This year's tailgate competition at the 6th Annual International Gay Polo Tournament on Saturday, April 11, was bigger and more creative than ever. Participants socialized and watched the action on the polo field from decorated theme booths along the sidelines at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Many tailgate participants opened up their tents to event attendees, sharing food and drink in the spirit of fun at the cordial event. Winning tailgate producers art directed and integrated every aspect of the tailgate into a particular theme. The costumes, presentation, props, food and drink all worked together to produce the top tailgate in each category. Described as "great theater meets the best party you've ever been to," close to 50 booths vied in this year's competition. Sponsored by RBC Wealth Management, awards were presented in five categories: Best in Show, Most Enthusiastic Spirit, Most Enthusiastic Theme, Best Cuisine and Best Dressed.
Gert's Salon, with a bevy of hair stylists and their client-party-goers decked out in pink to match the décor, won Best in Show. Its two connected booths offered mock hair services and featured Gert, a well-known social event personality in Los Angeles, as salon manager. The booth was entered by Bill Doyle and his partner Jed Pearsall, a GPL polo player from Newport, Rhode Island, who played for the winning team in the tournament to clinch the Senators Cup. Doyle and Pearsall were responsible for the memorable NASCAR, Titanic and Pan Am GPL tailgates of years past.
The Best Cuisine award went to Kevin Clark, whose restaurant-motif booth was themed "Elegant." On the other extreme, competitors garbed in lumberjack attire (and carrying pretend hatchets), entered by William Kruogel, won Best Dressed. Most Enthusiastic Theme was "Frozen," the entry of Eau Spa.
A new feature in the tailgate section this year was the "Chapel of Love," an actual wedding venue where same-sex couples could have a commitment ceremony or a legal marriage performed by retired judge Rand Hoch. Entered by Ilean Zamlut, the booth won the Most Enthusiastic Spirit award. After nearly 18 years together, Chris and Tom Vuk of the Wellington area were wed in the chapel. "It was an awesome party and so unexpectedly nice," said Chris Vuk. "They did a great job, and it was an honor to get married at the beautiful International Polo Club," said Chris Vuk. Raymond Lee Jewelers donated their wedding rings, and cake and champagne were gifts of Zamlut and Frank Zittick. Marcella Mirande-Ketcham, the official wedding photographer, provided free photographs.
About the Gay Polo League:
GPL is a community that shares a love for adventure, fun and the challenging sport of polo. GPL is committed to providing members with an enjoyable, supportive and competitive experience. GPL represents a wide range of ages, backgrounds and skill levels. GPL trains and competes in mainstream matches and events while sharing enthusiasm for the sport, to change perceptions about our community.
For more information visit: www.gaypolo.com.