JUST IN: Theme for Dayton’s ‘party of parties’ announced

It’s taken almost a year for the dust to settle after the wildly fun night of Masquerage 2018. Tonight, we’re finally able to start planning for 2019’s party.

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“Push Play” has been announced as the official theme for Masquerage 2019, Equitas Health’s annual fundraiser. The annual bash dubbed “Party of Parties” is planned for Saturday, Oct. 19 at a location that has yet to be announced. We will update this story once those details become available.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

“Push Play” was announced as the theme at tonight’s Theme Release Party at The Dayton Club — as always, hosted by the Rubi Girls.

It’s an “all-encompassing” theme, said Cate Berger, Equitas’ development director. Whether that means video games for some people, board games or cos play — it’s all of the above.

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Masquerage represents one of the largest public opportunities to raise awareness and critical funds for HIV/AIDS medical care and treatment, HIV prevention (including PrEP), and a variety of other services like primary care, behavioral health counseling, and dental care — one the highest unmet needs for those living with HIV, according to Equitas Health.

Berger said the Equitas Associate Board — a group of dedicated, local LGBTQ members and allies — has been at the drawing board since October of last year to come up with this year’s theme. Each year, the theme is announced months ahead of time so attendees have plenty of time to think about how they are going to participate with costumes and ideas.

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“It can be fantasy. You can really take it a lot of different ways,” Berger said. “There’s going to be opportunities for people to really try and recreate a character they love on an individual level, but also an opportunity for some really great group costumes.”

A Masquerage 2019 ticket link will become available on Equitas Health social media tonight, and then on masquerage.org on Monday.

There will once again be general admission and also VIP tickets available. Those prices have not yet been announced.

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Since its inception, the event has raised more than $1.5 million.

Although a costume is not required (masks are), elaborate themes like “Lost Worlds,” the theme of Masquerage 2017, have inspired elaborate costumes. The 2018 theme, Rio Nights, took elaborate and colorful costumes to a whole new level.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Started 17 years ago, Masquerage had consistently been held on Saturday nights.

After the 2015 Masquerage, the event dubbed “Party of Parties for a Cause,” switched to an every other year schedule.

“We heard the community, and we were told repeatedly that they didn’t want it to go away,” Berger said. “They didn’t want to skip a year.”

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

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