An epic pool party to celebrate Pride Month.
Last week Susanne Bartsch and Nemacolin hosted a lavish and electric pride party in celebration of Pride Month. The event was called Dive & Drag and was held at The Peak, Nemacolin’s lavish pool, hot tub, and lounge property. This being Susanne’s second year hosting at Nemacolin, she pulled out all the stops to throw one of the best and most iconic pride parties to date. And what better way to celebrate pride than an iconic pool party where guests can drink, dance, and enjoy drag performances all night long.
At this event, you could find a whole array of people attending this party. You had people dressed in bathing suits all the way to guests dressed to the 10s in full drag glam. Nemacolin also offered an exclusive Pride makeover session for attendees to set them up with glitter and accessories that could make a statement.
The venue was decorated in pride colors and lights. And to make things even more fabulous and queer, there were giant peacock pool floaties within the main pool area at The Peak. On top of that, throughout the entire night, DJ Amber Valentine spun iconic queer tracks from Sylvester to Kylie Minogue. Susanne Bartsch also brought her usual entourage, one of them being the original doll herself, Amanda Lepore. Amanda was strutting all around the property and even took photos with the attendees.
After about an hour into the party, Susanne Bartsch takes the stage to kick off the drag show But before anyone could take the stage, Susanne decided to show off her outfit to guests leading with the notable line, “This is the front. And THIS is the back.”
What makes this party special is that the performers being showcased tonight include some of the best talent from New York City as well as Pittsburg. The opening performance comes from Nicky Ottav, New York’s Pop Art Princess, where she performs a master mix of songs which ends with a performance to A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton. Afterwards, Alora Chateaux takes the stage and performs a high energy and electrifying dance number featuring kicks, spins, and cartwheels. To wrap up the first part of the show, RuPaul’s Drag Race alum, Milk takes the stage and performs Kylie Minogue’s Love At First Sight. There is truly no better way to end a drag set than with one of Kylie Minogue’s best songs. And once the first set ends, guests were able to get on the dance floor and dance the night away while drinking some of Nemacolin’s specialty pride cocktails made exclusively for this party.
The drag show continues shortly after with Phoenix Fatale taking the stage and performing a mega mix to one of the most iconic queer icons, Britney Spears. Phoenix performs to I Got That Boom Boom and I’m a Slave 4 U. And obviously Phoenix did the famous dance in the I’m a Slave 4 U, stepping in sync with Britney herself. Next up is drag artist Glow Job who uses every bit of the stage in their performance, including the pool. Glow Job runs to the pool mid performance and dives right in leading to a full wig and outfit reveal. Coming out of the pool dripping wet, Glow Job finishes the performance by taking a piece of fabric and rope and creates a stunning and innovative dress from it. This performance can only be described as the intersection of pure talent and fierceness.
To finish the second set we have the legendary Madelynn Hatter who performed to a Kylie Minogue remix of In My Arms. Madelynn is known for bringing a level of unpredictability to her performances and this was met when she parted the audience and dove straight into the pool. It isn’t everyday that you get to see drag performers jump headfirst into a pool and perform soaking wet while still look absolutely stunning and sickening.
After the second set, Susanne Bartsch takes the stage again with members of the Persad Center located in Pittsburg, PA. The Persad Center’s mission is to improve the well-being of the LGBTQ+ communities as well as the HIV/AIDS communities. To celebrate Pride Month and the spirit of giving back, the first 100 general admission tickets to the Dive and Drag event were donated to the Persad Center, totalling the amount of $5000. This incredible donation in partnership with Nemacolin will help provide resources to so many queer people and will go such a long way.
The night continues with a fun runway show under the pride flag. Attendees strutted down the dance floor runway to more iconic queer pop music while being cheered on by others, including Amanda Lepore herself.
And shortly after everyone was done strutting and showing off, the last set of performances was up. And for us, there is no better way to end a night of drag performances than with New York City’s pride and joy, Neon Calypso, performing Last Dance by Donna Summer. Neon Calypso captured the hearts and attention of all the attendees while doing kicks, flips, cartwheels, and even jumping off the stage into a split. The energy and passion exuding out of Neon Calypso as she was lip synching perfectly captured fun and joy that people were having at Dive and Drag. And once her performance was over, all the performers joined Susanne on stage to end the night and allow attendees to dance the rest of the night away, either on land or in the pool.
The party ended at 12 am and guests took shuttles back to the resort to rest and recover from an epic and memorable pride party. It is safe to say that Susanne is one of the best event hosts and party planners around and Nemacolin was the perfect venue to channel all of her ideas into. We are sure this won’t be the last time Susanne throws a party at Nemacolin so be on the lookout next year for the 3rd annual Nemacolin Pride Party.
Photo credits to Alexey Kim