Pride Means Plenty of Parties. Party, Yes. But Safely

by Jim Hauck
Sunday May 22, 2011

June Pride Month and the official kick-off to the summer dance season. This is a good time to think about all of those fun events, the parties, the parades, the street events, the drinking and socializing and so many other things.

It is also a good time to think about how to prepare, enjoy and take part in those events. Taking care of yourself and your friends is key to having a good time and the Juice Box has some suggestions on how to make sure that happens.

Outdoor events lead to heat exhaustion, dehydration and other problems that result from exposure to the outdoor elements. As you plan your summer outings, for a day, or a weekend, try to keep these simple things with you and packed for the day out: sunscreen, sunglasses, lip balm, earplugs, comfortable shoes. When possible dress in layers (thinking of the coldest part of the day or as the sun sets and the temperatures drop).

Once you arrive at your events, be sure to hydrate, and do so often. Sorry folks, beer and cocktails are not hydrating, in fact they do the opposite.

Grab a bottle of water when you make that run to the bar, and get some water in you, and if possible try to get it at room temperature, because as nice as that cold water bottle feels, your body does better with room temperature water, than really cold water.

Here is a tip: For every alcoholic or caffeinated beverage you drink, consume an equal quantity of water! As they say at Burning Man: Piss clear. Basically that means remain hydrated enough that your piss isn't the color of a lemon, of worse, maple syrup, but as close to clear as possible. This is always a good indicator of how well you are doing on hydration and staying well.

Work out a plan with your friends for connecting, meeting, and locating each other. Pick a spot to meet or a spot to dance. That way if you get lost, freaked out, or just can't find the people you know, you have a home base to return to and you do not spend half the event wondering around when you can't find your friends. Use dance floor landmarks, street corners, and stationary points, for easy ways to find each other, and set these early so it makes the entire time fun.

When possible, take public transportation, to avoid ever driving under the influence of any type of substances. If public transport is not an option, then explore staying overnight within walking distance to the event, or when all else fails, you need to have a designated driver who will remain sober and alert for the drive home.

Watch out for each other and those around you. It is easy to see the signs of someone who needs help. It is valiant to step up and offer help. The help should not come across as judgmental, but rather to provide assistance. It is OK to ask someone if they are OK and usually a quick way to judge how they are doing. If someone is stumbling, or having a hard time staying upright and eyes open, get them to a cool location, secure some juice or water, and potentially locate the EMT staff for an event, in case the situation is challenging.

While friends can help each other and hold each other up, it is always best to get professional help, who is usually at the event to make sure everyone is safe and well. If we all watch out for each other we can all be there to celebrate another day.

A great site to follow isDance Safe, , dedicated to promoting health and safety in the rave and nightclub community. If you have never gone to this site, go now, bookmark it and return often. Another great group to work with is MedEvent. Check out their site for information on Safe Party Tips. Remember in all cases knowledge is power.

So party safely, and live to party again and again! Take care of each other and the karma you send out will come back to you. See you on the dance floor.


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