By John Quinn
CHICAGO – Old marble and gilt brass will serve as a backdrop for black leather and chromed steel as the venerable Palmer House Hilton plays host to the 28th International Mr. Leather contest Memorial Day weekend.
Over 50 contestants from North America, Europe and Australia will take the stage at the historic Chicago Theater Sunday night, May 28. Comedian Bruce Vilanch will entertain during the vote tabulation. After the contest, DJ Bill Bennett will be at the turntables for the IML Victory Celebration Party at the House of Blues.
Southeast Michigan will be represented by two contestants: Gary Beras, Mr. Detroit Eagle; and Al Stumpmier, Mr. Leather Michigan, sponsored by the R & R Saloon. Diamond Jim’s Saloon, which sponsors the title “Mr. Leather Cowboy,” named a winner last month who will compete at IML in 2007.
In addition to the IML contest, the weekend will also see the 14th annual Bootblack competition, as well as the return of the Leather Market, a collection of over 200 vendors of leather and fetish gear.