September 22-27, 2015

The International Bear Bash, formerly known as the Orlando Bear Bash, is an annual party for bears, leather enthusiasts, and their admirers. Organizers are happy to announce that the yearly event is just around the corner, being held this year from September 22-27. The hostIntl-Bear-Bash_Randy-Pulley hotel, like in years past, is the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld (10100 International Dr., 407-352-1100). This year’s theme is “Kinky Carnival – Under a Big Top,” and there will be many fun events for the bears and the people who love them to enjoy.

The events kick-off with a dinner for partygoers who have arrived to the resort early, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 22. It will be held at Buffalo Wild Wings, located around the corner from the DoubleTree. There will be an after-hours party at the hotel beginning at 1 a.m. On Wednesday, September 23, there is an optional event at EPCOT beginning at 1 p.m., where the bears will be “drinking around the world.” EPCOT tickets are required and are Intl-Bear-Bash_copy4not included in the Bear Bash event pass prices. Back at the hotel, there will be a “Dive-In Movie” at the main pool at 9 p.m., followed by another after-hours party at 1 a.m.

Most people will arrive on Thursday, September 24, and registration is open from 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Registration will be open from noon to 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday too, and there will be late night registration through to midnight on those days as well.) The vendor fair will begin in earnest as well on Thursday at 3 p.m., and will continue on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day. The vendor fair will host a welcome cocktail reception at 6 p.m., followed by a masquerade party at 7:30 p.m. at the pool deck. Afterwards, a pool party will be held at the main pool at 10:30 p.m., with DJ Roke Cabrera spinning until 1 a.m. An after-hours party will follow.

A “Bearmosa” breakfast buffet starts off each day from Friday, September 25, through Sunday, September 27, beginning at 6 a.m. and ending at 11 a.m. (This is an extra cost and not included in the Bear Bash package.) There will be two pool parties on Friday, one at 1 p.m. and one at 8:30 p.m., with the latter featuring Daniel Borrero in the DJ booth. At 5:30 p.m., Gidget Galore will host the annual Big Bear Game Show, and the winners of this trivia game will get some fantastic prizes! The annual leather and cigar social will be held on the smoking patio from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., followed by another after-hours party.

Saturday, September 26 is the busiest day. The 1 p.m. pool party will be DJed by Barry Huffine. At 5 p.m., the Mr. Bear Bash contests get underway. Who will be crowned this year’s Mr. Bear Bash Cub and Mr. Bear Bash Bear? You have to be there to find out. If you’d like to enter, visit internationalbearbash.com/abouteven/mr-bear-bash-contest/. The vendor fair will host a fun Intl-Bear-Bash_copy3karaoke event from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and shortly afterwards, at 9 p.m., the long-awaited Bear Bash Cabaret will begin. This year’s entertainment act is Bianca Del Rio, who will bring her Rolodex of Hate comedy tour to Orlando just for the bears. VIP seating is almost full, so reserve your spot now by going to internationalbearbash.com. The Bear, Leather and Uniform Ball, one of Bear Bash’s centerpiece events, will begin at 10:30 p.m. Music will be provided by DJ Daniel Borrero. On Sunday, September 27, the party will begin to wind down. There are a number of optional events offered, such as a trip to Universal Studios Orlando for Halloween Horror Nights (tickets must be purchased with Universal).

If you’d like to be a part of the International Bear Bash this year, you can buy your passes right now by going to internationalbearbash.com. The passes include admission to most events and discounted room rates at the DoubleTree, and cost $105 until September 15. Passes purchased after September 15, including at the door during the event, will cost $120.

For more information on the International Bear Bash, visit internationalbearbash.com. “Like” them on Facebook by going to facebook.com/BearBashEvents.

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Mike Halterman
Mike Halterman has been the editor of Hotspots Central since its launch in July 2016. He joined the Hotspots Media Group family as editor of Hotspots' South Florida magazine in June 2013. A former "40 Under 40" honoree in The Advocate magazine, Mike lives in the Tampa Bay area.