Las Vegas Sun

August 17, 2019

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Parade celebrating the ‘art and culture of strippers’ planned for Las Vegas


David J. Phillips/AP

Plans are underway for the first Las Vegas Stripper Parade.

The three-day conference is being planned for Aug. 10-12, starting with Saturday night’s parade on Main Street and featuring “performers of all genders, ages and body types” atop decorated floats and art cars, with Mardi Gras-style gift interaction between participants and spectators. It is touted as “a proud celebration of the art and culture of strippers.”

The industry-geared expo and pool party would begin Sunday at a Downtown Las Vegas location to be revealed at the end of the effort’s monthlong Kickstarter campaign, which launches on Tuesday with a $100,000 goal.

“Crowdfunding this project enables us to stay true to the vision and prioritize the real needs of the stripper community,” said event co-producer Polly Superstar in a news release.

Superstar, a feminist, author and personality who founded the Bay Area kink/sex institutions Mission Control and Kinky Salon, is organizing the event with Cory Mervis, a non-active regional contact for Burning Man and founder of the Las Vegas Halloween Parade, which was held from 2010 to 2014.

Their objective for the weekender isn’t just a flashy, fleshy parade. (And because you were wondering, nudity will be prohibited during the Main Street march, per city laws.) The goal is to create an expressive, sex-positive event that respectfully honors and supports the art and trade of strippers.

To further ensure its integrity, Superstar and Mervis established a performer-based advisory board called B.O.S.S. (Board of Smart Strippers) that includes filmmakers, educators, writers and activists. While the parade would be the most visible and celebratory of the three-day happening, Mervis said the expo — featuring speakers, classes and vendors — will be groundbreaking. Planned seminar topics include self-preservation, safety and consent, and financial and promotional strategizing.

“We have spoken to many dancers who have felt isolated and un-mentored,” said Mervis. “We are creating a parade and expo that is about the performers' needs, celebrating them in the industry, and supporting their businesses. It will provide the tools to grow their careers, find long-term success and plan for their financial future.”

A representative from the city said that officials are in discussions with organizers, especially with regards to using Main Street as a parade route instead of the traditional Fourth Street path. The plan already has the blessing of Arts District board director and ReBar/Nevada Taste Site owner Derek Stonebarger, who said in a statement that “we are excited to grow this one-of-a-kind parade and expo in Downtown Las Vegas.”