Planning Your Trip to the 2014 Gay Games #GoAllOut Aug. 9 - 16, 2014
Did you hear? Cleveland and Akron are the hosts of the 2014 Gay Games presented by the Cleveland Foundation Aug. 9 - 16.
And, while the Games are pretty well known throughout the LGBT sporting world, many visitors have never heard of it. Here are some truths about the 2014 Gay Games (GG9):
1. Not all participants are gay. (It's open to everyone.)
2. Not all participants are Olympic athletes. (Athletic ability not a prerequisite.)
3. There are non-sport participatory activities like band and choral.
4. Daily transportation is available between hosts Cleveland and Akron.
5. Word on the street is that Lance Bass will be in town.
6. No joke, Boy George is going to be there.
7. There are a ton of great parties and events happening throughout the area.
8. Even spectators can have a blast during GG9.
9. Buy tickets, find accommodations and get travel info at www.gg9cle.com
10. Did we mention Lance Bass will be there? How about the Pointer Sisters? And, the Indigo Girls? And, Boy George? Yep, they're all going to be there. Are you?
So, you've registered, booked airfare and started training. Now what? We connected with the folks at GG9 to get the scoop on some expected highlights.
- Opening Ceremonies, Quicken Loans Arena - Aug. 9 at 7pm
If the intrigue of being apart of a beautifully choreographed event and parade representing 36 countries from around the world doesn't strike your fancy, perhaps we should mention that the Pointer Sisters also will be performing. Snag a spectator ticket to this huge welcome event to see other performers like Lance Bass and Andrea McArdle.
- Rowing Competition, Cleveland Metroparks Rivergate Park - Aug. 10 at 8am
Thanks to the Cleveland Rowing Foundation, GG9's rowing competition promises to be one for the books. The unique course will take competitors along the notoriously curvy Cuyahoga River and under six bridges.
- IGRA Rodeo, Summit County Fairgrounds - Aug. 10-11 (times vary)
Although this competition is not run through the Gay Games directly, the International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA) is holding an international rodeo competition in Akron during the same time. Besides the competitions, there are several FUN events attached to the event, as well. Learn more here: gaygamesrodeo.org
- Sailing Competition, Edgewater Yacht Club - Aug. 10-14 (times vary)
Lake Erie is widely recognized as a wonderful location for sailing. Add in an element of competition - up to 20 boats competing - and you've got an incredible spectacle of gorgeous boats gliding across the Lake Erie horizon.
- Festival Village, Mall C in Public Square - Aug. 10-15 (times vary)
A free six-day party? Um...yes, please. Festival Village, located outside on Mall C near Public Square, will be the go-to fun spot for participants and spectators alike. There's a huge mix of DJs, roaming performers, medal ceremonies and the like happening throughout the week. Add great food, cocktails, wine and beer, and you've got one heck of a party.
- White Party, Jacobs Pavilion - Aug. 11at 7pm
Two words: Boy George. This signature event, held at Jacobs Pavilion on the west bank of the flats in Cleveland, is sure to be a showstopper. While you may not hear old-school songs like "Karma Chameleon," you will hear hits from his new album "This Is What I Do." On top of that, several DJs will be spinning the night away. Dress is casual - but white clothes are encouraged!
- Concert Band Performance, State Theatre - Aug. 12 at 7:30pm
Nearly 200 musicians from around the globe will perform as one concert band inside the opulent State Theatre at PlayhouseSquare. Led by famed artistic director Jadine Louie, the band also will have the opportunity to perform together during Opening Ceremonies.
- DanceSport, Renaissance Hotel Cleveland - Aug. 12-15 (times vary)
Thanks to shows like "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Dancing With The Stars," the GG9 dancesport competitions are becoming wildly popular. What makes these competitions even better, is that there's the opportunity for same-sex couples to perform together - a win for all.
- Gay Games 9 Festival Chorus, State Theatre - Aug. 13 at 7:30 pm
What happens when more than 100 singers from all around the world - many of who have never met one another - get together to perform as one chorus? Well, you'll just have to check it out to see/hear for yourself inside the beautiful State Theatre at PlayhouseSquare. For those who just want to perform in the chorus at Opening Ceremonies, click here.
- Flair Fest, Main Street in Downtown Akron - Aug. 14 at 12 pm
Main Street Akron comes alive for its free Flair Fest on Aug. 14. Festival events begin at noon and include an art show, music, DJs, dancing and great food. The topper? A concert by the Indigo Girls at 5:30 pm.
- Pink Flamingo, Cleveland State University - Aug. 15 at 7 pm
No feathers. No sequins. No nudity. Those are the rules. So, what is Pink Flamingo anyway? It's part synchronized swimming part costumed extravaganza (often in drag). It's a massively popular event, so get your spectator tickets now.
- Marathon and Half Marathon, Akron - Aug. 16 at 6 am
With more than 600 participants expected, the GG9 Marathon and Half Marathon will run the official Akron Marathon route, which is a USA Track and Field-certified course. The course takes runners through the sprawling streets of Akron, though green valleys and hills near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and ends at Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron for the Finisher Festival featuring food vendors, music and more.
NEED SOME MORE REASONS TO VISIT?
You need more reasons to visit Gay Games 9? Ok, how about 90 of ‘em: http://www.gg9cle.com/media/news/90-reasons-to-register.
With more than 15,000 people expected to be in town, you should head on over to the GG9 website to get started planning your Gay Games visit today!