Pride on Parade

Taking the Streets with Creativity and Camp

by Yusef Najafi
Published on June 12, 2008, 12:00am | Comments

Who will incorporate the 2008 Capital Pride theme -- ''History. Vision. Legacy.'' -- into a float or marching contingent at this year's parade in the most memorable way?

That's one question for the judges at the annual Capital Pride Parade, Saturday, June 14. They will choose winners for Best Theme and Energy, Best Float, Best Marching Band and Most Outrageous.

If past years are any indication, that ''Outrageous'' category may be particularly difficult to narrow down. Remember the Freddie's Beach Bar & Restaurant float from 2006? That entry incorporated a replica of the Freddie's front patio, complete with a grand piano, all floating down 17th Street. This year Freddie's is going even bigger, promises Ray Martin, operations manager at the restaurant.

''It's going to be 50 feet long and the theme is 'jungle survivor.' It will have a lot of tiki huts on it and everybody riding on it will be dressed in the jungle-survivor theme.''

Also going big is D.C. Smiles Advanced Dentistry. Will de Boer, patient coordinator and graphic designer, promises a helium balloon with local drag performer Lena Lett -- all smiles -- riding inside. ''She's Miss D.C. Smiles and we want to promote good, healthy smiles, so it should be tons of fun.''

And who could forget last year's fun-mobile, Be Bar's school bus full of shirtless men? This year it gets even hotter with Camp Be Bar, boasts owner Mike Watson.

''Our theme for the event is going to be 'boy camp.' It's where the boys come out to play.'' Which means spectators should expect ''hot guys and naughty counselors.''

Aside from camp, another new element for 2008, say Eric Reader and Steven Walker, co-chairs of Capital Pride's Parade Committee, is an additional stand at the intersection of 18th Street and New Hampshire Avenue NW that will allow an extra place for performance groups to stop and put on their shows.

''[Also] New Hampshire Avenue, between Dupont Circle and R Street, is usually a dead area, and Dupont Circle is usually very crowded,'' Reader says. ''So we put this announcement stand on New Hampshire Avenue in hopes of moving the crowd to New Hampshire Avenue a little bit.''


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