Time to wash those leather chaps — the Church Street Fetish Fair is coming to town.
On Sun, Aug 16 Toronto’s gay village will become a kinky playground as thousands of visitors are expected to hit the streets for the city’s largest outdoor fetish festival, now in its sixth year.
The fair, which reportedly draws close to 20,000 visitors into the heart of Toronto’s Church and Wellesley neighbourhood, encourages folks to mingle in the streets and celebrate themselves through fetish and fantasy. Crowds at past fairs have included hard-core leathermen, dominatrix-types, rubber-lovers to, as seen last year, a latex-clad master walking his slave on a leash like a dog.
“The Fetish Fair encourages people to ‘be free’ and show parts of their personalities they might normally keep under wraps,” wrote fair co-producers Bob Watkin and Cam Lewis in a statement. “This fair will provide a fun, secure environment for people to mingle and party, while advancing the visibility of the fetish and fantasy community at large.”
The festival runs from noon till 11pm. Church St will be closed to cars between Gloucester and Alexander, making room for dozens of street vendors, including porn distributors to fetish wear retailers. As in previous years local bars will extend their outdoor patios onto the street as well.
Three outdoor stages will be built throughout the neighbourhood to accommodate the fair’s “nasty” lineup of entertainers and titillating stage demonstrations, such as the “Single Tail Whip” demo by Mistress Victoria Windsor, “Hot Wax” by Eastern Canada Leather Sir Tony, “Erotic Embarrassment” by Ingrid (with dani), “Flogging” by FetKnight and “Hitting People with Sticks” by Black Orchid.
Performers at the fair include singers Billy Newton Davis (of Nylons fame), cabaret queen Carrie Chestnut, Broadway babe Sharron Matthews, a bevy of burlesque babes including Boylesque TO and the Cinnamon Hearts, Hibou, Zelda’s Drag Idol 2009 Heroine Marks, La Diosa, hard rockers Crackpuppy, Julie Michels and Parlay, and queen of the drag scene Sofonda. For fetishistas, there’s the Priape Fetish Fashion Show.
And, as if the neighbourhood needed another flamer, the festival will also host a fire show featuring “burning whips and fire breathers” at 9pm.
The Church Street Fetish Fair is presented by the Church Wellesley Village Business Improvement Area.