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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
July 1, 2005

Play ball!

Celebrities and at least one total disaster line up for Bat �n� Rouge

Columbus--It was a Who�s Who of Hollywood�s hottest and its washed-up all in one.

Cher was there, a few pounds worse for the wear. Other zaftig celebrities included Kirstie Ally and Star Jones-Reynolds. Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie came together, obviously having kissed and made up after their recent public cat fight. Frank N. Furter and Magenta graced the occasion with their Rocky Horror fame intact.

Those were just some of the notables who showed up to play in the 18th annual Bat �n� Rouge drag softball game as part of the closing day of Columbus Pride celebrations.

The Columbus Lesbian and Gay Softball League, in its 20th year, held its annual fundraiser of the year on Sunday, June 26 on the grounds of the Africentric School in the German Village area of downtown Columbus.

Players hit and ran in sweltering mid-90s heat wearing heavy make-up, hot wigs, fabulous fashions and unimaginably high-heeled footwear, all to benefit the league and the Columbus AIDS Task Force.

Each year, the two opposing teams are the Hygienes and the Monistats. In addition to the celebrities, this year�s included Nurse Nipples, who would have made Janet Jackson�s Super Bowl fiasco look like a church event by comparison, China from Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment, and Gay Sha, a fabulously adorned and made-up tea house madam.

Paris Hilton�s two long-lost sisters Moscow and Warsaw Hilton also showed up.

Almost exactly six months later to the date, Sue Nami made her Columbus appearance, all the way from the Indian Ocean. Dressed in flowing blue tulle, Sue Nami�s bathing suit of the same color was festooned with miniature animals, human body parts and uprooted foliage.

One difference from past years was that no drag kings participated in the game.

The event was hosted by local drag queens Sable Coates, Vivi Velure and Paige Passion. Coates is retiring from hosting this event after having done it for many years in a row. Chris Cozad of BRAVO served as the umpire.

Other highlights of this year�s Pride celebrations included an art show and the fifth annual Rockin� in the Streets, produced by Union Station, Havana and Axis night clubs.

This year the two-night party shifted from behind Havana to the parking lot next to Union Station. Friday night the event was headlined by Melissa Ferrick and the Katie Reider Band.

Stonewall Columbus capped off the weekend with the Pride Brunch held at the Westin Great Southern Hotel on Sunday. Rev. Phil Hart, who is the Stonewall chaplain, was the keynote speaker.


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