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Pride in the Name of Fun 

Black homos prepare for a week of parties.

Black, Gay and Proud organizers predict at least 1,500 African American queers will celebrate the fest’s 10th anniversary over the next six days. The revelry starts at 6:30 tonight with a jazz and poetry mixer at A Better Place (815 Superior Avenue; $5). It’s followed by tomorrow’s awards ceremony, taking place at 6:30 p.m. at the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland (3210 Euclid Avenue; free), to honor gay civic, social, and entertainment leaders.

The first of two galas kicks off on Thursday with a dinner and dance on the Nautica Queen (7 p.m. at the Nautica Complex, 1153 Main Avenue in the Flats; $40). The maritime theme continues on Friday, when festive homos don Bermuda shorts for a riverfront tiki party (9 p.m. at the Beachcomber, 1146 Old River Road in the Flats; $10). Saturday’s symposium features a lecture on same-sex domestic-violence cases. Metrohealth Medical Center physicians will also be on hand to share info about cancer, HIV, and AIDS (9:30 a.m. at Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Avenue; free). At 9 p.m., everyone lets their hair down at the White Fantasia ball -- which features a performance by Pamela Williams at A Better Place ($50 and $75). The fun winds down on Sunday with a 10:30 a.m. gospel breakfast at Archwood United Church of Christ (2800 Archwood Avenue; free), followed by a noon picnic at Kirkland Park (East 49th Street and North Marginal Road; free). It all culminates in a goodbye party at 9 p.m. at A Better Place. “By the time everything happens, we’ll say, Wow! That was pretty special,” says organizer Rochelle McKenzie. “Then we’ll wipe the sweat from our brow.” Visit www.bgpcleveland.com for more info.
July 31-Aug. 1, 6:30 p.m.; Thu., Aug. 2, 7 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 3, 9 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 4, 9:30 a.m.; Sun., Aug. 5, 10:30 a.m.

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