The Harbour City Bears (HCB) will be out in force next month to celebrate their annual Bear Pride festival.

HCB publicist Kerry Bashford said this year’s event will have a focus on food, arts and cultural events.

“This year we’ve expanded the cultural elements of the festival,” Bashford told the Star Observer.

“We do have a diet of dance parties all the time, which are wonderful, and seem to be terribly popular, but it’s good to pursue other areas of bear culture.

“I think Bear Pride gives us the opportunity to do this and sets it apart from other bear events during the year.”

This year’s five-day program offers a smorgasbord of eating events, including a nosh-up at Smash Sausage Kitchen in Newtown to kick off the festival and a night market expedition in Chinatown.

Bashford said a highlight of the lineup is proudly profane cabaret artist Eric Kuhlmann, who will perform his show Red Light Songs of Lust, Love and Death at the Oxford Hotel on Thursday, August 2.

“Bear Pride just gives us more to do over winter … something that might step us out of our comfort zone,” he said.

Dance parties aren’t entirely off the menu, with Furry Friday at the Oxford featuring DJ Stephen Allkins on August 3 and Bear Pit downstairs at the Imperial Hotel on August 4.

This year the Bear Pride film festival has been expanded to two days, with the premieres of BearCity 2 and I Want Your Love (pictured) sponsored by Queer Screen.

A farewell spit roast barbecue at the Lord Roberts Hotel for Bears On Sunday will close the festival.

The Star Observer will publish a full guide of events in next week’s paper, so don’t forget to grab your copy.

Bear Pride runs from August 1-5. Tickets on sale now.

INFO: www.bearpride.com.au

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