Before you bust out those leftovers to embark on that annual quest for the world’s best Thanksgiving sandwich, take a break and make plans to ease into the next phase of the holiday season: the holly, jolly part. Get in some early gift shopping at the Detroit Urban Craft Fair, party with bears or let your charitable side shine on #GivingTuesday.
1. Score Unique Holiday Gifts at the Detroit Urban Craft Fair
Support local craftspeople and get in some holiday shopping at the same time. The Detroit Urban Craft Fair, set for Dec. 2-4 at the Masonic Temple in Detroit, is an annual, three-day shopping event featuring more than 100 crafters and indie artists. You’ll find one-of-a-kind crafts, interact with the creators (including many LGBTQ+ artists) and enjoy a friendly, festive good time. Stick around Friday night after hours for a mixer.
Dec. 2-4, Masonic Temple (500 Temple St., Detroit). Visit detroiturbancraftfair.com for more information, including hours, which vary by day.
2. How Many Bears Can You Bear?
Are you a bear who could use some post-Thanksgiving revelry or just someone who enjoys hanging out with bears enjoying some post-Thanksgiving revelry? Bear Expo 14, to be held Nov. 26, is just the ticket. Billed as Michigan’s biggest annual bear event, the multi-location celebration will feature a performance by adult stars Dean Michaelz, Michael Roman and Timothy Chance at 215W, cover-free music and dancing at SOHO, an after-party at Body Zone and all kinds of bear-forward fun.
Nov. 26, 215W and SOHO (215 W. 9 Mile, Ferndale), 8 p.m.-2 a.m. The Body Zone after-party begins at 3 a.m.
3. Participate in #GivingTuesday
Nov. 29 is #GivingTuesday, a day dedicated to raising funds for good causes. It’s the perfect time to donate, as many organizations offer special incentives like matching donations. Here are a few Michigan organizations to consider:
- Ruth Ellis Center
- SAGE Metro Detroit
- Trangender Michigan
- LGBT Detroit
- Equality Michigan
- Jim Toy Community Center
- Ozone House
Even if you can’t spare the extra cash this year, consider sharing a gift of your time by volunteering with one of these organizations or promote #GivingTuesday to your social networks.
4. Immerse Yourself in a New Kind of Theater Experience
Queer-forward, multi-racial theater group A Host of People will host a unique theater experience Nov. 4-Dec. 3. “Fire in the Theater!” is billed as a chance for audiences to “come to the table” and join in an immersive, multi-sensory experience where the stage is visited by three spirits (past, present and future), who help the actors and audience examine the freeness of speech in America. Audiences will also enjoy appetizers provided by Pink Apricot Cafe and original music by Super Cool Wicked and Salākastar.
In a news release, director Sherrine Azab said, “I wanted to find more voices that were like my chosen community to join the conversation. It is a highly theatrical conversation that blends our voices with the stories of the past, present, and future in an environment that actively challenges us all to question our actions and beliefs, while still being approachable.”
“Fire in the Theater!” runs Friday and Saturday nights Nov. 4-Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. at St. Anthony’s (3553 W. Vernor, Detroit). Learn more at ahostofpeople.org.
5. See This New Film About the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Era
The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” era kept many service people in the closet. It’s that discriminatory practice that is at the center of the new A24 film “The Inspection.” The film was written by Elegance Bratton, who lived through that era as a young, Black, gay U.S. Marine, and stars theater and TV actor Jeremy Pope, who played Archie Coleman in Ryan Murphy’s “Hollywood” on Netflix. “I was kicked out of the house at 16 for being gay, and I spent the next 10 years homeless,” Bratton told Military Times. “I really thought that I was completely worthless, but fortunately, a drill instructor told me that your life is important, and you are important, and you matter.”
“The Inspection” opens Dec. 2 in select theaters.