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Volume 15/Issue 14

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Hello my wonderful family, hope all is well! Haven't gotten to address you in a while due to being out of town quite a bit lately covering all the fabulous events Ambush has been sponsoring. I did get a little blurb in last issue about Pensacola and Orlando though. Looks like business has been up in the Gay world so far. I have heard from all of our print & web advertisers and they all agree things are doing well for this time of year. I personally have noticed the same when I am out playing with you guys and gals.

I have been so excited about seeing all the new faces and changes going on in the community lately.

One area in particular is this year's PrideFest 97 celebration. With all the training, teaching and counseling the new board has been receiving from the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Pride Coordinators, things are looking great. So far things are running very smooth and beneficial. If you notice in this issue of Ambush there is an interview with the Pride Board about the past budget and events for this year.

This interview is to clear the air on some things that another publication desired to question and, as a result, has caused some of you, the community, to question as well.

Not A Problem! The New Orleans Alliance of Pride has an "open door" policy on their meetings. Actually, we desire and push for more people to be involved to get a wider perspective in organizing, operating and promoting our city's Pride celebration.

One of our goals is to have a Pride celebration as large as Atlanta with over 300,000 "family" members in attendance. Yes, it is a large vision...but "without a vision, the people perish." Our community is very large! As I've stated recently, if we go by government statistics that 1 out of every 10 are Gay or Lesbian & New Orleans has approx. 500,000 people, that would give us (at least) 50,000 of the homosexual persuasion.

Now, of course, you and I know that it is much larger than that! How would you like our celebration to be a good 25-30,000 strong in attendance? I don't know about you, but I think that would be so incredibly awesome to celebrate my life with so many kindred souls.

So far we have had 3 Pride parties helping to raise money to put the Fest on. The theme behind the Pride parties is "Precious Gems."

Rawhide held the Onyx party on May 31st and continues to donate from their Friday Beer Bust once a month.

Fashion Cafe held the Precious party on June 26th and has stated that they will be giving portions from their new and regular Thursday night "Gay Nights."

The Bourbon Pub/Parade held their Emerald party June 28th. I am still awaiting totals from the last two parties and will update you all next issue on what has been brought in so far.

Upcoming parties that are confirmed as of right now are as follows: Ruby Red Underwear Party--Rubyfruit Jungle, August 15th; Amethyst Party--Oz, October 3rd; Diamond Party--Good Friends, October 4th. The Grand Marshal Reception will be held Sept 24th at the Queen's Head Pub above Good Friends.

Right now we are trying to decide on a headliner, in the same ranks as Thelma Houston, for this year. We have a very large roster of talent from the late 70's-80's. From Gloria Gaynor to Vicki Sue Robinson. You would not believe the selections we have to choose from. The trick is to see whose schedule is open for our weekend, and if they are affordable.

I just recently asked one of our larger social organizations to be our parade marshal as a group rather than just a few individuals. We are awaiting their response after their next organizational meeting.

The booth space is filling up fast, so if you plan to sell, show or serve something that requires a tent/booth setup then you'd better get yourself on the phone with Jim Weigand (504.944.3800) to reserve your space today. Over half the booths are already reserved! For more PrideFest 97 info call the Pride Office @ 504.949.9555 and leave a message or, give me, Sonny C, a beep @504.538.9659. I will help you in any way I can.

N ext up on the agenda is the Gay Appreciation Awards. Yes, she is going through lots of changes again this year.

As a result of the public voting being so successful this last year we have decided to do it again. This time though the Public Voting will be held October 11th & 12th, 10am-5pm at the Pride Festival in Washington Square Park hosted at the Ambush booth.

Prior to PrideFest '97 you will also be able to be a part of the nominating process for your favorites in each category.

Categories include Newcomer of the Year, Neighborhood Bar of the Year, Fight Against AIDS Award, Bitch of the Year, DJ of the Year, Show Bar of the Year, Gay Friendly Business of the Year, Performing Arts Award, Dance Bar of the Year, Bartender of the Year, Gay Business of the Year, Political Activist of the Year, Lesbian of the Year, Man of the Year, and Entertainer of the Year.

The Nomination Ballot will be in the Ambush Southern Decadence issue due out Wed., Aug. 27th. So keep watching us for the latest! Till next time...see ya out!

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Rip Naquin-Delain | Sonny Cleveland | George Patterson

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