The 22nd Annual Red Dress Party returns to Gold Coast Bar in West Hollywood this Sunday, July 15, from 11am-2am, at 8228 Santa Monica Blvd.
At 22 years, it’s mainly word of mouth that draws gay men to the Gold Coast in various forms of red dress. The event will likely attract a large crowd, despite the lack of any publicity push on the bar’s website or social media.
“The parking lot party will be the big thing,” Gold Coast Bar Manager Jake Fisher, tells WEHO TIMES. “We have the entire parking lot that will be closed off. It’s going to be a hell of a party. There will be a DJ, both in the tent and inside the bar, all day long. You will be impressed by the size of it, I promise.”
This will be Fisher’s 13th Red Dress Party at The Gold Coast.
The event will benefit The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence this year. There is no cover to the Red Dress Party, but a donation is highly recommended to the charity of the year.
DJ Chubjim will spin at the tent all day. DJ Hazmat will spin inside the bar from 11am-3pm. DJ Jeff will spin from 3pm-8pm. And DJ Draven will spin from 8pm-2am.
The Red Dress Party debuted on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and La Jolla Avenue in 1997. It was created by Gold Coast bartenders, Mark Ferguson and Yves-Claude. Both men were HIV+ during a time when being HIV+ was like a death sentence. The twosome made a pact with each other that whoever passed away first, the other would go to their funeral wearing a red dress. Mark was known for dressing up in drag and visiting some of the HIV/AIDS wards at hospitals. He was also often seen in full drag and hanging out behind the Gold Coast bar. It was his way of making the most out of life and making people laugh.
Sadly, Mark was the first one to pass. Yves-Claude could not attend his memorial because he was out of town. When Yves-Claude returned, Bob Hasting, the owner of the bar came up with the idea to create an event and invite everyone to wear a red dress in celebration of Mark’s life. Yves-Claude would lose his battle to complications of AIDS a few years later, but he was able to see the impact the Red Dress party had on the West Hollywood community. The entire bar was a sea of red feathers, rhinestones, glitter, wigs, and exaggerated lips.
The tradition continues this coming Sunday, July 15, 2018 with the 22nd Annual Red Dress Party at The Gold Coast Bar. Everyone is encouraged to wear a red dress or some kind of red outfit. The entire bar and the parking lot will be filled with lots of red.