. New was the Friday Commando Pool Party at Chaps Inn.
The opening meet and greet on Thursday night at Hunter's Night Club was packed as usual. The contestants and judges were introduced.
Saturday afternoon saw a cigar party at the Barracks. A series of classes and workshops were held at the LGBT Community Center. Slavemaster's class attracted 47 people.
A guided tour of World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War aircraft at the Palm Springs Air Museum prior to the contest on Saturday was educational and entertaining.
During the Mr. Palm Springs Leather contest IML 2008 and Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2008 Gary Iriza was honored for his 10 years including and since he won that title. A small number of clubs participated in the parade of club colors.
Several brief intermissions allowed contest guests time to place bids in the silent auction which had so many goodies available as usual.
Although not an official Palm Springs Leather Pride event, Jim Neuman's Sunday party at Casa Lola was a hot ticket.
It was noticed that there were six Mr. CMEN titleholders present. That contest is relatively new, so that number is really impressive.
Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2018 Jax Kelly competed as Mr. CCBC Leather. He moved to los angeles from New York several years ago. In LA he served as Commissioner on the los angeles Commission on HIV before moving to the desert. Jax serves on the board of the California LGBT Arts Alliance and is a member of PSLOD. His first title duty was hosting the Sunday pool party and wet T-shirt contest. Jax will compete at International Mr. Leather in May.
Runner-up Tony Dewain is Mr. Toolshed Leather. Also competing were Mr. Barracks Leather Tom Schneck and Mr. Off Ramp Leather Dan Carmine.
Check out http://www.palmspringsleatherpride.org for more details including bios of each contestant and judge.
All photos by Dave Rhodes