The 29th Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend has arrived a little earlier than usual this year. While it may be nice to gear up and kick back for the traditional three-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, the people behind MAL – the Centaur Motorcycle Club – know what comes of running a weekend the conflicts with the presidential inauguration, with events this year generally running Jan. 19 to 21. Some may recall the conflicting flow of incoming Inauguration Day well-wishers and outgoing leatherfolk at the Washington Plaza, the host hotel in 2009, to say nothing of the bidding war for Washington rooms at the time.
Fast forward to 2013, and MAL, Jan. 11 to 14, loses a Monday holiday but retains its orderliness. The theme may be ''Building Brotherhood,'' but it could just as easily be ''Inauguration Accommodation.'' For example, the traditional Sunday night Reaction Dance has morphed into a 5 p.m. tea dance – though there's no telling how late it might go – taking into account that Monday, Jan. 14, will be a regular work day for most.
What remains the same is the spirit of MAL, one of the world's most celebrated annual leather events, reliably run by the Centaur MC on a volunteer basis. It's a labor of leather love.
For more information about Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend and Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather contest, see the listings at the end of this feature, or visit leatherweekend.com. The host hotel for the weekend is the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave. NW.