LIVINGSTON — A long-running gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender pride festival on Staten Island will let participants' four-legged friends get in on the fun for the first time this year.
The 10th annual Staten Island LGBT Community Center's PrideFest, hosted by Snug Harbor Cultural Center on July 12, will hold their first "Doggy Drag Show" which lets pups dress up, strut their stuff and compete for awards like show dogs do except for categories like "Loveliest Lady (or Best B--tch, if you're bawdy)" and "Tramps & Studs."
"It's the chance for us to have a little bit of fun, and have the dogs dress up if they want to," said Emilie Tippins, communication and developments manager for the center.
The group said they're asking participants not to dye their dog's hair or anything crazy to get ready for the show and "your pup's gender expression doesn't matter, just dress them in what makes them happy and comfortable," the event listing said.
The show will be emceed by David Frei, co-host of NBC and USA Network's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, and sponsored by Angel on a Leash, an animal assistant-therapy group that has a partnership with the center, Tippins said.
The annual event, which started in 2005 in Midland Beach, was held in several locations until it settled in Tompkins Park for a few years. However, when the event outgrew the spot, they decided to go over to Snug Harbor for the first time this year.
"Snug Harbor is excited to work with our neighbors for the SILGBT Center's 10th Annual PrideFest." Snug Harbor CEO Lynn B. Kelly said in a statement. "PrideFest is a great opportunity for Snug Harbor to welcome and celebrate our diverse community and patrons."
Because of the larger space, the group was able to add a 5K walk and fun run hosted by Snug Harbor to kick off the event. The PrideFest will also have music from bands like Pussywolf and Spread the Rumor, comedian Kelli Dunham, and a Grand Marshall ceremony.
And aside from their annual celebration of LGBT pride, Tippins said the event will also be a celebration for the group, who will change their name to the Pride Center of Staten Island and turn into an independent non-profit.
"It's a big year for us and this is the way we're going to kick off."
Staten Island PrideFest will be on July 12, at Snug Harbor. Registration 5K will be from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. The free event will start at noon, and entry in the "Doggy Drag Show" will have a suggested donation of $5.