The Thanksgiving Weekend stretch is usually a busy time for everyone. For the gay community, count it as extremely busy – at least in terms of the entertainment options to keep you occupied.
One of the better-known options over the years has been the White Party in Miami.
It used to coincide with other auxiliary events running the stretch of the long weekend, but it returns solo on Nov. 24 after a one-year hiatus.
The event is a major fundraiser for the programs and services of South Florida’s Care Resources.
“It’s also our time to grow awareness about what we do,” said Jonathan Welsh, marketing and development manager.
The decades running nonprofit seeks to provide comprehensive health care and support services to a diverse South Florida demographic.
“The White Party is both a homecoming and a renewal to Care Resource’s commitment to uniting our community for a common goal of living AIDS-free and delivering quality health care to those most in need,” Welsh said.
Care Resource was born from the White Party, which was born in Miami in the midst of the worst of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s. (It was called the Health Crisis Network then.)
Welsh said that today there is a whole new generation that was spared much of the “dreadfulness” of losing friends and role models to HIV/AIDS. He said the new generation is “one born with hope and options – options that Care Resource is proud to continue providing.”
“Care Resource is on the forefront of a movement that will finally lead to zero new infections,” Welsh said.
Last year, the organization served 17,460 clients at its centers in outreach, treatment, education and engagement programs. It has several Miami area sites and one in Fort Lauderdale.
The organization now does a variety of health care related work in addition to HIV/AIDS support.
Care Resource is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) serving men, women, youth, and children of all ages, races, and ethnicities for affordable primary care, dental care, pediatrics, and behavioral health services.
Meet the entertainment
The event takes place at the historic Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, formerly known as the Villa Vizcaya – a modern, subtropical take on an 18th century Italian villa. It’s where the original party took place and where it’s been hosted off and on for years since.
The Vizcaya is located on Biscayne Bay in Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood.
Popular South Florida drag queen Athena Dion is serving as fashion hostess for a “White Wear Fashion Award,” with fashion judges Flavio Nisi and Bravo reality TV stars Richie Skye and Ana Quincoces from the Real Housewives of Miami.
Grammy Award winner Kimberly Davis, the lead vocalist for the legendary disco band CHIC, is scheduled to perform. Davis has created soundtracks and jingles and has toured as a background singer. Her first single — “Get Up” from D1 Music — reached No. 12 on the Billboard dance club charts.
Shawn Palacious will be the master of ceremonies. “This year, it is an elegant and fashionable affair in white that celebrates life, diversity, family and community,” Palacious, who is TV host at HotSpots! Media Group, said.
Welsh said there will be violinists, flutists, saxophonists, and great food prepared by a Hells Kitchen chef.
“We want it to be inclusive, elegant, for all people and all parts of Miami, not just LGBTQ,” said Welsh. “A Miami event for all people.”
The White Party runs from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. The Vizcaya is located at 3251 South Miami Avenue.
For more information about Care Resource, go to careresource.org. For more information and ticket options, go to WhiteParty.org. According to Welsh, VIP tickets are sold out.