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Friday, March 31, 2017

Springtime for Leather

Written by  Rodney Burger

There are so many leather events coming up in the next few months that I don’t know where to start! Don’t get me wrong. That is a really wonderful problem to have. I’m sure other parts of the country wished that they had so many leather events on their schedule that it is impossible to list them all in one article. I’ve always considered myself fortunate to live in Baltimore, in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic region, and have a spring bouquet of leather contests, fundraisers, and leather club’s bar nights all within a short drive. Allow me to list just a few of the leather events coming up in the months to come. You will want to circle these dates on your calendar.

I am so happy that April is here at last. On April 1st from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. “Man Upp” presents a jockstrap / harness dance on the 3rd floor dance space of the D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Road, NE). Admission is $10. What a way to start the month. Hundreds of local leather folks will be heading to the Eisenhower Inn in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania over the weekend of April 6th to 9th to attend the 7th annual Bears, Bikers & Mayhem Weekend. The host hotels have been sold out for months. (Fact is I waited until the first week of December to make my reservation and found myself out of luck. As a result I will just be going up on Saturday to help host the ShipMates’ cocktail party.) It is not too late. You can still buy tickets to attend parts of the weekend at Bearsbikersandmayhem.com.

For those remaining in Baltimore that weekend on Friday, April 7th from 7:30 – 9 p.m. there will be a gallery premier upstairs at the Baltimore Eagle (2022 North Charles Street) for an exhibit called: Blue Collar / Black Leather hosted by Frank Vit and Justin Osborne. Come meet the artist and models. Light refreshments will be provided. On Saturday, April 8th the first of what will be a quarterly event, The Baltimore Women’s Leather Bar Night will be held from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Baltimore Eagle. There will be gummy shots, a 50/50 raffle, and more to benefit the House of Ruth (Hruth.org). There is also a play party afterwards at the Baltimore Playhouse.

On Saturday, April 15th COMMAND MC will host the official sendoff party for Mr. Maryland Leather 2017 Pup Orpheus as he prepares to represent Maryland at the International Mr. Leather Contest in Chicago in May. The fun starts at the Baltimore Eagle at 9 p.m. and will include Jell-O shots, a 50/50 raffle, and a jockstrap auction. (I haven’t missed a Mr. Maryland Leather’s IML sendoff in many years. In fact I traveled with a current Mr. Maryland Leather to IML on several occasions. Unfortunately for me April 15th is Easter weekend and I will be out of town visiting my other family. Not happy to miss it, but what can one do?)

Although a little far from Baltimore, one cannot list leather events in April and not mention Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend (CLAW). This is a big leather event held each April in Cleveland, Ohio, that includes many educational demos and parties and is scheduled for April 27th to 30th. This year’s keynote speaker for the formal leather dinner is Guy Baldwin. If you don’t know who Guy Baldwin is you should sign up for Leather 101 or start working that Google. There will also be dances, cocktail parties, a large leather vendor mart, and more. It is also the place for many International Mr. Leather 2017 contestants to see and be seen. For all the details go to Clawinfo.org.

If you want to have some fun on Saturday, April 29th but don’t want to go all the way to Cleveland, it will be a big night down in Washington, D.C., as Skin Tight is presenting the Mr. Green Lantern 2017 Contest at the Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, NW) starting at 10 p.m. (I like a guy in leather, but I like a guy in spandex too!) Also on April 29th at the D.C. Eagle Testosterone Gear from Montreal is hosting a gear party dance. So put on your leather, rubber, jockstrap, singlets, sports gear, or whatever turns you on and head to the D.C. Eagle. Plus the ShipMates of Baltimore will be behind the club bar. See you there!

May is a great month for a little trip out of town. The first annual Mr. Providence Eagle Contest is scheduled for May 12th and 13th up in Providence, Rhode Island. Details can be found on Facebook.

May 19th and 20th at the Philly Music Hall in Philadelphia is the third annual Philadelphia Fetish and Philadelphia Fetish Bootblack Contest. If you live within a 50-mile radius of Philadelphia and identify as leather, queer, BDSM, or kink applications and details are available on Facebook for this fun contest.

If you have never been to Fire Island, New York, you have really missed something. For leather folks the perfect time to visit is May 19th to 21st when the Twilight Guard leather club will be hosting their 22nd anniversary weekend. The event will include a bar night at the Ice Palace hosted by the Excelsior MC, cocktail parties, a Master / slave auction for charity, and the 17th annual Mr. Fire Island Leather Contest. Details and reservations can be made at TwilightGuard.org.

Memorial Day Weekend (May 25th to 29th) brings the biggest leather event of them all. International Mr. Leather is noisy, crowded, expensive, and you will have the time of your life! This year’s host hotel is the Congress Plaza Hotel and please note that the opening ceremonies start on Thursday this year, not Friday. All the details can be found at Imrl.com.

With all the Pride events, June is always very busy. If you are going to D.C. for Pride and the march, stop by the D.C. Eagle on June 10th and join the great guys from Empire City MC and Potomac MC as they host a bar night. On June 24th head on down to Norfolk, Virginia, as the Knight Hawks and the Cavaliers hold the annual “Leather Pride Cruise” aboard the Carrie B. What a great way to celebrate Pride month.

Once summer gets started, circle July 23rd on your calendar. Mr. D.C. Eagle 2017 Grey Owl will be hosting Kink Fest: A Leather & Fetish Expo at the D.C. Eagle starting at 3 p.m. There will be educational demos, discussions, and a beer bust from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. ($2 drafts, $8 pitchers, or $30 bottomless cups). If you aren’t lit already, change into something neon for the “Black-light Dance Party” from 8 p.m. to midnight. There will also be leather vendors and the $10 donation will go to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom.

In additional news I want to congratulate Paul Berry, a member of Onyx SE, who was recently selected Mr. SECC Leather 2017 and Shaun Cameron, a member of CSRA Leather Bears of Augusta, Georgia, who has been awarded the title of SECC Bootblack 2017. I am sorry to announce that a Ms. SECC Leather was not selected this year. I am also sorry to hear that the Mid-Atlantic Kennel Korps (MAKK), who held monthly pup events at the D.C. Eagle, is going inactive.

There are lots of leather events scheduled this season in Baltimore and beyond. These are just a few of them. Go out and support your local leather clubs, leather bars, and leather events. It is springtime for leather!

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