Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review of Palm Springs Pride 2013's Leather/Fetish Turnout

I'm hoping that more folks can help me to add to this archival information. There's waaaay too much for one man to cover, and it's ALL GOOD NEWS.  I will be snagging other folks' words off of Facebook to supplement what I have in my own files - Papa Tony

I arrived on Friday, and stayed with a dear friend. I had no official duties, but I was in Palm Springs to support Fetish In the Outfield, which has turned out, as of 2013, as the most dynamic and attractive part of the Pride Festival, according the the Pride organizers. San Diegans were specifically requested to show up as support for our Palm Springs brothers and sisters, and my - Didn't we turn out!

Last year there were VERY FEW attendees on Saturday.  For some odd reason, Palm Springs has their parade on Sunday, which caused an avalanche of eager, curious people to arrive in the leather corral on the last day, but things were deadly quiet beforehand.

Drew and Brian doing their bondage and spanking demo.

In 2013, this was NOT a problem. There were as many folks coming through Fetish In The Outfield on Saturday this year, as both days combined in the previous year. Word has gotten around.

Andrea McMillan and Jim Neff have worked like maniacs to spread the word, organize every aspect of the weekend, corral vendors and sponsors, and coordinate a BIG crowd of eager and dedicated volunteers. THIS is how to do it right.

Photo by Andrea, who says: ...a break between workshops. no one wanted to leave!!

Jim says:
I want to personally thank all my San Diego brothers and sisters that came out to Palm Springs this last weekend for Palm Springs Gay Pride. It was a big success- both the leather realm and the leather contingent. We made history as the largest leather contingent in PS Pride Parade history . And we estimated about 5 thousand people came thru the venue over the whole weekend. Thank you all again for being apart of it all. xoxox
My response:
I have to say it: For years, I've known Jim Neff as a visionary. He has the ability to see The Big Picture. He can see when things need to shift, and he can see the direction of a crucial transition that would benefit the largest number of people.  
The attendees at Fetish in the Outfield were just plain HAPPY. The folks marching in the Leather Contingent were in a party mood. The folks watching the parade were ecstatic and welcoming. The volunteers were numerous, and hard-working. We are in a new age.
Did Jim do all of that, all by himself? No, of course not. It took a huge team of fellow visionaries, volunteers and leaders, all working together with a common goal that benefits the maximum number of people. 
But it all started with Jim's dream. I was there when it started, and I want my brothers and sisters to know that history can pivot in a moment just like THAT, when somebody just explains how things can be better when we all cooperate.  
This weekend's results show how we can be, when we are at our best. As long as we revere (and thank) our dreamers and visionaries, then we are always going to get better together.
Andrea worked harder than anybody else, and I bet she was WIPED after it was all over. The effort was entirely worth it, and I hope that she delegates even more next year - She was omnipresent, but I'd much rather see her sitting upon a throne, waving a riding-crop as her underlings scurry frantically to please the QUEEN!

The Parade's Leather Contingent

Seeking shelter from the sun, waiting to get going. 
Photo by Andrea.

As Jim said earlier, this was the biggest Leather Contingent in Palm Springs Pride's history. I dare say that there were very few bigger contingents in the parade, but I have no way of actually knowing that. Being in contingent #105 and #106 tends to distort one's perspective!

The very start of the Palm Springs 
Pride 2013 parade… Waiting to get moving. Video is here.
The Leather Contingent reaches all of the way back to the orange balloons.
This makes a really good kick-off for 
Palm Springs Leather Pride this next weekend!

Instead of marching, I BOOGIED on the Barracks Bar truck the entire time.  Old man, hot sun, great music, constant exercise. Sunburn, despite sunscreen.

At the start, I thought that I would be clever and swing a whip in circles above my head.  BAD IDEA, even if the crowd loved it.  I'm quite expert with a whip, but not on a moving truck that stops and starts. I kept accidentally whacking some poor guy's hand as he stood too close.  I finally gave up trying to control the uncontrollable, and just flicked the whip a little bit from side to side like a cat's tail, as it hung downward over the side of the truck.  Suddenly, people were willing to stand nearby again.

The Leather Contingent is just going to get much, much bigger and happier as the years go by. I hope everybody plans accordingly!

Fetish In The Outfield

Photo by Andrea McMillan, who says: 
 Papa Tony and my neighbor Tom, 
who was not thrilled at being suddenly 
included in the workshop, but went along graciously.

I only attended the festival and Fetish in the Outfield on Saturday - I was pretty wiped out by the end of Sunday's parade.

Click here to see the video of Alex demonstrating 
Florentine Whip style on two hot men from Canada!

Also, I was SATISFIED.  The local team had everything perfectly in control. I knew that the next generation was thriving beautifully.

Happy, happy attendees.

Yet another wonderful, life-affirming and educational tradition has been born, worked expertly  through its beginning stages, and has now arrived as an annual success!

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