This year’s competition will be held the day of Pride, at a new venue near the Pride festival.
The June 9 event will begin 4 p.m. at Encore and Brasil’s, 112 Chestnut St. The competition will be held in conjunction with organizer Bruce Yelk’s annual Triumphant Pride party.
Both events have been ongoing for six years, Yelk said, noting that he elected to fuse them together this year to cut back on the rigorous planning processes.
“It’s basically my time,” he said. “I just don’t have the free time to do all the multiple events I’ve done before. Between things like Mr. Gay and Dragapalooza, they’re labor-intensive, and I don’t have that much time to have these events that have so many pieces and where I need to round up people and talent and do rehearsals and all that.”
Yelk said he offered to Philly Pride Presents the chance to stage the event the night before Pride, but organizers have another event scheduled that evening.
The 4 p.m. start time will work well with Pride’s format, he added.
“Pride is an all-day thing, and there are some people who spend all day there but the weather determines a lot. If it’s really hot, people don’t want to be out all day, so they may go to the parade and go into the festival for an hour and see what’s going on, or other people go to the parade and then come to Triumphant Pride,” he said, noting that Triumphant Pride has done a soft opening at 2 in the past few years, with the entertainment starting later in the afternoon to accommodate the post-Pride crowd. “This way, it doesn’t impact people who want to go to Pride. They can go to that event and then come here.”
The venue is divided into two separate spaces: Encore comprises the downstairs, where the competition will be held, while Brasil’s is the upstairs dance club.
The competition will be scaled back to one hour from its previous two hours. With the shorter time frame, Yelk expects eight-12 contestants, compared to the 15-20 who have competed in the past.
Contestants will compete in casual wear — changed from evening wear, since it will be a daytime event — and in a Pride-themed swimwear contest, where they will each be questioned by host Brittany Lynn on how their swimwear choice expresses their LGBT pride.
The winner will receive a prize package that will include, among other things, a free ticket to Sandblast weekend in Asbury Park.
For more information, visit www.nightlifegay.com.