A White Party at a waterfront home in Ocean City, Maryland, USA on 2018-07-14.
White Parties are circuit parties at which the standard clothing is all or almost all white. In the United States, White Parties have taken place in Chicago, New York City, Miami, Palm Springs, California, and other cities. Other White Parties have taken place in Montreal, Rome, Gothenburg, Doncaster and Hong Kong. The events are generally independent of each other.
One of the first parties was held August 8, 1974, hosted by Chicago business owner Chuck Renslow to celebrate his birthday and thank his patrons. It was then held for the next 36 years until 2010. The largest party was held in 1979 at Navy Pier with 5,000 participants.
The New York City White Party was first held at the private gay disco "Flamingo" on Broadway and Houston, on Presidents' Day weekend. The white theme derived from the snow often to be found that time of year. It was then adopted by the East Village disco "The Saint" during the month of February of each year usually coinciding with the full moon. Dress requirement was always white. After the closing of "The Saint" in 1988, The White Party became the norm for other cities around the country in the current circuit party system to host such events.
The Miami White Party is an annual fundraiser party for HIV/AIDS research. The all-white clothing theme was chosen by co-founders Frank Wager and Jorge Suarez. The first White Party began as AIDS began decimating the gay population. Wager and Suarez began planning an event they hoped would raise awareness and money to reduce HIV/AIDS in South Florida.
Wagner, Suarez and their friends dropped leaflets outside gay bars in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, got businesses to donate food and liquor and promoted the party. Sixteen hundred guests, asked to wear white, attended on Sunday night, December 1, 1985. Each paid $10. Wager, a Salvadoran-born real-estate agent, hadn't yet been diagnosed with HIV when the first White Party was held, which benefited Health Crisis Network (now known as Care Resource).
Through the years, White Party attendees have included Nell Carter (who sang at the first White Party), Madonna, Calvin Klein, Jennifer Lopez, Yoko Ono, Crystal Waters, Exposé, Lorna Luft and Cyndi Lauper, and in 2013 Estonian singer Kerli performed.
The one-night fundraiser became a week of events held annually on November 27 with events in Miami and Miami Beach. Most of the parties are geared to gay men, but there are several events for lesbians and mixed crowds as well. In 1994 Keith Cromley the Assistant Director of Development at Health Crisis Network and Alain Berrebi, Founding Chair of White Party Week, worked together to create White Party Week in Miami, first as a fundraiser for Health Crisis Network then for Care Resource. Lark Bennett, Director of Development at Care Resource and Keith Cromley we're both instrumental as staff members in making sure that this huge event ran like a well-oiled machine. White Party Week started off in 1995 with six events and grew to 23 events by the year 2000.
In 1995, more events were added, including "White Dreams" and "Muscle Beach". In 1998, the Health Crisis Network merged with Community Research Initiative, and the White Party Week brought in over $2 million. It is now the largest HIV/AIDS fundraiser in the world, with DJs, performers and artists attending from several countries. White Party CDs have been produced since 1996 with White Party remixes appearing on dance charts[which?].
Care Resource, the producers of White Party Week, is a 501(c)(3) non profit medical agency operating with over 200 employees in Miami-Dade, Miami Beach and Broward County providing medical, counseling, testing, psychosocial, food bank services and more to their clients. White Party Week Miami attracts thousands of participants with a week of dance and events, mostly for an LGBT demographic. The main White Party event is customarily held at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, the renaissance mansion in Coconut Grove, with other events held at venues elsewhere in South Florida.
In 2013 DJ Offer Nissim performed. Muscle Beach Party and women's events were also held. White Party Week Miami was the subject of documentaries on Bravo, The Travel Channel, and the BBC, with the documentary film "Fabulous" in 1999, Playboy Channel, and in two episodes of Queer as Folk. It is the setting for the 2001 documentary film When Boys Fly.
Palm Springs, California, has held an annual White Party since 1990. The event was featured in the 2001 film Circuit, a 2004 episode of the television series The L Word, and a 2006 episode of the reality television series The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency. The Palm Springs White Party was described by Frommer's Travel Guide as "one of the biggest and best on the US party circuit ... [with] over 20,000 gay men dressed in white. The Palm Springs White Party Sunday Tea Dance features a Ferris Wheel and a fireworks display." In 2004, The New York Times travel section featured an in-depth look at The White Party in Palm Springs in conjunction with staff members of Noizemag.
Every Easter Sunday in Montreal, a white party (Bal en Blanc) catering to both straight and gay attendees is held. It usually attracts over 16,000 attendees with previous performers including Armin Van Buuren, Above and Beyond, Offer Nissim, Peter Rauhofer, Deep Dish, Tiësto, and David Guetta.
A white party was held for Sunee Plaza in Pattaya, Thailand, on November 15, 2009, as part of their Pride event. The party required all the staff in the gay bars to dress in white and offered discounts to customers who also dressed in white. The event featured street performers and events held in the Plaza.
Every winter, a White Party is held during the Arosa Gay Ski Week in Arosa, Switzerland. The party called "Snow White Ball" hosted by the Jungle Gay Party promoters is the closing party of the festival and takes place on top of the Aroser Weisshorn at 2'653m / 8'704 ft over sea level.
Hong Kong, China has hosted a White Party annually since 2005. White Party Hong Kong is founded and owned by Makhssian Trajan, and in recent years the White Party in Hong Kong has drawn thousands of spectators all dressed in white to celebrate love and friendship, becoming the biggest annual event of its kind in Hong Kong.