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Peaches to Headline Castro Fair

by Matthew S. Bajko
Sunday Aug 25, 2013
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Canadian gender-bending musician Peaches and her Peachettes will headline the main stage at this year’s Castro Street Fair.

The outdoor festival is celebrating its 40th year Sunday, October 6. The late gay Supervisor Harvey Milk, who won election in 1977 as the city’s first out elected politician, launched the fair in 1974 as a way to promote the businesses in the emerging gay neighborhood where he owned a camera store.

According to the event’s organizers, Peaches’ performance will include a never-before-seen tribute to disco legend Sylvester, who performed at the second annual Castro Street Fair in 1975. The Castro resident died of AIDS complications in 1988 at the age of 41.

"I am so proud to be part of Castro Street Fair, especially because it was started by the fearless Harvey Milk," stated Peaches in a news release the fair organizers issued Tuesday, August 20. "This year, being the 40th anniversary, I will help honor another fearless incredible San Fran LGBT legend, Sylvester. I can’t wait to be a part of this! Yes!!!!"

Born Merrill Beth Nisker, the 46-year-old Peaches lives in Berlin, according to her Wikipedia entry. The Peachettes are a group of local performers produced by Midnight Mass choreographer Rory Davis, according to the press release.

"The Castro Street Fair is beyond thrilled to have Peaches as part of our Ruby Anniversary celebration," stated George Ridgely, the fair’s executive director. "She will undoubtedly deliver a show-stopping performance."

Peaches released her first full-length album "The Teaches of Peaches" in 2000, and her electronic pop music has been featured in several movies, including "Mean Girls" and "Lost in Translation." Last year saw the premiere of the performer’s own rock opera film, "Peaches Does Herself."

Fair organizers are choosing this year’s entertainment line-up with an eye toward paying homage to the four decades of music and entertainment "that has been the fabric of the Castro Street Fair since its inception."

"We want to honor every decade and program the stages so you get a feel of each decade of the event," Ridgely told Castro merchants during their monthly meeting in early August. "Ninety-nine percent of the performers are really local."

A full line-up of performers and set times will be published on the Castro Street Fair website in the weeks prior to the event.

Proceeds from the fair, including gate donations, will be shared with 22 local community groups and organizations. The suggested gate donation is $4.

This year’s fair will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the gay Castro district.

Copyright Bay Area Reporter. For more articles from San Francisco's largest GLBT newspaper, visit www.ebar.com

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