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    Gay Games Fever

    Karen Williams

    Karen Williams

    By Karen Williams

    Here on the North Coast, we’ve got Gay Games fever!

    That’s right! We’re here! We’re queer! And we’re sporty!

    Everything’s coming up spectacular at the Cleveland-Akron Gay Games 2014! Officially dubbed GG9, the festivities begin with the fabulous Opening Ceremony kick-off to a week of sports, entertainment, culture and excitement for thousands of participants, enthusiasts, volunteers and spectators from around the world!

    From the Rainbow Run—dedicated to legendary artist Keith Haring, lesbian activist Rikki Streicher, and Dr. Tom Waddell (co-founder of the Gay Games)—at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Plaza to the entertainment line-up that includes Lance Bass, the Indigo Girls, Anne E. DeChant, and the Pointer Sisters, as well as a 10-hour dance party, concert bands and a chorus that can’t be believed, GG9 promises to make sure that Cleveland is the place to be for everyone!

    I’ve got friends coming to town from all over the country for dance competitions, rock climbing, badminton, bowling, rowing, swimming, volleyball, wrestling, and more. For your Official Guide to the 2014 Gay Games, go to

    The Opening Ceremony takes place on Saturday, August 9, at the Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland—the same place where the King, LeBron James, will be playing again. I’m sure LeBron decided to come back home when he heard that the Gay Games were gonna be in town. That’s my rationale and I’m stickin’ to it!

    The festivities continue throughout the week, with special features like a dance party for women called “Hot Time in Cleveland” on Friday night, August 15, the Closing Ceremony in Cleveland on Saturday, August 16, and my solo comedy show “Laugh Out Loud! with Karen Williams” in Akron—the co-host city thirty minutes south of downtown Cleveland and the site of many of the sporting competitions.

    There’s gonna be a White Party, a Black Party, a Gold Party, a Rock the Block Street Fest, Flair Fest, and outdoor festivities galore. To accommodate lesbians and other folks who are excellent with highlighters, there’s a special website for circling events and creating Excel spreadsheets to keep track of every place you want to attend. Simply log on to and color away.

    You’ll have a blast getting to know Cleveland culture and, of course, watching the sports competitions too. I know I’m planning to be very popular that week with my VIP wristbands. Don’t waste time being jealous. Just come on over to Cleveland and Akron and join in the fun!

    “Bay Times” columnist Karen Williams will be competing in the unofficial eating contest that will take place at every Gay Games event. She is also a lover of words. To learn more, please visit