Published on July 9th, 2014 | by Michael Fitzgerald


Canonize Tacoma with a massive Pride party – better yet, let’s Coconize

CoconizeSt. Helens Avenue in Tacoma is about to enter the gay canon with Coconize, an all-day street party hosted by Club Silverstone on July 12 featuring some of the best
queer performers in the country as part of Tacoma Pride this weekend.

Party organizer Kawika Ridep, also known as Coco, created the theme around the Catholic process of canonization, influenced by what he called “Gaga-esque/Madonna-esque iconography.”

Acts on the main stage on St. Helens are listed under “Beatification.” The DJ sets taking place in the Silverstone’s lounge are the “Congregation.” The dance floor is the designated “Diocese.” All together, they make up quite the holy trinity.

Kawika said he considers Pride a gallery, and he’s curating a lineup for Tacoma that displays a rainbow of LGBTQ talent.

“I mean, how much gayer could Coconize get?” Kawika laughed, “all I need is a bunch of unicorns running around. I’ve lived in Tacoma for a long time, and although there have always been great live shows –  electronic, punk, metal – I’ve never experienced anything that reflects who I am. So instead of waiting for someone else to do it, I decided to make it happen!”

Double Duchess

davO and Krylon of Double Duchess

The main stage will feature a truly mind-blowing mix of both local heroes and nationally-recognized legends.

OnginaOutspoken LGBTQ supporter Patricia Lecy-Davis will be the keynote speaker, and Tacoma recording artist (as seen on The Voice) Vicci Martinez gets top billing.

NYC club diva Ab Soto, San Francisco electro-rap group Double Duchess, and Tacoma’s own Mirrorgloss will all rock the main stage. The event will be hosted by a legendary queen from RuPaul’s Drag Race, Ongina.

Kawika was especially inspired by Ongina for her work as a “big crusader for HIV research. We got to meet 12 years ago at a Frankie Knuckles show where I bummed a cig from her.”

kawika with the ladies of mirrorgloss

From left to right, Najamoniq Todd of Mirrorgloss, Kawika Ridep, and Del Brown of Mirrorgloss.

Kawika is thrilled to showcase Mirrorgloss, knowing they will provide some seriously delicious up-and-coming local flavor.

Kawika shared, “I’ve seen each of the Mirrorgloss performers play at shows over the years, but they recently got this act together. They’re going to be this year’s Breaklites.”

The lounge and dance floor will feature a set of DJs which Kawika said was no afterthought, “You’re not just gonna walk away.”

In the lounge, the lineup includes Tacoma’s Mr. Melanin* and his Smart People crew, Seattle’s DJ Skiddle of C89.5 FM, DJ Tony Burns of The Haus of Ladydude, and RC MEOW.

It’s a party, Tacoma – get out there and shake it with pride!

The show starts at 5 pm with a canonization, officially anointing St. Helens Avenue as gay.


July 12, 2014
In and outside of Club Silverstone
739 St Helens Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402
4 pm – 2 am
Beach attire is encouraged

Vicci Martinez

Vicci Martinez performs at a 2014 Seattle Pride celebration.

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About the Author

Michael Fitzgerald

Mike is the owner of Destiny City Comics and a contributor to Post Defiance.

2 Responses to Canonize Tacoma with a massive Pride party – better yet, let’s Coconize

  1. Karen says:

    As a resident of the area that gets celebrated every year, I would like to request that not only do the revelers remember that 10:00 pm is the Tacoma city shut up time but that they are definitely getting too big for their britches. It’s time to stop acting like a bunch of 14 year olds at summer camp and move this party to the Tacoma Dome. It got really silly last year when the Silverstone and The Mixx decided to throw the same party at two different sites and compete. If I can’t get someone to rethink this glorified block party, I will go to the city and request that no permit be issued for this totally unnecessary event. Yes we are all proud of the state and yes we are all progressive in our thinking but enough is enough.

    • Kawika says:

      It is after all a neighborhood so the quiet time should be respected. If you really are a resident in that neighborhood you would have already been exposed to 1st night and St Patrick Day celebrations which go past 10 pm. Not sure why you sound so biased or why you can’t forgive one day (which is always on a Saturday in July after the 4th). I think you are missing the whole point of pride and I don’t really like that you are bold in suggesting it be moved to the Tacoma Dome. The point of pride is to demonstrate and also celebrate to be seen and heard in all the revel. You know kind of like what takes place on New Years and the 4th of July. I suppose your gonna put an end to that to. Oh wait those are “REAL” holidays. She’ll probably tell the city we need to rent out the Titlow lodge for CInco De Mayo and suggest that kids provide proof of residence on October 31st or be cited for soliciting. In any case she gets cool points with me for reading Post Defiance . I’m curious what Karens real motivation is for writing that and why she can’t be more honest and direct about what the problem really is. In any case Karen while I respect your opinion I value equal rights a hell of a lot more.

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