Travel Thursday: Maine Labor Day Tradition Mr Gay Ogunquit Turns 40
Sometimes you just need to just go home to get recharged. Luckily part of my home for 13 years while living in Southern Maine was a little beach town called Ogunquit.
The name of the town is a little different, pronounced O–Gun-Quit, or if you ask Edie the Entertainer, host of Zumanity in Las Vegas, it's pronounced O-Go On-Quit. However you want to pronounce it, Ogunquit, Maine is one of the gayest places in New England. If you had to name the top three places to enjoy being gay with other gay people in New England, it would be Provincetown, Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island, and Ogunquit, Maine.
I’ve been lucky enough to celebrate many summers in Ogunquit. The town has been celebrating being LGBT longer that I have been alive. One of the town’s celebrations is just about as old as I am as this year marked the 40th year of the Mr. Gay Ogunquit competition.
Before the competition began on the beach, one of the hosts of the event from the Mainestreet bar in town polled the crowd to see if there were competitors from previous years. Hands went up from multiple participants from the early '00s and the ‘90s. It’s a great simple event where anyone can participate in the fun gathering where contestants parade in front of the judges, run down to the Gulf of Maine/Atlantic Ocean, and then jog back up to the judges while glistening and suffering from shrinkage for their final review to hopefully place in categories like Best Buns, Best Package, Best Legs, Best Chest, Best Personality, and Best Overall.
What keeps this competition fresh and new is that it is a tourist town. Over the years, contestants have been local as well as from all over the country and the world. We love hearing French, German, Spanish, Tagalog, etc. being spoken on this little gay beach in little ol' Maine.
Here are some pictures (thanks David Sullivan Photography) and videos from the event.
Thanks to the DJ, we had some great tunes before, during, and after the competition.
This contestant won for best legs.
As the event closed, even the drag queen hosts took to running the sand runway to the water and back.
Yes, anyone can participate and me as a bear thought about entering and throwing a wrench into the buff and ottery mix. I haven’t seen many bears participate over the many years, but it’s open to anyone, but contestants are also sought out by organizers. There was some hair present this year, but many were of the more fit and trim crowd. Maybe if there was a Best Belly category which could go either way to a bear belly or an ab show, maybe I could have won a category. As to the judging, with finding out that there were previous participants, I would have also varied the judges in their demographics, by inviting previous years’ contestants to be judges.
Being gay in Maine was an enjoyable experience, but it would have been very different if I did not have my summers in Ogunquit. I often try to get back there to see friends and acquaintances.
Ogunquit is great any time of the year. It all depends on what you are looking for. From a leaf peeper’s hub for exploration, to a beach town during the summer months, to a beautiful winter getaway, people in mid-New England, Montreal, and New York know that this local gay vacation spot always offers a good time, especially Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, and New Year’s Eve.
So Zap, So Zap is an Urban Thai Kitchen that serves foods from all over Thailand. It takes the most popular and traditional flavors from every corner of the country and combines them into a multitude of mouthwatering goodness. Located on Route 1 and next door to Mainestreet, it is the perfect location to enjoy a bite to eat and jump back into enjoying town.
Roberto's - Reservations are welcomed here (open table or call), but we tried our luck and were able to eat at the bar with an amazing bartender John.
If you are looking for Italian restaurants in York County Maine there is only one place you need to know about Roberto’s! We have a beautiful menu of your favorite Italian foods cooked authentically to give you the real taste of Italy that you crave! We serve the Italian food in York County Maine that makes even a Wednesday night a special occasion!
Place to Stay
Bourne Bed & Breakfast (B3). Besides its quaint size of 7 guest rooms, the location is perfect. B3's placement equidistant from the center of Ogunquit Village and picturesque Perkins Cove makes it ideal for explorers. Both destinations are just a 5 minute walk from B3 and in both areas of town, you will find convenient simple dining next to some of the best eateries New England has to offer tucked between shopping, art galleries, and other tourist delights. The Bourne Bed & Breakfast is under new management and we wish Jimmy and Brian the best. Travelocity reviewers seem to like them.
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