Ashanti will perform at Fur Nightclub this Friday, May 25, as part of a ''mega party'' for DC Black Pride. It's purportedly the R&B singer's first headlining gig at a gay event. And to think that's only one of nearly a dozen official nightlife parties this weekend.
This year's DC Black Pride nightlife, in other words, returns in a big way.
''For the past couple years, DC Black Pride segmented and separated,'' says Kenya Hutton, an executive board member for the organization. ''We're trying to bring everyone back together to have one DC Black Pride instead of three or four as in previous years. DC Black Pride, as an organization has worked really hard in offering a substantial weekend, and in trying to bring everyone in to work and party together.''
The DC Black Pride entity has officially partnered this year with Omega Entertainment for most of the nightlife events. The local men's promoting powerhouse, which has put on its own Chocolate City Pride the last three years, has worked with DC Black Pride to turn many of Washington's best and biggest nightclubs, usually straight, gay for pay. It's also offering a twist on the typical pool party with the Island Inferno party Sunday night, May 27, at Cameron Run's Great Waves Water Park in Alexandria.
Omega Entertainment kicks off the first of three parties on Thursday, May 24, at Northeast's Layla Lounge with a Genesis party. The swanky venue will also play host to Saturday night's The Manhunt – with what Omega bills as ''a surprise celebrity performance'' at 2 a.m. – and Monday night's closing party Apocalypse.
A few blocks west, Northeast's Ibiza Nightclub plays host to a late-afternoon party on its rooftop Saturday, May 26. Later that night, starting at 10 p.m., DC Black Pride throws its own Soul Train Dance Party with local legend DJ Mandrill at the host hotel, the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill. And in the wee hours of that night – or really Sunday morning – Northeast's lesbian-owned Lace Nightclub offers Omega's After Party, appropriately called Insomniac, complete with breakfast buffet.
After the party Sunday afternoon at the Virginia waterpark, Love Nightclub plays host to one of the weekend's biggest events, called Klimax, with a performance by R&B singer Teairra Mari and a $5,000 cash drop.
Sunday afternoon also ushers in the free 4th Annual ULIVE Memorial Day BBQ in Anacostia's River Terrace Park, geared specifically for women.
Omega Entertainment bills its parties as ''the most affordable good time on Earth.'' Though the major evening parties cost $45 each, a limited number of all-access passes are available for just $90.