New York City's 16th annual Folsom Street East took place this past Sunday, the 17th of June 2012 on West 28th Street in Manhattan between 10th and 11th Avenues. The crowd this year was by far the most eclectic group of people, both veterans and newcomers, with whom I had the privilege to work and meet. Will Clark and Xavier Rice emceed the festival with special stage performances by The Glamazons, Dallas DuBois, Brett Gleason, and many others!
Folsom Street East is a non-profit organization based in New York City that produces fundraising events and serves the leather, fetish, and kink community as well as the LGBT and greater New York City community. Their annual street fair, known as Folsom Street East, is the largest outdoor fetish street festival on the east coast and brings together hundreds of people to celebrate sexual diversity and expression. This year marked their sixteenth anniversary running and was one of the biggest parties yet!
I began setting up for the event early Sunday morning with the rest of the crew for the initial set up - essentially all the ground and grunt work. It was our job to do a clean sweep of the grounds, set up tables, chairs, and preliminary booths. The sound systems, stage, and NYPD personnel were also set up, but a lot of the work that goes into ensuring a good event actually comes from the crew and volunteers who take shifts to make sure the flow and minor details are all in check. If you'd like to volunteer next year, please feel free to check out our volunteer page to sign up!
This year I worked with The Saint at Large and The Black Party Expo to model some of our newest gear. I showed up for my shift in my favorite Nasty Pig jockstrap and homemade chain harness and was provided a dragon skin headdress and armband. Other gear included customized jockstraps, harnesses, headgear, and shoulder gear, with one of our boys sporting a samurai-inspired uniform with red guards fastened around his waist, arms, and shoulders.
I also participated in this year's Pie-Hole Eating Contest alongside AC Demidont, Mr. Eagle 2012. My friends were all thoroughly excited for this part of the street fair and cheered me on, took a few pictures of the contest, and my friend, Jo-vanni, even recorded it for your viewing pleasure. While backstage my partner (who will remain unnamed for anti-stalking purposes) amped us up for the competition, reminding me of our strategy for victory, and getting us ready to claim the crown. We won the contest and were the clear crowd favorite.
I knew to pace myself throughout the day as Broadway Bares XXII: Happy Endings was going on later that night so I claimed my prize, kissed my partners in crime goodbye, and headed home for a well-deserved dinner and nap before the pre-game for the show that night. It truly was a very happy Daddy's Day!