At the Land Rover Palm Beach International Gay Polo, the field is where the action is. But there’s also some political action on the sidelines.
During the 9th annual polo event, 12 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 7 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, 3667 120th Avenue South, Wellington, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council [PBCHRC] will hold its annual Tailgate Party – 1 to 4 p.m. The polo event itself is organized by the Gay Polo League.
It’s a chance for the PBCHRC to network and make new allies in their mission to defend the rights of the LGBTQ community.
“We turn out the vote so we can elect people who will support us. So, any way we can gather data is wonderful,” said Rand Hoch, PBCHRC president and founder. “We’ve had a close relationship with Gay Polo for years. Back when they were trying to build their organization, they gave us half the proceeds for promoting [their event]. It’s really been a mutually-beneficial relationship.”
But, added Hoch, it’s also a chance to have fun.
Amidst the fanfare of the ponies, there are crisp polo shirts, fancy sunhats, and creative tailgate displays, PBCHRC’s tailgate will feature an open bar, hors d'oeuvres, and shirtless bartenders.
“Our two male bartenders haven’t worn shirts in years. That attracts some of the guys and some women,” said Hoch.
But, other than that, Hoch said the tailgate will be “pretty sedate” because he doesn’t want to compete with the other tailgate displays. Previous tailgates have included a British double decker bus and 50s-themed hair salon. “We don’t want to compete with anyone else who is out there to do this [for the sake of competing in the tailgate contest].”
Tickets start at $30 and parking starts at $10. To purchase tickets, visit gaypolo.com.
Chip McKenney, founder and president of the Gay Polo League, declined to be interviewed for this article.