The first Sunday of October in San Francisco was marked once again by the Castro Street Fair, an annual LGBTQ event founded by former San Francisco Supervisor, Harvey Milk in 1974. This year’s theme – QUEEN- was dedicated to celebrate the life of the beloved drag queen Cookie Dough who died earlier this year. The fair included the usual assortment of live music, DJs, drag, Sundance country line dancing and dance alley. For the first time in 2015, Kink Karnival Alley was a part of the fun adult-oriented event, presented alongside the bawdiest fetish porn website: Kink.com for the grown-up crowd.
Cookie Dough, a.k.a. Eddie Bell was a regular at Castro Street Fair. She emerged as a drag persona fifteen years ago, and was famous for her goofy off kilter humor. Since 2005, Cookie hosted her weekly show at The Edge in the Castro, The Monster Show. It is the Castro’s longest running drag show. She died at 52 from complications of brain edema (swelling in the brain) after her last show, The Golden Girls.
Clear sunny skies, barbecued foods, vendors, and of course beers, make up the fun at the 42nd annual free daytime community street party. The intersection of Market and Castro streets were enclosed with LGBTQ awareness organization booths, food stalls, pop-up stores, and art exhibitions. Each vendor tried to grab the attention of the crowds with unique activities such as a dildo toss and a pie throwing games. There were stalls that provided free HIV tests as well.
At the Castro Street Fair clothing ranges from over-the-top outfits to no clothes at all. What attracted most of the attention were the gorgeous drag queens who wig out in flamboyant colorful costumes. Throughout the fairgrounds, we are bound to see a lot of rainbows without the rain; they brighten up the celebration and symbolize the diversity of LGBTQ community. As colorful as this neighborhood party is, Castro Street Fair this year was very tame and “vanilla” compared to its younger sister on Folsom Street the week before. (MT)