Dinah Shore Weekend Heads to Las Vegas for 2012

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Not just a girls night out but an epic weekend of girls night out on the town in Sin City. What more could a girl want? Girl Bar, in association with Fuse Events, has created an unforgettable weekend of lesbian events in the city they never sleeps (really never sleeps) for Girl Bar Dinah Shore Weekend Las Vegas 2012 April 27-29.

Girl Bar and Fuse Events have worked with Caesars Entertainment to create the ultimate women’s weekend experience featuring all the best that Sin City has to offer. Official events and hotels for Dinah Shore Weekend include Planet Hollywood and Flamingo hotels and other nearby venues.

“Our sophisticated ladies wanted ‘bigger, better and more’ 24/7, in the city that never sleeps, with a package of perks, food, beverages and entertainment where there are no ‘last calls’ and our exclusive ‘GO Pool’ at the Flamingo is ‘Topless optional.’” This sounds like lesbians in paradise to me!

“The LGBT market makes up such an important part of Caesars worldwide customer base,” said Richard Brower, Director of LGBT Marketing at Caesars Entertainment Corporation. “Having this legendary weekend move to Vegas was an opportunity we could not afford to miss.”
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A Rebirth Of The Rights Movement In America?

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Susan Sarandon At Occupy Wall Street

Susan Sarandon At Occupy Wall Street

If you blinked, you might have missed it on your nightly news, but that’s probably because all major news broadcasters are suspiciously quiet about it.

There’s something going on in Wall Street, and this time it isn’t another too-big-to-fail being given your tax money, or the markets on a slump because of the likelihood of Greece collapsing.

Firstly, I’ll give you a little background info…

On the 17th September, Anonymous (the infamous Internet group responsible for publicly trolling Scientology, taking down several sites in defense of Wikileaks and defacing all of the Syrian government websites – among other things) planned to invade wall street and start their own popular uprising against corporate greed and influence on government. They were ambitions, stating 20k people might be there. Of course, these things don’t quite start like that. So instead there was a gathering of maybe 50 people. This soon turned into a couple of thousand when they marched on Wall Street itself from their base at Liberty Plaza.

I picked up the story on sept 24th when a friend – knowing how I love a good cause to get behind – sent me a link to a video of a group of female protesters being sprayed with MACE at point-blank range by LAPD Officer Tony Bologne (yes, that is his real name!)

Suddenly, word was spreading. Their peaceful protest and uneventful marches were suddenly out there saturating the Internet. The Information Superhighway was seething with anger at the blatant abuse of freedom and rights, resulting in many thousands more joining the cause.

The numbers of those camped out in Liberty Plaza has grown, with supplies and donations from people all around the world who want to see the corporate interests pushed out of government. Similar protests are now being organized for cities all across America, and the world.

Why is this important to us, the gay community?

Apart from us being a part of the wider community that all of this affects, the Occupy Wall Street protesters have gone to great lengths to be inclusive of the LGBT community, often bringing it up in discussion in their videos and live broadcasts, inviting people to come and take part, no matter what your race, religion, sexual orientation or political leaning. On Tuesday the 27th, Michael Moore appeared to show his support and speak to the protesters. I know, sometimes he can be a right pain in the butt, right? But he again brought up the fact that America was changing, and that now over 50% of Americans believe that gay marriage should be legal and recognized. This brought cheers from the crowd around him.

Ultimately, this is everyones fight. This isn’t about whether you support Obama or not. This isn’t about whether you believe in capitalism or not. It’s about whether you are happy to sit back and watch as the corporations control your government. It’s about stopping the 1% who control 90% of the wealth. It’s about making it clear to your government that your rights matter, and that corporations do not have the right to be your rulers by paying off your elected.

Some of us remember the struggle of the LGBT community, and without those brave people we would not have the freedom we now have. Plenty of us are educated enough to know of the struggles other communities have faced to rectify society.

All of those events involved just a section of society, this fight involves all of us.

Summer Festival Prep

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Following on from the last post focusing on camping, I thought it might be fun to explore the preparation for the coming festival-packed summer of fun ahead.

Whether you’re a camping enthusiast the rest of the year or prefer your breaks with a little more luxury, many of us venture out under canvas for at least a few nights in the summer when miniature cities spring up all over the country for a weekend of live music.

But of course, it’s not all about camping. There’s plenty more to consider before loading up your car and heading out hoping to relive your parents’ Woodstock stories – though perhaps with a little less chemical enhancement!

The necessities

There are a few things that we all absolutely need when we’re considering camping in a field with a few thousand other revelers, and they’re not your hair curlers or your laptop.

  • Condoms. Yes, it’s shocking, thousands of people at festivals hook up, and many go tent-hopping for the weekend. You don’t want to be caught in that predicament of really wanting that boink but having to go hunting around the festival shops at 3am looking a box of rubbers.
  • Wipes. Not all festivals have showers on site, and even when they are offered they are often out of order, very limited or far too busy. Having some damp wipes to give yourself a quick bath in your tent is preferable to having everyone around you asking what that smell is.
  • Antihistamines. Most of us travel a few miles out of town to go to these events, and some of us even leave the country for a really good festival. While you might not have allergy symptoms at home, going to a new area with different plant life and possibly even a completely different climate can often surprise you with allergic reactions. Not everyone needs it, just ensure one person in your group has some.
  • Sun Block. It might seem obvious, but plenty of people forget it, or think they’ll get it when they arrive. The next thing they know they’re waking up after their first afternoon drinking session of the festival severely burned and unable to move.
  • Duct Tape. This is a lifesaver for those who unpack their tent to find a mouse has used a corner of it to raise their young, or when they poke one of the poles through the canvas in a drunken rage of ineptitude. Once that tent has a hole, you will be waking up either damp with dew or drowning after a sudden shower. A little duct tape is all that’s needed to make it good for the rest of the trip.
  • Tissue/Toilet Paper. This stuff is like gold at a festival. Sellers know people need it and will charge extortionate prices if they have the chance. Make sure your group has enough to last you.
  • Energy Sweets. Many festivals now give these out completely free in the UK, because they know that after a day or two people tend to start skipping bands and sticking by the tent while they recover from the night before. These little sweets can be all you need to get that energy back and get into the mood again.
  • Cash. Even if the festival has a cashless system, you never know what might happen. You need to make sure you have enough cash to be able to travel at least a few miles to civilization if you absolutely have to.

Veterans advice

As someone who has been festivalling for more than nine years, I do feel like a bit of a veteran, and there are a few things I have picked up along the way which might be of use to the festival noob.

  • Bandanna. If you have ever used a toilet at a festival you will probably know this little tip. If you have a bandanna or scarf, spray a little deodorant on it and cover your face before you enter that “pit of doom” and you’ll save yourself from either passing out through holding your breath, or passing out thinking about what travels with smells. Thankfully, the Victorians worked out that smells don’t generally make you ill. But it took them a while and we’re still not totally there.
  • Valuables. Most festivals now offer a locker for a small fee. This is great, but it would be better if people didn’t bring expensive gadgets to show off. What do you need an iPhone for when a cheap disposable phone does the same? When sleeping, put all valuables inside the bottom of your sleeping bag, and make sure anyone you invite into your tent isn’t able to take any souvenirs with them when they leave. But maybe give them some underwear to remember you by if you’re that nice :)
  • Sex. Perhaps not surprisingly, most people are open to experimenting at festivals. While you could join festival websites and meet other gay attendees you could visit with on site, you’d actually not have that much of a difficult time hitting on random people. Most won’t immediately be uninterested, if only because they feel they SHOULD be more daring. They might be straight or only slightly, privately, curious in their everyday life, but at a festival something strange happens and horniness often takes over.
  • Neighbors. I have met so many fantastic and interesting people at festivals. The people who are camping around you are not just people, they are your neighbors if even for a short time. And you’re at the same event, so chances are good that you have a lot in common. Get to know them on the first day and you’ll probably find you have a very large crowd of fantastically funny people to party with for the entire stay.

Gay or straight, the festival experience is an amazing one, full of fun and excitement and new experiences. All it takes is a little common sense, an attitude of adventure and some incredible weekends can be had as a result. The summer is a time to get out there and enjoy everything there is for life to offer. Enjoy it, because very soon the snow and ice will return and we’ll all be locked up inside by the fire once again, dreaming of what we’ll do when the sun comes back.

Sarah McLachlan’s Lilith Fair returns

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We are pleased to announced that Coming soon to a city near you in 2010 is an all-star Lilith Fair. Atlanta, Boston, Calgary, Dallas, Minneapolis, and Seattle are just a few of the cities that will be part of the tour dates for this music festival with all-female artists. Sarah McLachlan known for her hit ‘Angel’ plans to return to the show and bring on acts such as the Dixie Chicks, Queen Latifa, and Nellie Furtado,

The 2010 Lilith tour plans to partner with OurStage.com to help find local talent for the next best emerging female musicians across North America. We are excited to see the new version of the Lilith Fair come to our cities!

One of the highest grossing festivals in the world from 1997 through 1999 was the Lilith Fair. A celebration of women in music which featured performances from Jewel, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, and Martina McBride. If you remember back when the song ‘Independence Day’ was big from Martina McBride. I had the chance to attend the festival at a ballpark in Oklahoma City and thought it was a great show. The festival similar to the True Colors tour raised money for charity including over $10 million for national and local charities. Pictured is from a backstage festival photo of Martina McBride in front of her Lilith Fair tour bus with a local radio station intern (taken by me).

Happy Pride 2009

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We wish everyone a wonderful pride week across the nation as we are still struggling for equal rights for all.  Gays, Lesbians, Transgendered, Bisexual, and the big hearted straight people joining us for the big parades across the nation all contribute to fabulous celebrations across the U.S.

From San Francisco to Oklahoma City to New York City to Houston we celebrate pride 2009.  Everyone have a safe weekend and make sure you drink the liquors that advertise in our parades and support our community whether it be a beer or a vodka.  Remember the banks and other organizations and busineses that take part in the gay pride festivals and parades and support them!!  Support your drag queens and bartenders too haha!

Don’t Miss Lesbian Events

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While gay pride parades and similar events bring the entire GLBTQ community together, there are some events and activities particularly geared toward lesbian, bisexual or queer identified women. These range from socially active and politically motivated to opportunities for rest, play and relaxation. Your local Pride celebration probably offers activities and events planned specifically for women, but if you have the time and funds to travel or are located near one of these lesbian or lesbian inclusive events you may want to make it a “gay-cation” this year.

Dinah Shore Week in Palm Springs, California is the largest lesbian event in the country. Held in the spring (the 2010 dates are March 31 to April 4), Dinah Shore Week includes entertainment planned and organized by the well known L.A based GirlBar, pool parties, and plenty of time to socialize. Dinah Shore Week 2009 boasted an impressive line up of performers, including Macy Gray, Kat Deluna, Julie Goldman, and the Cliks. Reservations fill up quickly, so book by December if you want to stay in the Wyndham Hotel or Hotel Zoso.

Another major lesbian event each year is the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. While controversy has surrounded the festival, it remains a popular destination for any woman looking to share and experience  a space designed just for her. The festival features intensive workshops of all sorts, performances, and a time to share in a unique space and experience. Moms should note that families with male children 5 and over will need to camp in Brother Sun and use the childcare available there as boys over 4 are not welcome on the festival grounds. This year’s Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival will take place from August 4th to 9th. Visit michfest.com for more information.

Gay Days Orlando has become a popular destination for both single and partnered members of the LGBTQ community. During this week, a number of events designated for Girls at Gay Days occur as well, making it a popular lesbian event destination. You can also take advantage of Gay Day Disney during this event. Comedians, concerts and plenty of dancing await lesbians of all ages at Girls at Gay Days. See girlsatgaydays.com for schedules for this year’s June party.

While not specifically a lesbian oriented event, if you are more concerned with the arts than with a party, consider making Homo A Go Go your event destination. This gay and lesbian oriented arts festival includes music, art, film, performance art and activism from August 13 to August 16, 2009 in San Francisco, California.

Top 5 Lesbian Clubs in the U.S.

5 Best Lesbian Clubs in the US

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While nearly every city in the US is home to at least a few gay and lesbian bars, there are relatively few bars that cater primarily to a lesbian crowd, even in major cities. In fact, you can only find one in Washington DC and Baltimore and no lesbian specific bars at all in Boston. Look for lesbian nights in cities without lesbian bars to find the nightlife you’re looking for, but if you’re near or visiting an area with one of the best, stop in for drinks and dancing.

Girl Bar in Los Angeles has inspired the L-Word and remains one of the most happening lesbian hot spots on the West Coast. Girl Bar now runs lesbian nights in Chicago, Las Vegas and Phoenix as well as LA. The dance floor is active and energetic and drinks flow freely. While this bar has a reputation for a lipstick lesbian crowd, the actual mix is much more varied.

Henrietta Hudson Bar and Girl in New York City offers a variety of music, with live music twice a week. Drink specials, dancing and pool make Henrietta Hudson’s a good bet for both West Village locals and tourists. Henrietta’s is open 7 days and nights a week.

Chances in Houston, Texas offers something for nearly every lesbian, with four distinct bars and clubs under one roof. You can dance the night away at G-Spot, hang out with friends in the neighborhood bar Chances, lounge in the ChiChi Martini lounge or two step in The New Barn.

Phase 1 on Capitol Hill in Washington DC is the oldest lesbian bar in the country, opened in 1970. Music at Phase 1 ranges from hip hop to queer punk, with drag king nights, pool and drinks located near everything in the city.

Sue Ellen’s in Dallas, Texas is situated in the old Throckmorton Mining Company. Since the reopening in the spring of 2008, it is one of the largest lesbian bars in the country and one of the best gay or lesbian bars in the country.  Sue Ellen’s includes a lounge, dance floor and space for live music.

While these are some of the best lesbian nightclubs in the US, you may find lesbian nights at great gay clubs throughout the country or find that your local gay and lesbian club is the right fit for your community.  You might want to check out each bar or clubs website and see their calendar of events for live bands and Pride activities.

Holiday Entertaining on a Tight Budget

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Times are tight, but you still want to have a memorable holiday season. With fall approaching many of us are turning our thoughts to the holidays ahead. Whether you traditionally entertaining over the holidays or would like to for the first time, keeping to your budget is likely critical. Several simple tips and tricks, plus a few new holiday entertaining ideas can make all the difference.

Cost cutting measures can make a big difference in your budget. If you do opt for your traditional holiday open house, dinner party or cocktail party, limit the drinks served. Alcohol is a huge expense when entertaining, especially if you fully stock a bar. Consider serving a spiced cider or a lovely cranberry based cocktail to all your guests to reduce your expenses. Old fashioned, non alcoholic holiday punches are another great idea and are typically much more affordable than alcoholic drinks. There are several good boxed wines on the market now that are significantly more economical, but still quite drinkable.  Less expensive cuts of meat or vegetarian meals are another way to reduce the expense of your traditional holiday party. You might also consider sharing costs and hosting responsibilities with a friend or family member if you have the same or similar guests lists.

One of the best ways to fit holiday entertaining into your budget is to rethink your party planning. Replace your cocktail party with a family tree trimming party. Invite everyone and their kids, serve cocoa and cookies and string popcorn and cranberries or sing holiday songs. You could also consider organizing a cookie swap to share baked goods with friends in lieu of the usual party, or even plan a party around a much anticipated holiday season ball game and serve sandwiches and snacks. Casual meals also offer the option of an old fashioned potluck. Let everyone bring a dish to share and relax.

More formal holiday activities can work without breaking the bank, as long as you step away from plans to throw large dinner or cocktail parties. Dessert parties are a great choice, allowing you to entertain for an evening with limited stress and without spending a lot. You can make dessert or splurge and buy a luxurious treat or two to share with friends or family. Serve coffee, a hot alcoholic beverage or a dessert wine, depending upon the treat you choose. Hosting a breakfast or brunch may also cut your costs and help you stay within budget. Consider throwing a wine tasting, asking each guest to bring their favorite to share. Serve a variety of fondues and dips. Fortunately, many of these money saving ideas can save valuable time during the holiday season as well.

TIP: Takes some notes from our Summer party ideas.

Throwing a Halloween Party?

We recommend Dry Ice arrangements to make a spooky fog or maybe a fog machine to make things more fun.  There are several games you can play such as where you say Halloween related phrases in a circle or your typical party games.  Why not a spin the bottle Halloween style?  Well, I guess an OUIJA board would serve that purpose a little better to be in the ghostly spirit.

Themed Parties

Think of a theme such as a 80’s, 90’s, or White Trash Theme.  This year with the presidential election you could come up with a theme party.  Dress up as Sarah Palin, Ellen, or even Hillary.  I always thought it would be fun to have a Party Monster party or even a Drag Queen party where every one has to dress as the opposite sex.

Christmas Parties

If you are throwing a serious Christmas extravaganza then consider some of these top ten gift ideas for your friends and relatives.  If for fun, then go for these gag gifts for the Secret Santa.

Planning the Perfect Summer Party

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backyard bbqSummer is a great time for a party, whether you’re planning a backyard barbeque, a pool party or a more formal dinner party. Making sure your party is a success is critical year round, but summer parties bring their own joys and challenges. There are a few critical components to any party. Food, beverages, location, and the guest list can all make or break your summer party. Furthermore, most of us find ourselves entertaining on a budget, and this can add to the challenge. For an overview of summer entertaining tips, see Oprah’s tips .

A casual party can be a great summer choice. Backyard barbeques around the grill are a traditional choice or a pool party if you have one. You might also consider hosting a get together or family reunion at a local lake. You should always keep the temperature in mind, and make certain to provide plenty of cool drinks and shade for an outdoor summer party. A good host will also make certain sunscreen and bug repellent are available. Water safety is an important consideration, especially if children will be attending. Old fashioned summer lawn games can be a fun choice, including options like croquet and badminton. You might consider a sprinkler for the kids for a family friendly event, but do be prepared to have towels and fresh clothes handy for your small guests.

More formal events are common in the summer as well. You may find yourself planning a summer wedding or a baby shower, an afternoon tea or even a formal evening dinner party. Cabanas, gazebos or other shelter, possibly even a large tent for a major occasion, can make the day a lot more pleasant. Formal events in the summer may require extra attention to be certain that your food, centerpieces and decorations can stand up to the heat.

Food is the center of nearly every party. Planning smart summer food for your event or party will help to make sure everyone enjoys themselves. Food should be heat tolerant for outdoor events, seasonal, fresh and plentiful. The summer barbeque is a traditional choice, but cold salads, an array of fresh, light appetizers, or dishes that make the most of fresh, seasonal foods are ideal. For a relaxed casual meal, consider making gourmet burgers or allowing everyone to grill their own shish kabobs. Easy food is often some of the best in the summer. Sales in local stores can allow you to keep your party cost effective, or for a casual family party, consider making it potluck.

Whether you plan a quiet adults only dinner party in the garden or a loud and playful family barbeque, summer entertaining is always fun. Make a pitcher of homemade cherry limeade, iced tea, or margaritas and enjoy spending time with friends and family.

Girls’ Days at Gay Days

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Orlando’s Gay Days are a popular attraction for GLBT people throughout the country. Taking place from June 3rd to June 9th this year, Gay Days includes a number of special Girls’ Days events. Some 140,000 gay and lesbian individuals venture out to Orlando for a vacation at Gay Days, so you are sure to enjoy surrounding yourself in the vibrancy and liveliness of gay culture. These are sure to broaden the appeal of Gay Days to lesbians everywhere looking for a fun vacation with a partner, or a great party alone (although perhaps you won’t stay that way if you go to Girls’ Days alone…). For more information on Girls’ Days, see girlsatgaydays.com to book your tickets and make your reservations.

You can also take in any of Orlando’s other attractions while at Gay Days, and the location, the Regal Sun Resort, is conveniently close to Disney and other Orlando fun. You’ll even find activities for children at Gay Days in Orlando, making this a good choice for queer families. Girls’ Days is being billed as a kid friendly event, so if you have considered a Disney vacation, perhaps this is the time to take it. Your kids are sure to especially treasure the memory of a Disney visit during this time, since they can become one of the crowds of kids with two moms or two dads.

There are several special Girls’ Days events planned. These include daily pool parties at the host hotel, a lesbian comedy show featuring Susan Westenhoefer and others, vendor fairs, and a great retro dance party aimed at the girls. Staying at the Regal Sun Resort will allow you to meet and greet other women from all over the country and the world who have come out to enjoy Girls’ Days at Gay Days.

You may also want to check out some of the other Gay Days events not specifically associated with Girls’ Days. All Gay Days events welcome both men and women, so you might enjoy taking in the Miss Gay Days pageant, wine tastings, or buy tickets for Gay Days at Disney World. You’ll also find other theme parks welcoming the gay community during Gay Days.

Pack up a red shirt and head for Gay Days. Whether you are traveling with your family or alone, a full schedule of pool parties (might need a new swimsuit), fun and new friends awaits you in Orlando.

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