Party with the bears at Bearrison Street Fair
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Dubbed A Fair For Every Bear, the inaugural Bearrison Street Fair will commence on October 23 from 12pm-6pm. Bearrison promises to be a fun afternoon not only for bears, but for their friends, admirers and loved ones. The day will feature live entertainment, DJs such as China G and CBass, wrestlers, live music, and a celebration of body positivity.
Bearrison gets its name from Harrison, the street the fair takes place on, and from the bear community who will be attending. The event is being co-produced by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and the Bears of San Francisco.
According to event co-chair Erik Greenfrost, bears generally tend to be bigger, heavier, hairier people. The bear community formed as a response to the strict beauty standards in the LGBTQ community, such as "Castro clones."
"But that definition can be way too limiting," Greenfrost said. "There are plenty of folks within the community of various sizes, shapes, genders, races and body hair. One thing that I love about the bear community is that there's a whole menagerie of animals that people identify with. I personally am a genderqueer raccoon. So terms like 'bear' or 'cub' become more a state of mind than anything else."
Entertainment headliner Big Dipper (real name Dan Stermer) definitely fits the description of a bear. A plus-sized hairy man, Big Dipper flaunts his body in a glorious celebration of body positivity. In songs and music videos like "LaCroix Boi" and "Vibin'," Big Dipper invites his audience to dance, wiggle and show off their bodies with him.
"Body positivity feels like a really trendy and buzz-worthy topic right now, but it is such an important lesson," Big Dipper tells the Bay Area Reporter. "Why is it so easy to beat ourselves up about the way we look? I have to remind myself all the time how lucky I am to be in this strong sturdy body that carries me through life, that has the ability to perform, and that makes me unique. I've had to teach myself to really be grateful and loving to my body, because it is me, it is my existence, and I think we all need to be kinder to ourselves."
Big Dipper says that he didn't set out to be a performer, it just kind of happened, with opportunities to perform presenting themselves.
"I love all aspects of entertainment," he said. "The conceiving of ideas, the collaboration, and the performance, and being a music artist is the perfect way to do a little bit of everything."
His music, he says, is not just for bears but for everyone.
"We don't think this will really play to this specific demographic," he said. "We just work on fun ideas, catchy songs, and visuals that are exciting to the team. I love that bears connect with what I do because it's really validating, but my music, videos and live shows are for everyone. Well, I guess they should be adults who like to hear about sex and have a queer sensibility, but truly, all are welcome."
Big Dipper's shows are full of fun costumes and raunchy lyrics.
"I just want to spread joy and positivity and a little bit of horniness," he said. "I want people to leave my show energized and with a smile on their face. The world is so stressful and fucked up and complicated at every turn. My hope is to relieve those feelings, even for a moment, and bring my audience into the magical world of Big Dipper and all of it's big boy bliss."
Wrestlers and DJs and bears, oh my
Bearrison promises to offer all kinds of fun for attendees. According to Greenfrost, there will be a sound stage outside Eagle Plaza, where people can dance to the beat of the DJs. Big Dipper will perform on the main stage, along with bands like Probe 7. Also look forward to an Oasis Does Bearrison drag hour.
And to top it all off, look for the wrestling stage with a live tournament to fight for the Loan Star Saloon's Championship Wrestling Belt, hosted by A. J. Kirsch, who is best known as Broseph Joe Brody on WWE's Tough Enough. There will also be local vendor booths and beer booths.
"While Bearrison doesn't have the same kink focus as Folsom, we do hope that people of all shapes and sizes will feel sexy and show off their bodies in whatever way feels comfortable," Greenfrost said.
"Since this is the week before Halloween, we may even see some fun costumes. Come as you are or in nothing at all. Everyone is welcome to celebrate who you are or who you want to be as we promote body positivity and community."
Greenfrost wants people to know that non-bears are welcome.
"We hope to really build on the tenant of non-judgement that started the bear community, and welcome everyone to enjoy the entertainment, the drinks, the local businesses, and what will hopefully be a beautiful autumn day," he said.
Entrance to the Bearrison Street Fair will be at 11th Street and Harrison www.bearrison.org
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