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The Very Best of NYC Special Events

Out Like That! Festival, Fresh Fruit Festival, Broadway Bares 23-United Strips of America, The HOT! Festival, 13th Annual Midsummer Night Drinks, Diva on the Shore and much more.

Get an extra dose of Bronx Pride with the 13th annual Out Like That! Festival, running now through June 28 at the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance. Highlights include Mosquita Y Mari, a lesbian coming-of-age film about two Chicana girls; the AIDS doc United in Anger; and the doc Living With Pride, about 100-year-old African-American lesbian Ruth Ellis. Burlesque, performance pieces and a dance show are also on the menu.

Catch the hottest international queer talent at the 9th annual Fresh Fruit Festival on tap this year from July 8 through the 21 at the Lower East Side’s Wild Project. This event highlights the best in theater, spoken word, poetry, dance, music, film and much, much more. The goal is to be all-inclusive, showcasing a variety of GLBT art that reflects the strong diversity of our community. The event also gives voice to those whose work doesn’t fall within the bounds of more traditional arts festivals. For more info on this year’s planned shows, head to freshfruitfestival.com.

Two hundred of Broadway’s sexiest dancers—and some very special guests—will descend upon Midtown’s Roseland Ballroom on June 23rd for Broadway Bares 23—United Strips of America. The popular burlesque show—which originated in 1992—is a fun night that also raises money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Get your tickets quickly because this one tends to sell out.

For over two decades now, The HOT! Festival has been pushing the envelope and keeping us entertained with performances that reflect the true spirit of the LGBTQ community. This year’s edition runs July 1 through August 3 at Dixon Place with a series of special performances by the multi-talented Lea DeLaria.

See the awe-inspiring display of over 40,000 choreographed fireworks at Macy’s 37th Annual 4th of July Celebration, which can be viewed by the Hudson River. If you don’t want to brave the crowds, then catch it on NBC from 8-10pm with Mariah Carey and Tim McGraw performing.
Vince and Louise Camuto offer their Hamptons home as the venue for the 13th Annual Midsummer Night Drinks on June 15. At this annual party 400 attendees will enjoy cocktails, music and stunning views. All funds go towards God’s Love We Deliver, which improves the lives of people living with HIV, AIDS and cancer.

Amusement parks aren’t just for kids. On June 15, your pet can get in on the fun at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park’s annual Pet Day. Cats, dogs and other four-legged furry friends can ride free on the famed attraction when accompanied by their owners. You can also enter your pet into The Coney Island Pet Costume Contest happening that same day. Hosted by The World Famous BOB and judged by Mr. Gorgeous, Serpentini and Shelly “The Singing Siren” Watson, the parade will net the winner valuable prizes like gift certificates to PetCo.

The Stonewall Community Foundation Vision Event honors those who have enacted real change in the LGBT community. This year’s award recipients include popular blogger Andy Towle, Michael Goff, editor Emil Wilbekin, Harlan Bratcher, Toby Usnik, the NYC Anti Violence Project, and Sharon Stapel. The festivities go down June 19 at Midtown’s Arena.

Still haven’t settled on your summer vacation plans? Then consider heading on down to nearby Asbury Park, New Jersey July 12 through the 14 for Diva on the Shore, a dyke-filled weekend of athletic competition and healthy, hedonistic fun. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Diva features an exciting dodge ball tournament on the beach, plus sexy parties for sophisticated lesbians of every stripe. Come with a partner, meet the love of your life, or just chill with friends. And remember: what happens at Diva stays at Diva. The full schedule and hotel information can be found at divaontheshore.com.

The Empire State Pride Agenda Foundation presents its family-friendly Hamptons Tea Dance on July 13 at The Ark Project in Water Mill, New York.  DJ Lady Bunny will be the star DJ of this Southampton event, with over 1,000 attendees expected. Proceeds benefit the organization, which is devoted to gaining equality and justice for all New Yorkers.

There’s a little something for everyone at Asbury Park’s Sand Blast Weekend. The culture-filled summer event—running this year from July 19 through July 21—features a jazz brunch, burlesque revue, surfing lessons, art walk, pool parties, dance parties (with DJs Stacy and Susan Levine) and even boat rides! We’re getting exhausted—and excited—just thinking about it.

2013 marks the 40th anniversary of LGBT non-profit Lambda Legal, and they’re pulling out all the stops for this big birthday! Celebrate with them at Lambda Legal in the Hamptons, happening June 22 at the Southampton home of Robert Taft and Philip Moloney. Attendees will enjoy cocktails and hors d’ouevres while they learn about the organization’s recent cases, and take a trip back in time through four decades of civil rights history.

Looking for an event the whole family can enjoy? Why not take a Walk on the Wild Side? Join Callen-Lorde on June 17 as they present a special evening for families at the Central Park Zoo, with food, drink, entertainment and fun-filled activities. All proceeds go towards benefiting the Callen-Lorde clinic, which provides healthcare to everyone regardless of gender presentation or sexual orientation.

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