Time to watch the fur fly

TBRU turns 21 with a Mardi Gras party, and gay Dallas is getting in on the act


OTTERS AND GRIZZLIES AND CHASERS, OH MY! | TBRU weekend includes Aussie hottie DJ Matt Effect spinning at Fur Ball.

There’s something magical about turning 21. You can drink legally, just eight years after you first started. You’re considered an adult for all purposes except car rental and paying back your student loans. You feel mature, but are still young enough to turn heads.

It must be the same for the Texas Bear Round Up, the annual post-hibernation gathering of fleshy and hirsute gay men (and their followers), which the Dallas Bears has been putting on now for two decades. For the 21st annual event — which takes place this weekend at two host hotels, as well as various venues throughout the gayborhood — organizers have chosen a Mardi Gras theme. And why not? Mardi Gras is the epitome of reckless abandon, a carnival atmosphere where the pleasures of the flesh in this world outrank better judgment. Which is exactly what turning 21 feels like.

There are a variety of formal events scheduled for the weekend. In addition to games at Love Field Hotel and Suites and pool parties and the vendors market at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, plus Saturday night’s Mr. TBRU contest, there will be excursions across Dallas: Friday night’s BearDance at Station 4 features a guest appearance from Willam Belli of RuPaul’s Drag Race; the Dallas Eagle, Round-Up Saloon and Cedar Springs Tap House will each host events; and Club Dallas and Midtowne Spa will serve as day trips for attendees.

There are non-official events as well, with New York promoter Joe Fiore bringing his FurBall to Marty’s Live on Saturday, with Sydney’s DJ Matt Effect headlining and Dallas’ DJ Prince P opening. And the Hidden Door is once again home of the traditional “church” outing for Sunday.

Below is a schedule of major planned events. You can also find more at TBRU.org.

 — Arnold Wayne Jones



Willam Belli performs at BearDance on Saturday, March 12.

Friday, March 11

• At the host hotels
Noon — Pool Party (indoor pool!) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Noon — Cards Against Humanity; Bear-aoke at Love Field Hotel.
2:30 p.m. — Bear Family Feud at Love Field Hotel.
4:30 p.m. — Bear Bingo with Sister Helen Holy at Love Field Hotel.

• Excursions (all buses leave from Crowne Plaza)
11 a.m. — Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
11 a.m. — Bishop Arts Food Tour.
2 p.m. — Spa trip to Club Dallas.
5:30 p.m. — Cigar trip to Blue Smoke.
8 p.m. — BearDance at Station 4 with DJ Roke Cabrera and DJ Chris Spear, plus a performance from Drag Racer Willam Belli in the Rose Room, with Rick and Joe from Where the Bears Are taking photos and doing a meet-and-greet.

Saturday, March 12

• At the host hotels

Noon — Pool party at Crowne Plaza.
Noon — Bear Trivia at Love Field Hotel.
2:30 p.m. — Naughty Bear Bingo at Love Field Hotel.
8:30 p.m. — Mr. TBRU Contest at the Crowne Plaza.
11 p.m. — Underwear auction at the Crowne Plaza.

• Excursions
11 a.m. — Noble Rey Brewery tour.
11:30 a.m. — Spa trip to Midtowne Spa.
5:30 p.m. — Family Dinner at The Ranch.

• Also featured
9 p.m. — FurBall at Marty’s Live with DJ Matt Effect.
Sunday, March 13

• Excursions
11:40 a.m. — Shuttles begin to leave for TBRU Texas Barbecue at the Round-Up Saloon.
3 p.m. — “Church” at the Hidden Door.
4 p.m. Spa trip to Club Dallas.
5 p.m. — Official TBRU After-Party: Trash Disco at Dallas Eagle with DJ Blaine Soileau.
6 p.m. — Cigar Party at Cedar Springs Tap House.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 11, 2016.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Best Bets • 03.04.16

Friday 03.04—Sunday 03.06ThinkstockPhotos-471247487

Spring in the air, so home & garden shows bloom

The weather has been gorgeous, which means two things: 1. Time to start working on your Speedo body; and 2. time to do a little spring cleaning, from planting new flowers to refreshing that tired furniture. Two events this weekend — one in Cowtown, one in Big D — provide ample opportunity for you to discover lovely new works of art to enliven your decor, as well as gardening tips, antique to invest in and more. Take your pick!

Fort Worth Show of Antiques and Art, Will Rogers Memorial Center, 3400 Burnett-Tandy, Fort Worth
Friday–Saturday. $8.

37th Annual Texas Home and Garden Show, Dallas Market Hall, 2200 N. Stemmons Freeway.
Friday–Sunday. $10.

Thursday 03.10 — Sunday 03.13


Texas Bear Round Up returns for 21st annual celebration of men

If you’re out and about starting Thursday and notice a lot more beefy, furry, friendly guys than normal around the gayborhood, don’t worry that hibernation has ended … or that The Revenant is filming a sequel. Nope, it’s just the 21th annual Texas Bear Round Up. The Dallas Bears’ TBRU gathers thousands of bears, otters, wolves, polar bears and their admirers (aka “chasers”) for four days of fun, fur and frolic. Among the attractions are parties at the two host hotels, the BearDance and Mr. TBRU Contest, but there’s a little something for everyone. So be nice and say hello — they won’t bite … hard.

For a complete schedule of events, visit TBRU.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 4, 2016.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

After 6 years, Dallas Bears pass the honey to new leadership


Wayne Davis has been a member of the Dallas Bears for so long, he easily remembers when they could hold the annual membership meeting in a small room. And then they moved on to a restaurant. And another restaurant. And now, in a room inside the Crowne Plaza Market Center hotel, the same host hotel for the annual Texas Bear Round Up each spring. That’s an indication of growth.

And a lot of that growth took place under Davis, who first became president of the club in 2009 and was repeatedly re-elected — six times, in fact, until this year, when he finally stepped aside. (Davis will remain on the board, in his former position — treasurer.)

At the dinner last Saturday at the Crowne Plaza, at which approximately 100 bears attended, Davis voiced his emotional farewells, bestowed a few awards, gave away money, introduced the new board and— perhaps most predictably — teared up.

The Dallas Bears’ new president Ray Farias, took to the podium to share a few thoughts. the new vice president, Gauge Xavier, stood on the dais twice — once as a board member, and once when accepting the top award of the night: Bear of the Year.

The Dallas Bears have always been a nonprofit charitable group, and this year they gave away a record amount of money — a hair shy of $82,000, including donations to Resource Center ($37,000), the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, AIDS Outreach Center of Fort Worth ($18,500 each) and AIDS Services of Dallas.

This was the 20th annual Dallas Bears celebration; next year, its 21st TBRU event will have the theme Mardi Gras.

Here are some more photos from the event.


—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: BearDance video spoofs Super Bowl ad

Screen shot 2014-02-03 at 10.00.42 AMThe call went out on social media last week: Bears were invited to show up in the gayborhood to film a video. Shorts and athletic shoes — no shirts — were all that was required. What was it for? Well, now we know.

The Texas Bear Round Up is about five weeks away, and its Friday night BearDance is gearing up to let bears and chasers know. And the group did so with this video, spoofing a GoDaddy.com. which ran during the Super Bowl. And it makes its point very well:

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Dallas Bears donate $69K to charities


On Saturday, the Dallas Bears held their annual anniversary dinner and celebration, as well as the installation of the new board of directors (which looks a lot like the previous board), at the Toby Keith Grill … and because they were bears, there was plenty to eat. But in addition to food, fellowship and fondling (well, just a little), they also formalized all their donations from the previous year’s events, including Texas Bear Round Up 18 and food and school supply drives. Among the funds awarded: $33,000 to Youth First Texas, a program of Resource Center Dallas; $16,500 to RCD’s nutrition program; $16,500 to the Sharon St. Cyr Fund (which aids the hearing impaired); and $3,000 in school supplies and food. Add all those up and … hmmmm … that’s $69,000. Repeat: Sixty-nine.

Those bears can even make charity gay.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Bear bar worker Brian Mooney needs your help to fight colon cancer


Brian Mooney

One of the best things about my job is all the people I meet. But when you do it long enough, one of the worst things is seeing tragedy befall them.

That’s how I feel about Brian Mooney, whom I met about three years ago when he was our poster-boy for the 2010 Texas Bear Round-Up. I interviewed and did a photoshoot with Brian, and was immediately drawn to his personality and charisma.

Brian doesn’t look so good right now. He’s “40 and would like to see 41,” which is in danger due to his diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer, the result of something called Lynch syndrome. The mischievous, friendly fellow needs $20,000 because he doesn’t have health insurance. It really is needed to save his life. (He’s raised about $6,000 so far.)

You may already know Brian from his job at Dallas Eagle, where he often would smile at you behind a thick beard while sporting a sexy singlet. We all wanna see this Navy veteran back there again, doing his thing. And with BearDance coming up this weekend, we’re thinking about him especially.

Click here to make a donation until May 31. Or you can come out the the Dallas Eagle on Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m. and support the barbecue and fundraiser sponsored by Brian’s friends to help him out. Do what you can.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Scenes from Texas Bear Round-Up 18

Photos by Chuck Marcelo (Dallas Voice/MarceloMedia)

—  C Marcelo

Giveaway! Win tickets to BearDance

IMG_7387The fifth annual Texas Bear Round Up BearDance boogies into Station 4 on Friday night (we have an interview with hunky San Francisco DJ John LePage in Friday’s print edition), but you can get tickets early — we’re giving away some pairs to Dallas Voice readers!

Simply email me at lifestyle@DallasVoice.com with the subject line BearDance, and then something memorable, like “I wanna grow a bear!” or growl at me or something. And if I pick you, you get two tickets!

So do it ASAP. All winners will be notified NO LATER than 10 a.m. Friday, and you MUST be available to come by Voice offices (4145 Travis, Suite 300) between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Friday to pick them up. If you can’t we’ll give ’em to someone else!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

TBRU unveils new logo

The next Texas Bear Round Up isn’t for another six months, but you can already get a peek at its new logo, which appeared this morning on the group’s Facebook page. TBRU 18: Casino Bear Royale combines a little 007 theme with Las Vegas … and. of course, a touch of a Colt Video.

We’ve always been a fan of the cartoon artwork for the Dallas Bears’ big event, which has grown from 100 attendees to last last year’s 1,704. (Last year’s art, below, was based around the theme Bears Gone Wild.)  Next year’s event will take place March 14-17.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Bearweek 2012

Videographer Hector Marcus Juarez continues to focus his camera eye on the fur with his latest vid. Juarez documented the last Texas Bear Round Up into three-plus minute video here. Now, as Bearweek in Provincetown has wrapped up, he has recently posted this video recounting the hirsute event.

And through all the quick edits, you can see he gave local Beardance founder Mark Trimble a couple of flashes of screen time. Otherwise, I’m told by Trimble’s partner and also BD founder Ami Sadeh (who tipped me to the video) that mostly Houstonians made up a big Texas contingent in the just-under-four-minute clip. Makes sense since Juarez is based out of Houston.

I did have a slight chuckle with the song choice. I never would have thought of P-town as “a hopeless place,” but the video ends on the sweetest note.

Watch Bearweek 2012 after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez