New Hope has long been recognized as one of the country’s most gay-friendly towns. Though many sizable gay populations are located in urban areas, New Hope is a small borough filled with quaint shops, exceptional restaurants and a variety of gay social establishments. I’m not certain of the percentage of LGBT residents and businesses in New Hope, but I can assure you we are everywhere. From civic leaders and public officials to entrepreneurs, a diverse group of LGBT individuals makes New Hope tick. Each May, New Hope kicks off the summer season with a week full of activities in honor of gay pride. New Hope Celebrates has far too many events to list here, but following are some of the highlights. For a complete schedule, ticket prices and all other details, visit www.newhopecelebrates.com.
— NHC Official Pride Kick-Off Party: 6-10 p.m. May 10, The Raven, 385 W. Bridge St.
— NHC Official Outdoor Movie Night: 8 p.m. May 11, outside at The Raven
— NHC Sponsor’s Pride Kick-Off Night: Two stops, beginning with a reception from 6:30-9 p.m. May 13, at Tuscany on the Towpath, 18-20 W. Mechanic St., and dancing from 9 p.m.-midnight at Havana Restaurant and Bar, 105 S. Main St.
— Male Dance Revue: 9 p.m.-1 a.m. May 13, The Raven. The piano bar will be open in advance and feature the music of Russell Eiffert.
— NHC Official Girls Night Out: 9 p.m. May 14, Triumph Brewing Company, 400 Union Square, featuring a performance by out singer-songwriter Christine Havrilla
— LGBTA Pride Comedy Show: 9 p.m. May 14, The Nevermore Hotel, 6426 Lower York Road, with performances by Scott Sutherland, Dwayne Dunlevy and Adrian Colon. DJ Michael DeCero will spin ’80s and ’90s dance hits following the show.
— NHC Official Pride Parade: noon May 15. The parade route begins on West Ferry Street, heads to South Main Street and ends on Waterloo. This year’s theme is “It’s a Family Affair.” Special parade participants include the Big Apple Corps LGBT Marching Band, the Lambertville Drum and Bugle Corps, singer-songwriter Josh Zuckerman and “America’s Got Talent” finalists The Glamazons and the DC Cowboys.
— NHC “Gagalicious” Dance Party: 10:30 p.m.-2 a.m. May 15, The Nevermore Hotel, featuring performances by the DC Cowboys and DJ Michael DeCero. Lady Gaga-inspired attire is encouraged but not mandatory.
— NHC Official Farewell T-Dance: 4 p.m.-1 a.m. May 16, The Raven. Hosted by Miss Victoria Lace with performances by the DC Cowboys, Josh Zuckerman and DJ Josh.
— Ladies 2000 Pride Party: 3-9 p.m. May 16, The Nevermore Hotel.
Though New Hope is the region’s most recognized gay-friendly destination, many other area attractions draw LGBT residents and visitors in droves. One of the most historically significant and awe-inspiring of these is Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square. Longwood, one of the most famous botanical gardens in the country, is the former estate of Pierre S. du Pont, who purchased the property in 1906. Du Pont added many innovative features, including the immense pipe organ and a series of fountains. Following du Pont’s death, Longwood Gardens opened to the public. Currently, Longwood consists of 20 indoor and 20 outdoor gardens, heated conservatories for year-round use and some 11,000 types of trees and plants. Check out www.longwoodgardens.org
for special events, exhibits and directions.
On your way to or from Longwood Gardens, you must stop by Simon Pearce Restaurant, 1333 Lenape Road, West Chester. Located on the Brandywine River, Simon Pearce is one of the region’s most exceptional dining experiences. The restaurant also features dining and glassware made onsite at the Simon Pearce glass-blowing facility. To make a reservation or view photos of the restaurant and glass-blowing studio, visit www.simonpearce.com.
My final recommendation for this week is Iron Hill Brewery. With restaurants in Media, West Chester, Phoenixville, Lancaster and several other locales, Iron Hill hosts happy hours and other events for the suburban LGBT set. Whether there’s a special event on tap or not, Iron Hill is well worth a visit when you’re in the neighborhood. To check out the details for each location, go to www.ironhillbrewery.com.
That’s it for this week’s edition. If you have comments or information on upcoming events, e-mail Bruce@nightlifegay.com. ’Til next time, get offline and enjoy what our community has to offer!