Lazy Bear Weekend Celebrates It's 21st Anniversary
Lazy Bear Weekend, Sonoma County’s wildest gay weekend, will finally come of age as it celebrates its 21st anniversary with its biggest bash ever Aug. 2 – 7, 2017.
For just shy of a full week, Guerneville will once again play host to one of the most highly anticipated events on the global gay calendar as thousands of men from around the world gather along the Russian River for anything but your typical LGBT weekend.
To be sure, there will be pool parties ranging from mild to wild; dance parties; celebrity DJs including DJ Rotten Robbie, DJ Collin Bass and DJ Bear Mittens; and ample amounts of bared flash to accompany the usual shenanigans that make gay party weekends so festive.
And, as per the usual, the Lazy Bear calendar will continue to be chock full of a range of popular activities including the return of the Saturday afternoon party on the Russian River at Johnson’s Beach, and the eternally popular wine country tours and ice cream socials. However, there will also be more than that at the event.
“This is the most welcoming and accepting festival you could ever attend,” says Sonoma local, annual attendee, and event volunteer, Ramon Meraz. “The camaraderie is what brings bears of all shapes and sizes back year after year. Here muscle bears, leather bears, chubby bears, polar bears, cubs, otters, and their admirers are guaranteed a sea of loving hugs and true affection along with amazing multiday parties. This is a true nirvana for many gay men who might not feel like they belong at other LGBT events, and it is also a bonafide PRIDE party extension with all the fixings of style, music, and entertainment.”
Speaking of acceptance, this year Lazy Bear is offering attendees the opportunity to volunteer at various events in exchange for day passes, which is guaranteed to make this year’s festival not only the biggest but perhaps the most accessible in its history. All of which sounds like a recipe for one very successful event.
Beyond the annual parties and the good vibes the event has provided over the years, David Barker, the new president of the Lazy Bear Fund, does not want people to lose sight of the impact that Lazy Bear has had on the LGBT community over the last two decades thanks to its fundraising efforts.
“In the last 20 years, we've raised almost $2 million for charity,” says Barker. “In the past we have been able to donate generously to The Positive Resource Center, AEF, Food for Thought, and West County Health Centers, among many others. [So] I would just emphasize that while Lazy Bear Weekend is known for amazing pool parties and dance parties, we are partying for a cause — actually, many causes — and raising money for charity. “
Duly noted. Partying with a purpose. Now that does sound all grown up does it not?
To stay up to date with the latest news about Lazy Bear Weekend 2017, purchase your bear tags, or find out more about volunteer opportunities at this year’s event, click here.
While you're in Guerneville, take a look at our guide to the Russian River Resort Area, or find a great hotel, vacation rental or inn for the weekend here.