A Beach Party With A Good Cause

Michelle F. Solomon

The 15th Annual Winter Party Beach Party

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Lummus Park (12th and Ocean Drive)

Click here to see a slide show of the party.

Better Than:

A Tube Of Lube

Dance, dance, dance. Drink, drink, drink. Now sashay. That was about the gist of the entire Winter Party Festival weekend 2008. So many parties, so many club nights, so little time.

If you didn't have your fill, and true party fest divas would never call it quits, the culmination of the whole shebang was the dance part-ay on the beach. Not to mention that the best way to cure a hangover is to begin drinking, so says the old wives tale.

More than just a day at the beach there were hundreds, no make that thousands, of shirtless men, (and only a handful of women), most of whom paid 75 bucks in advance or 95 bucks at the door just to gain entry into the biggest beach bash this side of SoBe. Drinks were extra: 7 bucks for alcoholic drinks, 6 bucks for beer, and 5 bucks for non-alcoholic drinks. So what was the 75 or 95 bucks for?

I ponied up to a couple of guys who were checking out the scene.

"Did you pay to get in here?"


"So what do you get for your admission price?"

"Eye Candy."

Ah. Got it.

Time to head over to the VIP area. Very exclusive, I'm told, and difficult to gain entry. I flashed my media credential to the place that offered a bird's eye view of what was going on below. Getting your foot into one of those cabanas, set up with some fruit, Sun Chips, and snack bars, plus red couches for you to lounge on, costs a little more than door admission, too. How much? $125 or $135 at the door.

Standing on the catwalk was a great place to take in the action from above. The dance floor was wall to wall with male dancers on white blocks and a lone female dancer wearing pasties and white go-go boots with a badminton racket. On another block and towering over the crowd was a fully costumed, big headed Tina Turner, most likely imported from Chelsea Pier's Wigstock.

Dance, dance, dance. Drink, drink, drink. Sashay.

Sure, the Winter Party Beach Party is about taking in the sites and basking in the sun and sand of South Beach, but it's also about getting your groove on. There was no shortage in that department with DJ Joe Gauthreaux.

Gauthreaux was in deejay heaven playing the Winter Party because it's no secret that he was jockeying for this gig since he visited in 1999. The native of New Orleans and New York City resident is no stranger to circuit party weekends. He's played Folsom Street in San Francisco and Cherry's Main Event in Washington, D.C.

If you liked what you heard at the Beach Party, book your ticket for NYC now: Gauthreaux and Tracy Young have been picked to deejay the 22nd Pride Pier Dance on the last Sunday in June.

Random Detail: Shaved chests are still in. There was hardly a hairy male chest in the bunch. Perhaps the bears were hibernating.

By the Way: All admission proceeds went to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

--Michelle F. Solomon

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