By Trudy Ring
The ferries are running to Provincetown, heralding the arrival of tourist season in the oceanside LGBT mecca at the tip of Massachusetts’s Cape Cod. But while P-town attracts its biggest crowds in the summer, there’s plenty of fun to be had there far into the fall. While keeping in mind that P-town’s clubs, beaches, and other attractions offer a good time any old time, we’ve selected some of the top events. For even more, visit the Provincetown Business Guild’s website, PTown.org.
June 18-22: Provincetown International Film Festival
There’s something for everyone at this cinema event, including appearances by such notables as Barney Frank, John Waters, B. Ruby Rich, David Cronenberg, and two of our favorite actresses, both receiving honors: Patricia Clarkson and Debra Winger. Opening night, June 18, will feature the East Coast premiere of Last Weekend, Tom Dolby and Tom Williams’s dark dysfunctional-family comedy starring Clarkson, who’ll receive the fest’s Excellence in Acting Award. The next night there’ll be a screening of Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank, the new documentary about the now-retired gay congressman. Winger will receive the Faith Hubley Career Achievement Award and appear in conversation with esteemed critic Rich at the Conversations With the Honorees ceremony June 21. Another conversation at the ceremony will feature Waters, the fest’s resident artist, and Cronenberg, recipient of the Filmmaker on the Edge Award; also, on June 19 there’ll be a Cronenberg double feature of The Fly and Videodrome. Other highlights of the schedule include Love Is Strange, the new drama from director Ira Sachs, with Alfred Molina and John Lithgow as a married couple forced to live apart; the North American premiere of A Master Builder, based on Ibsen, adapted by and starring Wallace Shawn, and directed by Jonathan Demme; and a drive-in screening of the newly restored Beatles flick A Hard Day’s Night. Find out more and order your passes at PTownFilmFest.org
June 28-July 5: Independence 2014
Celebrate independence, of all sorts, with a round of pool parties and circuit events, presented by the Crown and Anchor, featuring top DJs and (undoubtedly) hot men. Get ready to dance the days and nights away by clicking here.
July 12-20: Bear Week Provincetown
Ruggedly handsome guys take over P-town for a week of revelry that includes a tea dance billed as the town’s biggest outdoor party, the Disco Dock dance, the P-town edition of New York’s famous Furball, the Bear Boat Sunset Cruise, the nearly naked Under-Bear Party, the Firemen’s and Uniform Balls, and much, much more. Plan your schedule at PTownBears.org. Woof!
July 21-22: An Evening With Helen Reddy
She is woman, hear her roar! After two sold-out shows last year, Helen Reddy returns to P-town for two nights at the Crown and Anchor’s Paramount room. She’s helping to kick off Girl Splash (see below). Both concerts at 8 p.m.; tickets here.
July 22-26: Girl Splash
One of the hottest summer bashes for women, with pool and beach parties, dances, bike tours of the Cape Cod dunes, a clambake, whale watching, and comedy by Vickie Shaw and Kate Clinton. Get all the details here.
July 26: GLAD Summer Party
The annual benefit and celebration (this year’s is the 32nd) for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, the legal group that’s done so much work to win our rights, will be held outdoors from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum, 1 High Pole Hill Rd. It’ll feature cocktails, food, and an auction conducted by comedian Kate Clinton, all against a beautiful harbor backdrop. Visit GLAD.org to preview the event and order tickets.
August 16-22: Carnival 2014: Comic Book Capers
Provincetown’s Carnival is an LGBT-and-friends celebration like no other, and this year’s edition, the 36th, has a comic book theme. Events include Aquaman’s Atlantian Pool Party, the Men in Tights Dance Party, Dick Tracy’s Leather Dance Party, the Krypton Closing Party, Archie and Veronica’s Boat Cruise, comedy by Caroline Rhea, the fabulous Costume Ball, and the beyond-fabulous Carnival Parade. Prepare for a powerfully fun time by visiting here.
September 6: Provincetown Harbor Swim for Life and Paddler Flotilla
Swimmers and kayakers brave the waters to raise funds for charity, including AIDS-related and women’s health groups. You can jump in as a participant or greet them on the shore. Learn all about it at Swim4Life.org.
September 20-21: Ninth Annual Kate Clinton Classic Women’s Flag Football Tournament
The International Women’s Flag Football Association invites teams and “loose women” (individual players) to join in the athletic fun at this event. And you can rest your tired muscles at comedy performances by the tourney’s namesake and at the closing awards dinner. There’s still plenty of time to register to play or make plans to go as a spectator; find the details here.
September 25-28: Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
The great gay playwright is much associated with the South, particularly New Orleans, but he spent a good deal of time in P-town as well, working on The Glass Menagerie and other plays. The annual festival celebrates his connection to Provincetown by presenting his classic and undiscovered plays, the work of his peers, and new work inspired by his vision. This year’s schedule will be announced May 31; check for it here.
October 2-5: Mates Leather Weekend
Aficionados of leather and rubber party hearty at this yearly event, which features dances, dinners, contests, and a leather market, and culminates in the Rubber Ball and Closing Party. Prepare to get into gear by visiting MatesLeatherWeekend.com.
October 13-19: Women’s Week
This annual celebration, designed to create “a Provincetown state of mind,” features theater, music, walking tours, workshops, and more. Char Priolo, community activist and founder of the pioneering gender-bending band the Fabulous Dyketones, will be honored as Woman of the Year at a dinner October 14; details of other events will be announced at WomensWeekProvincetown.com.
October 19-26: Fantasia Fair
The world’s longest-running annual transgender gathering offers attendees a “full immersion” experience, meaning they can spend the entire week presenting their gender as they wish. It’s part conference, part social gathering, with addresses by Julia Serano, Marci Bowers, Jamison Green and others; dozens of workshops; a fashion show; the Fantasia Fair Follies, a cabaret performance; the Transgender Pioneer Awards presentation; and a gala awards dinner. Get all the info at FantasiaFair.org.
November 21-23: Mr. New England Leather
Contestants will compete for the right to represent New England at the International Mr. Leather Contest in Chicago. Contest rules are at MrNewEnglandLeather.org, where a detailed schedule of events will be posted soon.