Leathermania comes to town this weekend, when more than 2,000 S&Mers from around the world convene for the sixth-annual Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend. Its about fellowship, says Dennis McMahon, the fetish fests president.
The bondage-worshiping starts at 3 p.m. today with a sign-in at the makeshift Leather Village at the Wyndham Hotel (1260 Euclid Avenue; 216-781-2729), followed by a 7:30 p.m. mixer featuring auctions, fantasy-photo booths, and a leather mart. At 10 p.m., buses shuttle participants on a barhop to five bashes -- starting with Club Argos Jockstrap Party (2032 West 25th Street; 216-781-9191) and ending with the Rubber & Skinz Euro Party at Hamiltons (1415 Euclid Avenue; 216-241-7721). If you prefer to stay at the hotel, you can catch a screening of the documentary Mr. Leather, which tracks nine contestants at the 2004 Mr. Los Angeles Leather Contest.
Tomorrows events include workshops on rope bondage, flogging, and master-slave relationships at 11 a.m. Bo Ladashevska will also talk about his reign as the current International Mr. Leather. From noon to 4 p.m., the buses roll again with field trips to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1 Key Plaza, 216-515-1930), the Cleveland Museum of Art (11150 East Boulevard; 216-421-7350), and the Western Reserve Historical Society (10825 East Boulevard; 216-721-5722). Then its off to another five-bar crawl -- which includes the Report for Duty Uniform Party at Cocktails (9208 Detroit Avenue; 216-961-3115) and the Leather Stallions Leather Cowboy Party (2205 Saint Clair Avenue; 216-589-8588).
The fest winds down Sunday with a noon brunch at the Wyndham and a 6 p.m. supper at C&Y Chinese Restaurant (2222 Saint Clair Avenue, 216-566-1188). At 10 p.m., 30 singers, dancers, and acrobats perform at the Grid/Orbits Leather & Rouge Revue (1437 Saint Clair Avenue; 216-623-0113). Still, director Tina Mackay says you dont have to be a leather-clad gay guy to dig all this stuff. Your sexual orientation doesnt matter, as long as youre willing to unite with your fellow man, she says. You dont have to wear leather to be leather in your heart.
Fri., April 27, 3 p.m.; Sat., April 28, 11 a.m.; Sun., April 29, noon