I just noticed the dates for Mountain Bear Madness are up. July 10-13 2014.
For me, this even was my first gay group event. This predates my going to MAL or IML. The funny part was that I never knew about the Virginia Mountain Bears when I lived in Blacksburg. It wasn't until after Chris and I had moved to Richmond that we discovered it.
I don't know how it came up. But one of my good friends from Blacksburg named Ken Belcher had mentioned it. It sounded interesting, so Chris and I went. This event is a good size. It is about 350 people. We would take over an entire hotel. There are events, competitions, dances, a lot of bears and their admirers in the pool, and even a handful of vendors.
I have to say I always have had a weakness for being in wet boxers contests. Hehe. Through these events, I met a bunch of people...hooked up with a few... and stayed friends with a bunch of guys too. If you have never been to a bear event, this is a pretty good starter one. It isn't too large or overwhelming, it is fairly cheap, and I've had a blast at both I have been to.
I am blocking out that time in my schedule so I can try to make it in 2014. I so can't wait.