Friday, July 17, 1998

Minnesota Leather Pride 1998 in review

(Leather Life column published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #82, July 17, 1998)

PHOTO: Street flags

PHOTO CREDIT: Sherman Ford

The 1998 Minnesota Leather Pride celebration, held on the same weekend as the Twin Cities Festival of Pride, was expanded from the single Sunday event of previous years. This year’s celebration covered the entire weekend with events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and all events drew a good crowd in spite of some major storms moving through the Twin Cities area.

Friday evening’s drenching rains didn’t dampen the spirits of those at The Town House for the Leather Pride Kickoff. The dance floor was active, inspired by DJ Jim’s mix of swing, disco and country/western music. The people-watching was great, the air was festive, and folks seems to be enjoying the party. The TH is becoming a popular venue for leather events, with more scheduled there in the coming months.

Saturday evening’s event at the Minnesota Bar & Grill was supposed to be a cookout/picnic on the rooftop deck, but tornado warnings and rain forced the party to move indoors to the MNBar’s second-story pool-table room. This caused some confusion initially because moving the event indoors meant the food had to be cooked in the downstairs kitchen and shuttled upstairs. With the cooperation of the MNBar’s kitchen staff and the help of several mem bers of Sober Leather, the details finally were worked out and everyone had a good time. (And the view of the Minneapolis skyline was impressive, whether from the deck or indoors.) The community should try an event like this again—maybe next time the weather will cooperate.

Sunday’s weather, unlike that of the two preceding days, was glorious—plenty of sun and moderate temperatures. It was perfect weather for the Twin Cities Festival of Pride Parade. For the first time, the leather contingent was toward the front of the parade in one group. Community members helped carry two huge flags (one rainbow, one leather pride) that measured 50’x75’ each and looked mightily impressive moving down Hennepin Avenue toward Loring Park. This was followed by an impressive two-part leather float. DJ Bubba, on the first trailer, mixed a pulsing, throbbing soundtrack for the leather segment of the parade. Leather titleholders and club officers were on the second part of the float, manning a mortar that shot leather-flag-colored streamers into the air at strategic points along the parade route.

The crowd watching the parade was quite impressed—especially one little four-year-old girl I heard about who was greatly amused by the fact she could see peoples’ butts, in this case the leather-framed bare butts that certain folks on the leather float displayed. (Her mother was taking it all in stride: “Yes, dear, those are butts.”)

When it was all over, and the parade reached the park, the two huge flags had collected many pounds of change, thrown there by spectators along the parade route. (That’s pounds as in weight, not as in British currency.) I heard several people voicing the same thing I was feeling: “This was fun—let’s go back and do it again!”

After marching in the parade (and stopping by the leather community booth at the Pride Festival in the park) community members headed for Sunday’s leather pride event at Tropix. I stopped to check out the Rock The Avenue block party on my way to the Tropix event, and I saw many other leathermen there as well. Later in the evening the party moved to the 19 Bar’s back patio. There must have been some budding interior designers in the group, because the patio furniture was promptly rearranged so that it was more to the crowd’s liking, with the umbrellas over the patio tables softening the harsh light from the single bare lightbulb. Thus, in a dimly-lit blaze of glory, ended another year’s Leather Pride celebration.


Welcome to everyone attending the Atons’ Gopher Broke, Lucky 13 run this weekend, and a special welcome to you if you’re from out of town. Have a great and safe weekend. Here’s wishing you need lots of lube and almost no insect repellent.

Upcoming Leather Events

S.L.A.M. Presents “Come Roast Your Meat” Barbecue
Saturday, July 25, 4 pm-whenever, 1865 Englewood Ave., St. Paul
Mr. Minnesota Leather Roger and Mr. Minnesota Drummerboy David present a fundraiser for S.L.A.M. (Sober Leather Association of Minnesota). Featured will be demonstrations, play spaces, and refreshments. S.L.A.M.’s motto in connection with this event: “Drug and alcohol free, but we still know how to party.” Tickets $10, available from Sober Leather members or e-mail

Mr. Minnesota Fantasy: “Off To International” Fundraiser
Sunday, July 26, 6-9 pm, The Saloon
Presented by Mr. Minnesota Fantasy 1998 Ken Flanagan, who will be competing in the International Mr. Fantasy Competition in Omaha (August 21-23). Come wish him luck as he represents Minnesota (and, we hope, wows the crowd in Omaha). Food, drink specials, raffles, auction, special entertainment “and a whole lot of party.” $5 donation at the door.

Olympus Leather Minnesota Fundraiser and Beer Bust
Friday, July 31, 8 pm-close, The Town House
Presented by Renee Indehar, Ms. Minnesota Olympus Leather, and B.D. Chambers, Mr. Minnesota Olympus Leather. Bootblacking will be available and entertainment will include “Top 10 Things You Don’t Do in a Dungeon.” $5 at the door.

Mark Your Calendar . . .

Saturday, August 8: Emperor & Empress Ball (Imperial Court)

August 14-16: Minnesota Mr. Drummer/Drummerboy Fundraiser Weekend and Send-Off. Details next issue—it will be BIG.

August 21-23: International Mr. Fantasy Weekend, Omaha, Nebraska. It’s not too early to make those hotel and weekend package reservations. FFI write Fantasy Productions, Boystown, NE. The Radisson Redick is the host hotel; call to reserve your room.

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