Paint the town pink for the 20th Annual Pink Party

When you turn 20, you can’t just do the same ol’ thing, which is why this year’s annual Pink Party event is pulling out the big top for their 20th anniversary, 8 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, May 4 at the Shreveport Convention Center.

The theme is Big Top Big 20 and as the name suggests, they’re marking the two-decade milestone with circus midway-style entertainment throughout the evening. We’re talking an aerialist, contortionist, clowns, stilt walkers, jugglers, hoopers, a live deejay – a far contrast from its earlier days when the first event was held in 1994.

Pink Party 2011
Marty Hawkins and Lindsey Gammage at last year’s Pink Party

Though Bucky Crouch wasn’t around back then for the first one, the Pink Party Inc. co-president has seen how much the event has grown even within the last six years, from a social gathering of around 900 people in 2006 to a major event including more than 1,300 people last year. They’re hoping for a turnout of 1,300 to 1,400 at this year’s event. “We’ve always been big on word-of-mouth only, but we’ve really started getting mainstream exposure in the last couple of years and I think that, plus adding additional charities and social media have really helped,” Crouch said.

For many years, the Pink Party was a fundraiser event for The Philadelphia Center, a non-profit that serves Northwest Louisiana residents living with HIV/AIDS. In 2004, they joined forces with Easter Seals Louisiana, became incorporated as a non-profit in 2006 and expanded their beneficiaries to include other charities. In addition to the Philadelphia Center, this year’s event will benefit the Easter Seals Louisiana, People Acting for Change and Equality (PACE), Forum for Equality and the Louisiana Suicide Hotline.

Pink Party 2011
Kevin Kingdon and Davin Duvall at last year’s Pink Party.

The Pink Party celebration goes all weekend, including a Dine with Pink at Bella Fresca today, a Pre-Pink Party at The Korner Lounge, 7 p.m. to midnight, Friday, May 3, the official after party at Central Station, Saturday, May 4 and a Pink Party Brunch at Bistro Byronz, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, May 5.

Of course, don’t forget to pull out all things pink, from those coral-shaded jeans to that salmon-colored shirt and those fuchsia-toned pumps. “We obviously encourage pink, but it can be anything from T-shirts, pants or shorts, to exotic pink costumes. Girls and guys come in with boas. Plus you’ll get party favors,” Crouch said.

“A lot of people think the cause is the only reason why we do this, but it’s also about the big party. It’s a great fun way to raise money for charities.”

Admission is $10 at the door. Visit their website or follow their Facebook page to learn more about Pink Party Inc. Learn more other Shreveport-Bossier attractions in the online 2013 Visitors Guide. For monthly updates on area attractions and events, subscribe to the Getaways e-newsletter at www.shreveport-bossier.org.

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