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    Donna’s Chronicles, “If you thought only New Orleans, Sydney, Rio, and Venice celebrate Mardi Gras, think again…”

    By Donna Sachet–

    If you thought only New Orleans, Sydney, Rio, and Venice celebrate Mardi Gras, think again! Purple, green, and gold beads and balloons and festively dressed celebrants were spotted all over the Castro in recent weeks as the local Mardi Gras club Krewe de Kinque hosted its annual Bal Masque, Fat Tuesday Bar Crawl, and last Saturday’s check presentation at Midnight Sun. At that last party, Founder of Krewe de Kinque and King I Gary Virginia announced $7000 raised for SF Urban Angels, a local organization providing basic supplies to many impacted by poverty and homelessness. That money will purchase lots of water bottles, blankets, clothing, and other basic needs to be distributed by their volunteers. In the great tradition of San Francisco, Krewe de Kinque has raised money for a variety of social causes, provided a host of volunteer opportunities, and created many fun-filled events from a grassroots foundation.

    Last Wednesday, Mayor London Breed hosted a reception at City Hall to mark and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the same-gender weddings started by then Mayor Gavin Newsom. It was raining outside, much as it was 20 years ago, but attendance was great and enthusiasm was high. Several elected officials shared personal memories from that time, quickly transporting us back to those days of lines around the block, flowers arriving from around the country, minor protests, and extraordinary pride, smiles, and tears as hundreds of couples tied the knot. We were happy to share the afternoon with many friends, including Sister Roma, John Lewis & Stuart Gaffney, Suzanne Ford, City Administrator Carmen Chu, Drag Laureate D’Arcy Drollinger, and Maceo Perrson. After the formal program, several couples lined up either to marry or reaffirm their vows under the dome of City Hall.

    The next night, we joined visiting friend James Holloway at a reunion of past members of the Board of Directors of the LGBT Community Center, hosted by Executive Director Rebecca Rolfe. What a great idea to gather all those who have dedicated so much to the success of the community asset together once again. There was no ask for additional donations, just a pleasant mixer and a short program giving us an update on the Center’s progress and its exciting future. We chatted with Frank Woo, Derek Barnes, Mark Leno, Doug Pinter, and so many others. What memories we share! And we continue to believe in the Center and its important mission.

    Candidate for Emperor Bob Glas and candidate for Empress Linda Summers have been out and about for weeks seeking your support, but it all comes down to Voting Day, last Saturday, February 17, and the results have been sealed and held by an accounting firm in preparation for this Saturday’s Imperial Coronation 59: Seasons of Love. Join hundreds of local and visiting LGBTQ+ Community members at the Hyatt Regency SOMA at 5 pm to find out the voting results and so much more.  Reigning Emperor Michael Chua and Reigning Empress Cameron Stiehl-Munro have an exciting night planned, including elaborate productions, entertaining performers, distribution of charitable funds, and all the traditional pageantry we’ve come to love. They have been very popular monarchs and served their community well; let’s be there for them on Saturday as they close out their year.

    Donna Sachet with James Holloway at Twin Peaks during the Krewe de Kinque Fat Tuesday Castro Bar Crawl on Tuesday, February 13.

    One of the highlights of any Imperial Coronation is the celebration of Emperors’ and Empresses’ anniversaries, looking back at reigns and personalities that enriched the nearly 60 years of this incredible organization. As one can imagine, many of the early monarchs have passed away, leaving only memories of their time leading the Imperial Court. Others have left the organization, choosing to separate from the many unique opportunities given them by the Imperial Court. And others are prevented by circumstances or geographical challenges from attending. An exciting group of Emperors and Empresses from years gone by, however, will be attending on Saturday and several have memorable presentations planned. We expect Empress XXIX Anita Martini, Empress XXXIV Sheba, Empress XXXIX China Silk, Empress XLIV Angelina Josephina Manicotti, Emperor XLII J.P. Soto & Empress XLIX Misty Blue, and Emperor LVII Terrill Grimes Munro & Empress LIV Baby-Shaques Munro all to attend, promising a thrilling evening. Don’t miss it!

    Donna Sachet is a celebrated performer, fundraiser, activist, and philanthropist who has dedicated over two decades to the LGBTQ Community in San Francisco. Contact her at

    Calendar a/la Sachet

    Thursday, February 22
    Anniversary Monarchs Reception
    Celebrate milestone anniversaries
    Hosted by John Carrillo & Misty Blue
    HaRa Club, 875 Geary Street
    6:30–8:30 pm
    Friday, February 23

    Divas & Drinks celebrates Black History Month
    Honoring Black LGBTQ+ Women Leaders & Allies
    Imani Rupert-Gordon, Jewelle Gomez, Theodora Lee,
    Renée Lubin, Dr. Dee Spencer, and many more!
    SF Bay Times presents monthly party
    Donna Sachet hosts
    Performance of a show highlighting Black women composers
    DJ Christie James of iHeartRadio courtesy of Olivia Travel
    Bacardí cocktails
    The Academy, 2166 Market Street

    Friday, February 23
    Out-of-Town Show
    The best of Court performers
    Hyatt Regency SOMA, 50 Third Street
    6 pm

    Saturday, February 24
    Imperial Coronation 59: Seasons of Love
    Crowning of new Emperor & Empress
    Hyatt Regency SOMA, 50 Third Street
    5 pm

    Sunday, February 25
    Annual Pilgrimage to Colma
    Visit the gravesites of Joshua Norton & José Sarria
    Emceed by Donna Sachet
    Bus departs Hyatt Regency SOMA, 50 Third Street
    8 am

    Sunday, February 25
    Victory Brunch
    End of one reign, start of another
    Hyatt Regency SOMA, 50 Third Street
    11 am

    Thursday, February 29
    Memory Keepers Initiative
    SF Gay Men’s Chorus panel discussion
    Chan National Queer Arts Center, 170 Valencia Street
    7 pm
    Pay as you wish

    Donna’s Chronicles
    Published on February 22, 2024