Friday, May 22, 1998

Flanagan is Mr. MN Fantasy ’98

(Published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #78, May 22, 1998)

PHOTO: Ken Flanagan, Mr. Minnesota Fantasy 1998

PHOTO: David Page, Mr. Minnesota Fantasy 1998 Runner-Up

The recent Minnesota Fantasy weekend, incorporating the Mr. Minnesota Fantasy 1998 contest, turned out to be quite entertaining and a little irritating as well. Ken Flanagan captured the Mr. Minnesota Fantasy 1998 sash—although the announcement of his victory had to be made on a dark stage without the benefit of a microphone.

The Minnesota Fantasy weekend producers (Dale Willman, Michael deLeon and Gary O’Neill) attempted to put together a string of events unlike any ever presented in the Twin Cities. Thursday night featured a kick-off party at Club Metro Underground in St. Paul. Friday night’s Party Bus tour was a Twin Cities first: a busload of leatherfolk started at the Minnesota Bar and Grill and visited The Brass Rail, Over The Rainbow, Trikkx, The Town House and The Saloon before finishing up with a Meet & Greet back at the MN Bar. The crowd at Over The Rainbow was especially supportive, cheering when the leather contingent arrived and giving them a rousing and appreciative send-off as they left. Manager Jim Andrews at The Town House succeeded in getting many of his leather visitors out on the dance floor for both country and swing dancing. (There were some great dancers on that bus!)

Saturday night’s contest at Club Metro Underground featured five strong contestants. None had ever competed in a contest before, but all have been around the leather/SM scene long enough that they just had to do what came naturally to make a very entertaining evening. Paul Nicholson performed a crucifixion fantasy, with electric and hot-wax play, with the 1812 Overture as background music. David Page, who captured Runner-Up honors, did a tailor-shop fantasy. Leowyn performed a sizzling and sensual pansexual fantasy in which a bouquet of roses was used as a flogger. Brian Preston, who performed a barber-shop fantasy, had already impressed the judges with his wit and comic timing; when asked during the contestant interviews which Spice Girl he would want to be, he replied without missing a beat: “Old Spice.”

Winner Ken Flanagan's fantasy cooked—literally. As he watched an on-stage television set which supposedly was showing a cooking program on how to stuff and truss a chicken, he performed each step on his “chicken,” a gorgeous twenty-something boy. The variety of expressions on the faces of both Flanagan and his “chicken” were fascinating to watch. Co-emcee Tiffany Cartier narrated the fantasy using her best Julia Child impersonation, and every line of the script had a delicious double meaning. The audience loved it. The final fantasy of the evening was performed by Michael deLeon, the outgoing Mr. Minnesota Fantasy, and Ariq Robinson, the current International Mr. Fantasy.

That brings us to both the high point and the low point of the weekend. Contest organizer and co-emcee Dale Willman had the judges’ results in his hands and was just about to announce the winners when the lights went out, the microphone went dead, a crew came out and started taking the stage apart, and throbbing dance music filled the room. After several anxious minutes the music was cut just long enough for Willman to hoarsely announce the winners while O’Neill illuminated the proceedings with a flashlight. Tempers flared, and many oaths were sworn.

What went wrong? Without editorializing, these are the facts: The Mr. Minnesota Fantasy Contest had an agreement to use the Metro Underground until a certain time, after which the room would host its normal Saturday-night dance crowd. The contest started late, and therefore ran out of time. Now, some opinions: I'd be willing to bet that everyone involved, on all sides, wishes this unfortunate situation could have been avoided. Perhaps with better communications between contest organizers and bar management things might not have blown up.

The people for whom I feel the most compassion are the contestants, and especially the winner and runner-up, for whom the thrill of victory was overshadowed by the unpleasantness of the situation. All the contestants were given a warm reception at Sunday's victory party at The Saloon, and Flanagan will go on to represent Minnesota at the tenth annual International Mr. Fantasy contest, August 14-16 in Omaha.

New Minnesota Mr. Drummer and Drummerboy

PHOTO: Mike Vintean standing; David McCammon kneeling

Due to space constraints this picture was not published with the Minnesota Drummer contest story last issue.

Appearing This Weekend in Chicago

PHOTO: Kevin Cwayna, International Mr. Leather 1997


PHOTO: Roger Gregg, Mr. Minnesota Leather 1998

Two of Minnesota's leather luminaries will be on stage at the International Mr. Leather (IML) contest this weekend in Chicago. A big thank-you to Kevin Cwayna, who steps down from his post as International Mr. Leather 1997, for being such a great representative of Minnesota’s and the world’s leather communities. And good luck to Roger Gregg, Mr. Minnesota Leather 1998, who will be competing in the contest—and trying to bring the IML sash back to the Twin Cities again, for two-in-a-row.

Upcoming Leather Events

May 29-31, 1998: The Knights of Leather present Knights Tournament 10, their tenth-anniversary run. There's still time to register, but hurry—registration deadline is Monday, May 25. Knights of Leather, Minneapolis, MN  or e-mail

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