A thunderstorm didn’t stop the Pines Party this past weekend from raging all night long on the shores of Fire Island Pines.
An annual weekend-long gathering, the pinnacle event takes place Saturday night at the foot of the ocean and ends sunrise Sunday morning. As we outlined in our full history of the Pines Party, the event started in 1999. But while the current version of the Pines Party is more recent, it’s a recreation of a 1983 fundraiser for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, one of the very first HIV charities. Though as Fire Island Pines community member and early partygoer Gil Neary says, it goes back even further:
“In 1979, when Fire Island Pines needed a new fire truck, the community staged an all night dance on the beach called ‘Beach 79.’ France Joli made her debut performance at 16 and later went on to international stardom.”
This year’s theme — Labyrinth — was inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Lots of people dressed up in the spirit of the theme — donning costumes with a mythical fashion sense while still showing lots of skin. As party producer Guy Smith put it:
“This year’s theme is really a slice of Midsummer Night’s Dream. I am a lifelong fan of Shakespeare, and this party is going to have a very ‘enchanted forest’ feel. The Labyrinth in this theme is that labyrinth. The minotaur in that play is actually Pan, another horned god. We live on a sandbar covered in magical creatures and enchanted forests. This party is going to amp that up a notch.”
Many party goers hid under the VIP cabanas to find shelter from the rain that raged all night long. Others braved the wet weather, dancing to the Gods of rain without skipping a beat.
At around 5:00am, the rain stopped, just in time for dancing to continue in the sun’s rays.