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Volume 15/Issue 22


Halloween XIV: The Circuit Party

Revelers are filling the city in preparation of New Orleans' premiere Halloween circuit party. It's Halloween XIV, the fabu 4 day bash benefiting Project Lazarus. The event is expected to top last year's $225,000 take for the popular AIDS hospice.

It kicks off Thursday, Oct. 30 with cocktails, dinner buffet and silent auction with some $50,000 in auction items, at the prestigious Plimsoll Club in the World Trade Center. Hosted from 7-11pm, advance reservations are required, $75 per person.

Twisted Funhouse Dance Party on the Wharf is up next Friday, Oct. 31, featuring the talents of D.J. Rick Mitchell. Hosted from 9pm-3am, Julia Street Wharf, door admission runs $25 per person.

The main event, Circus Eroticus Costume Dance Party, features D.J. David Knapp with a midnight performance by Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu. Hosted Saturday, Nov. 1, 10pm-4am, Municipal Auditorium @ Armstrong Park, door admission is $40 per person, costume required for admittance.

The weekend comes to a close Sunday, Nov. 2 with the annual Gospel & Jazz Brunch, House of Blues, 1-6pm, at $25 per person.

Hosts numbered well over 300 this year, each contributing $350 to the event. Corporate sponsors include Out Magazine, Malibu Caribbean Rum, Miller Lite, Oz, AMBUSH Mag 2000, AMBUSHonLINE and French Quarter Suites Hotel.

The support and generosity of the corporate sponsors enable Project Lazarus to provide residential care for people with AIDS. This 14th Halloween Weekend of fun and festivities will bring the total contributions in at over 1.25 million dollars.

For more info, call 504.945.5546, fax 504.945.5326, or visit www.halloween neworleans.com.

PrideFest '97 Sets Record at 7,000+

New Orleans Alliance of Pride, Inc. outdid themselves this year setting record attendance figures at over 7,000 participants. PrideFest '97 was blessed with beautiful weather for the two day affair Oct. 11-12.

The parade kicked off festivities at noon on National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11. Pride Grand Marshals XVIII Louise McFarland and Roberts Batson led the exuberant procession from Washington Square Park through the streets of the French Quarter. Once the Parade reached Ambush Headquarters, 828 Bourbon St., McFarland and Batson brought a halt to the Parade, leaving their carriage, heading up to the balcony.

The parade continued as McFarland and Batson viewed the action from the 1st Annual PrideFest Official Grand Marshal's Reviewing Stand. As the last group passed the Reviewing Stand, the Grand Marshals left the balcony, returning to their carriage, following the parade back into Washington Square Park. The only disappointment in this year's parade was when the police escort chose to ignore the parade route set fourth by city permit, turning on Orleans, instead of continuing to St. Louis then down Rampart to St. Ann.

Washington Square Park filled quickly following the parade. Main stage events began from introduction of elected officials, to the presentation of honorary certificates and awards, on to entertainment.

Fest entertainment ran the gamut from New York's Varla Jean Merman to Sisters by Grace, to Cajun LaCage, to Men Out Load, to Rob Nash, to GAA Entertainer of the Year Nominees, to New Orleans' Gay Men's Chorus, to Sherreece. There was something at this fest for every taste conceivable.

Of special interest to many of us was the "statement of domestic violence" presented by Mr. & Ms. Louisiana Leather Drake Higgonbotham and Lorna Pierce. Issued by the National Leather Association [NLA], the group urges "the Leather/SM/Fetish community to take the lead in reducing domestic violence through education." Among the steps to reduce domestic violence, the NLA states, "To hold batterers accountable for choosing to be violent. To encourage victims to take legal action. To deny that drug or alcohol use excuses battering. To encourage the batterer to seek treatment and the victim to seek support."

And let's not forget all the booth vendors. Fest participants enjoyed an array of info, merchant, drink and food booths. Practically every organization was represented making vast outreach efforts available. Some of the local merchant vendors included Alternatives, & Toto, Too!, Bookstar, Faubourg Marigny Bookstore, Rainbow Framing, Studio One, Sunrise and 3 Dog Bakery.

Over at the Ambush booth, almost 600 individuals joined in the public vote, selecting one of the top 5 nominees on the Gay Appreciation Awards ballot. This almost triples last year's public vote.

Corporate sponsors included Absolut, ?AMBUSH Mag 2000, AMBUSHonLINE, Miller Brands, Pepsi, Wet International and Wood Enterprises.

Please join us and thank the Pride Board: Stephen Graffeo, Sonny Cleveland, Ronald Wilcox, MD, Keith Oalmann, Jim Wiegand, Allan Spach, Rev. Kay Thomas, Crystal Little and Lisa Beaumann, on a marvelous job presenting the best PrideFest to date.

The Lovely & Talented Is Burned Out

In an unbelievable phone mes- sage, we learned that the lovely and talented Toni Pizanie's home had caught fire. The house next door went up in flames first, spreading over to our dear friend Toni's home.

Firemen learned quickly that the fire hydrant nearest Toni's home had no water. Hoses had to be run some 3 streets away. By that time Toni had lost the back of her home containing her kitchen, laundry room and bath. Extensive smoke and water damage consumed the bedroom, den and living room.

The good news is Toni was not hurt, and her insurance is covering reconstruction and some of the contents of the home.

The bad news is that this was preventable, since Toni had complained to the city on several occasions about the deplorable condition of the abandoned house next door.

Toni has always been an avid supporter of our community, working tirelessly in practically every organization around, and currently chairs the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Lesbian and Gay Issues.

We would like to salute all of the friends, acquaintances and organizations that have reached out to offer Toni a hand in her time of need. Toni may have never known how may people cared about her well being, if this unfortunate event had not occurred.

House of Bagels Offers New Choices

New Orleans House of Bagels opened its doors Oct. 1, right off Bourbon at 718 Orleans. The quaint eatery will remind first time visitors of little off-street cafes located throughout Europe. The menu includes breakfast bagels, bagel sandwiches, salads and soup du jour. Choose from an array of bagel toppings and don't forget to try the fresh squeezed juices [a must on any visit].

Fred Holmes Moves to Rampart's Best Bets

G AA Bartender of the Year nominee Fred Holmes can now be found at two of the best bets on N. Rampart, Footloose and Mother Bob's.

Fred is the newest bartender to join these two reputable clubs located at 700 and 542 N. Rampart. Stop in, say hi and be treated to one of the nicest bartenders around.

Spotlight on the Marigny

O ur latest trek to the Marigny began at The Copper Top with a visit to Richard, aka Hippy Dick. Wednesday night is 8 Ball Pool Tournament night. The tournament, which began in late September, has had 3 winners including Bruce, Dan and Chester. Each player pays $6 a week. $5 goes to nightly tourney pot, and $1 goes into kitty for the first player to drop the 8-ball on the break. Averaging 6, 8 and 10 players, the pots have been quite good. Each week, 1st place wins the pot, 2nd place wins a $10 bar tab and 3rd place wins a $5 bar tab. Free hot dogs are served along with tourney play. Of course, Hippy Dick is the free entertainment!

Next was a visit with bartender Eddy slingin' cocktails at Big Daddy's. Billy was busy right across the street with his crowd of revelers at Another Corner. The Friendly Bar was quite festive since it was "meat night." Patrons supply their own meat which is slung on the grill. All the fixins are compliments of the bar. Lou and Jerce were holding court with Koo and Marty, Jay and Brad, Tony, Jason and Wade, not to mention a bunch of other regulars. A short cab ride to the Phoenix and a visit with Eric was up next. Then it was back to the Quarter to check in on Brian and Joey behind the bar at the Mint.

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