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Thursday December 14th 2017

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Memorial Day Weekend After Dark: The Complete Guide

By Shelby Smithey

Memorial Day Weekend is officially upon us and that means one of the country’s biggest LGBT celebrations is just kicking off at Pensacola Beach. To help you plan your weekend to perfection, we’re spilling the T (Big Freedia!) on all the parties and activities happening after dark on and off the island.

One major change this year is the absence of Emerald City, which closed its doors last September. However, you won’t have to travel far for the staple nightlife experience of Memorial Day Weekend. Previous Emerald City co-owner Johnny Chisolm will still be hosting his annual Memorial Weekend Pensacola, which is a three-night guy-centric event, held where the daytime fun happens at Park East on Pensacola Beach.

Tickets are $50 for each party or $140 for a weekend pass. Parking passes are also still available for $75.

Many attendees say they plan to stay on the beach for the majority of the weekend this year.

“I think the best part is connecting with friends from all over the country that I only see once a year,” said Blaise Moehl, who has been attending for the past few years. “It offers a space to relax and feel comfortable being among people who are accepting.”

If you’re looking for some action on the other side of the island, there’s plenty of that too. Capt’n Funs Beach Club will be hosting the 8th annual Sexacola Beach, which is a primarily lesbian event, but all are welcome. The festivities kick off Thursday with a foam party, and on Saturday, special guests will include Keala Kennelly, international surf champion from the movie “Blue Crush,” as well as host Whitney Mixter, from The Real L Word.

Pulse Nightclub resident DJs Reesie Cups and DJ KSquared will be spinning music for the night. Weekend passes are $55, or you may pay a cover at the door for individual nights. There will be nightly shows by The Belles of Burlesque, Prince of Pumps and drag kings Jordan Michaels McCord, Romeo Lee, Monroe Fitzgerald and Lucas Prescott.

Flounders Chowder House will also be hosting the lesbian event Pensacola Unleashed 2017, with themed parties scheduled for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Pensacola Unleashed first started in 2003 when musician Kristy Lee played an unadvertised show to a crowd of 800. The event has since grown over the years bringing over 8,000 people in throughout the weekend and hosting guests including The Indigo Girls, Brandy Carlile, and Ruby Rose.

Weekend passes are $30. This year guests include Kristy Lee, Sonia Leigh, Abisha Uhl, Daphne Willis, Spikey Van Dykey, Ivy Le Vixen, DJ Dlux, Mary Contrary, Miss Tigerlily, Miss Petite Coquette, Madison Rose and Johnny Sparks.

Off the beach, The Cabaret will be celebrating the weekend with drag shows Friday and Saturday night. On Sunday night, the bar is hosting a camp drag show benefitting HIV Evolution. The Armorettes’ annual charity show will donate 100 percent of their tips from the night.

Remember it’s a marathon, not a race, so try not to run out of juice before the arrival of the Queen Diva of New Orleans Bounce herself, Big Freedia makes it to town. On Memorial Day, she will headline Full Spectrum, a pride party hosting an all-day event celebrating diversity in Pensacola. The event will be held at Castaways and will feature other musicians and DJs including Hey!Alligator, Ben Bruud and Exit9. Tickets are currently available for $25.

THURSDAY
8 p.m. Kickoff Karaoke at The Cabaret, 101 S. Jefferson St.
8 p.m. Sexacola Beach I’m So Wavy Foam Party with DJ KSquared at Capt’n Funs Beach Club, 400 Quietwater Beach Road. sexacolabeach.com
9 p.m. Pensacola Unleashed Welcome to the Beach Luau with hula hoop, bikini and board short contests at Flounders Chowder House, 800 Quietwater Beach Road. unleashedtheparty.com

FRIDAY
6 p.m. Big Prize Bingo with gogo dancers at The Round Up, 560 E. Heinberg St., theroundup.net
8 p.m. Sexacola Beach Glow Fest Party with The Maria Gabriella Band, Laser Light Show, DJ Citizen Jane, DJ KSquared and DJ Wolf at Capt’n Funs Beach Club, 400 Quietwater Beach Road. sexacolabeach.com
9 p.m. Johnny Chisolm Presents Memorial Weekend Pensacola Glow Paint Party with DJ Joe Gauthreaux at Park East Pensacola Beach, johnnychisholm.com
9 p.m. Pensacola Unleashed Pink Party at Flounders Chowder House, 800 Quietwater Beach Road. unleashedtheparty.com
9 p.m. DJ Ellux, plus a drag show at 11:30 p.m. at The Cabaret, 101 S. Jefferson St.

SATURDAY
8 p.m. Sexacola Beach Blue Crush Party with Keala Kennelly, Whitney Mixter, DJ Reesie Cups and DJ KSquared at Capt’n Funs Beach Club, 400 Quietwater Beach Road. sexacolabeach.com
9 p.m. Johnny Chisolm Presents Memorial Weekend Pensacola Wave Beach Party with DJ Dani Toro at Park East Pensacola Beach, johnnychisholm.com
9 p.m. Pensacola Unleashed Heroes Vs. Villains Party with performances by Kristy Lee and Abisha Uhl at Flounders Chowder House, 800 Quietwater Beach Road. unleashedtheparty.com
9 p.m. DJ Ellux, plus a drag show at 11:30 p.m. at The Cabaret, 101 S. Jefferson St.
9 p.m. Foam Party  at The Round Up, 560 E. Heinberg St., theroundup.net

SUNDAY
6 p.m. Live music from SheSaid, drag shows at 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.  at The Round Up, 560 E. Heinberg St., theroundup.net
8 p.m. Sexacola Beach White Party with DJ Liz Owen and DJ Reesie Cups hosted by Whitney Mixter at Capt’n Funs Beach Club, 400 Quietwater Beach Road. sexacolabeach.com
9 p.m. Johnny Chisolm Presents Memorial Weekend Pensacola Bathhouse Foam Party with DJ Grind at Park East Pensacola Beach, johnnychisholm.com
9 p.m. Pensacola Unleashed Pajama Party at Flounders Chowder House, 800 Quietwater Beach Road. unleashedtheparty.com
11 p.m. The Amorettes Atlanta Camp Drag Show benefitting HIV Evolution at The Cabaret, 101 S. Jefferson St.

MONDAY
11 a.m.–2 a.m. Full Spectrum with Big Freedia and more at Castaways, 400 Quietwater Beach Road. fullspectrum.xyz
9 p.m. Farewell Karaoke at The Cabaret, 101 S. Jefferson St.