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That’s right. Out with abs and in with frosty brews! Up in Canada (naturally), the Queer Beer Festival taps the kegs of Toronto on Thursday, August 4. A first-of-its-kind event in North America ? gay days at Oktoberfest come the closest in Europe ? the fest aims to embrace the queer and trans communities while celebrating Canada’s rich brewing history. Expect live entertainment, food tents, visits from experts of the craft from around the world, and tastes of more than 200 brands. Mezcal might be the drink of the summer, but on our tab, it’s time for some suds.
Now this is a public transit initiative we can get behind: on Saturday March 12, wine country‘s burgeoning gay events and tour organization Out in the Vineyard (OutInTheVineyard.com) is teaming with the Napa Valley Wine Train for a night of classed-up cuisine, fine pours, and fraternity.
A dinner party on rails, up to 182 guests choo-choo (and chew chew) throughout the 3-hour, 36-mile Big Gay Train Trip, in an old-world style atmosphere. Think Americana mixed with a dash of Orient Express (minus the murder) with twin antique locomotives pulling a collection of restored turn-of-the-20th-century rail cars through picturesque hills and valleys. Each of the four gourmet courses is paired with select vintages from local gay-owned vineyards – Sebastiania, Bjornstad, Poem, Hesperian – with some even incorporated into the dishes like lamb lollipops drizzled with a wine reduction sauce. Rest assured, this being the heart of bucolic Cali, it’s all seasonal, sustainable, and locavore-leaning. Read more
Already set to shatter attendance records, Super Bowl XLV at Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas, just outside of Dallas, is bringing novelty to the over 100,000 superfans: a first-ever LGBT sports-themed street fair, plus a separate three-day circuit-esque party. Gay sports fans, this one’s for you.
The Cedar Springs Super Street Party (ShopCedarSprings.com) kicks off Saturday, February 5 on “The Strip” in Oaklawn, the city’s gay neighborhood and bar epicenter. A pedestrian-only affair with plenty of Bud Light on tap (they’re a sponsor), there will be live entertainment by Chaz Marie and the Band, DJ sets, food vendors, games, and an appearance by hunk-a-riffic swimmer Michael Holtz, named “Gay Athlete of the Year” by Compete Magazine. Bars will be open as well, so don’t miss your chance to two-step with a cowboy at the Round-Up Saloon, a sprawling, clean and friendly country-western joint with a massive dance floor and one of the most fun times I’ve ever had at a gay bar. Entry is free. 7pm–1am.
New York‘s not known as the city that never sleeps for nothing. Fresh off the announcement of a record-breaking 48.7 million visitors in 2010, Mayor Bloomberg has upped the ante to 50 million by 2012. With an appealing slate of winter promotions that are valuable to both tourists and locals alike, it’s a goal that we can’t help but imagine being realized. 2011 is certainly off to a strong start!
Theater queens, this one’s for you: NYC’s first-ever Broadway Week, takes a bow on the Great White Way January 24–February 10, offering up two-for-one tickets to 18 popular shows. That’s right, free tickets, especially for massive crowd-pleasing musicals like Chicago, American Idiot, and The Lion King. So if you want to see the oh-la-la of the La Cage revival or kick heels with Billy Elliot, it’s best to book early (code BW2011), because like Restaurant Week – which also begins January 24 and features three-course prix fixe meals at over 300 top restaurants – these deals are bound to go fast. If you’re feeling lucky, enter to win a pair of tickets per month for a year as well, through February 9. Visit NYCgo.com/GetMoreNYC for the full list of shows, terms and sweepstakes. Read more
One holiday down… a season to go! And if there’s one thing we made sure to give thanks for at our table yesterday, it’s the bevy of queer cheer Europe provides this time of year – two Pink Christmas festivals alone.
Kicking off December 1 with a World AIDS Day gala (TicNet.se), Stockholm brings the festive flavor all month long with parties, shows, and seductive Santas. Highlights include a mondo lesbian party December 11 at Södermalm clubs Momma and Roxy and an all-night affair celebrating Saint Lucia, the queen of light, on December 12. If last year’s festivities are any indication, different bars will take a non-traditional slant on the theme before Lucia “herself” drags it up, dressed in white with a crown of candles before dawn on the 13th. For more info on Pink Christmas and the whole Pink December festival, check out QX magazine (QX.se/gaymap) or Stockholm’s LGBT blog (StockholmTown.com/gay-lesbian), which will have all up-to-date info as it’s released.
Gay-owned, Seattle-founded, rocknrolla hipster hotel chain Ace Hotels knows how to throw a party. Just check out the teeming fashiony hoards any weekend night at its Portland or New York City locations. D.I.Y., art-filled funkified style certainly draws a crowd. And this coming weekend, it’s bringing some cachet to the cliche of Palm Spring Pride (PSPride.org), November 4-7, the last big one of 2010.
Deemed the West Coast Love Train – a hotel-based hootenanny for “hot misfits, radical faeries, starving indie artists with a price, leather, squirrels, queers, furries and fuzzies, poly-tastic warm leatherettes, drag kings and queens, changlings, disco dollies” and way gay kitchen sinks – events are free for hotel guests and $10 a day for the public. A weekend Pride Package helps you get your freaky deeky on with 20% off double-occupancy rooms (from $229/night). They’ll also throw in a $25 treat resort credit for those all-important first cocktails. Call 760-325-9990 with code “Love Train” to book; two-night min.
Or better yet, head online, sans package, and take advantage of either 15 percent or 20 percent discounts each night for a 2- or 3-night stay, respectively. With discount applied, the cheapest rate for a standard king starts at an astounding $136/night for a standard room.
New Year’s might seem far off, but for powder hounds, it can’t come soon enough – especially when there are deals to be had for booking some of 2011′s roster of gay ski weeks early. Some even start happening before your hangover has had time to subside. Details below.
Never been to a gay ski week? Looking for something more low key? Ski Bums, the nation’s largest LGBT ski and snowboarder organization, runs group trips across the country and select worldwide pilgrimages (Courchevel, France and heliskiing in Sweden are on tap for in 2011), as well as day trips from NYC, creating what amounts to a mini gay ski week in the process. A new California chapter launches next Friday, October 8 at Gym Sportsbar in WeHo, so West Coasters can start feeling the chilly thrills soon. Both black diamond masters and bunny hill newbies are welcome.
Even during summer’s swelter, New Orleans can feel pretty spooky, what with its Voodoo past, atmospheric architecture, crumbling cemeteries and mean trade in ghost tours. But in the dead of fall on All Hallows’ Eve, it can get downright terrifying – and by that, we mean absolutely bonkers. Next to Southern Decadence, Halloween is New Orleans’ biggest gay event of the year and the entire city comes alive (with walking dead!).
Besides general costumed craziness and the official slew of parties for Halloween 27: Famous, from a black tie gala to circuity blowout October 28-31 all to benefit HIV/AIDS home Project Lazarus, other highlights of the long weekend include a Vampire Film Festival (www.vampirefilmfestival.com), Krewe of Halloween Parade on the 30th (www.kreweofhalloween.com) and the aural blowout Voodoo Music Experience (www.thevoodooexperience.com). Muse, Ozzy Osbourne, My Morning Jacket, MGMT, Drake, Hot Chip, Kelis, Macy Gray, Florence and the Machine, and the Crystal Method are some of the 60-plus acts for the 3-day festival.
Book the following hotel deals now before lost savings come back to haunt you.
We’ve had Atlantic City on our radar all summer since naming it one of our Top 10 Boardwalks. So of course we’re excited to hear that HBO’s new series “Boardwalk Empire” – a fictionalized look at Atlantic City gangster life in the 1920s starring Steve Buscemi (premiering September 19) – is taking over AC September 16-19. The main festivities will be at Caesars Atlantic City with a red carpet screening of the first episode on September 16.
Those who can’t score an invite to the exclusive, star-studded event can still enjoy a taste of the gangster lifestyle all weekend long with special $19.20 prix fixe menus and “Boardwalk Empire”-inspired cocktails at over two dozen Atlantic City restaurants. Bonus: On September 18, the Atlantic City Free Public Library will host a talk by Nelson Johnson, whose book Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City formed the basis of the HBO series (see the library website for a full list of “Boardwalk Empire”-themed events).
Having made headlines last year with mainland China’s first public LGBT event, including an unprecedented front-page story on China Daily, the government’s English-language mouthpiece and perhaps its first public acknowledgement and tacit endorsement of LGBT life, ShanghaiPRIDE’s second go was in danger of being cancelled so as not to conflict with the all-encompassing Expo 2010. (2009′s inaugural event was in the traditional Pride month of June.) But say xie xie for the fortitude of the mixed gay-straight-Chinese-expat group of organizers and mark your calendars for October 16-31: ShanghaiPRIDE 2010 is on and twice as long as last year.
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