Celebrate Easter with the Sisters

  • by David-Elijah Nahmod
  • Tuesday April 4, 2023
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The Hunky Jesus Contest at Easter in Dolores Park with the Sisters in 2019 (photo: Steven Underhill)
The Hunky Jesus Contest at Easter in Dolores Park with the Sisters in 2019 (photo: Steven Underhill)

The beloved Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will return with their annual tradition of celebrating Easter in Dolores Park on April 9. This year's party marks the 44th anniversary since the Sisters first came into being, and Sister Tilda NexTime couldn't be more excited.

"44 is such a magical number," said Tilda in an interview with the Bay Area Reporter. "It also makes us proud of our history and how far we've come as an organization since Easter 1979."

This year's celebration has a bit of a somber cloud hanging over it, given the anti-drag and anti-trans backlash going on in red states. Tennessee recently passed a law restricting drag shows in public, though that law has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge.

Easter in Dolores Park with the Sisters and the Easter Bunny in 2019 (photo: Steven Underhill)  

"Our community is under attack," said Sister Tilda. "Instead of focusing on the issues that are actually turning this country into one of the most dangerous places on Earth, such as gun violence, radical politicians are hiding behind the Bible and worrying about drag queens, labeling us as dangerous. And what's even worse, they are trying to strip away the basic human rights LGBTQ people have fought for over decades. We can't let the real forces of evil take over."

The celebration in Dolores Park promises to be a welcome respite from these issues. The day will be filled with all kinds of fun activities, from a family-friendly Easter egg hunt and story time, to the more adult in nature Foxy Mary and Hunky Jesus contests.

The party commences at 10am with the family activities. Then, at noon, community activist Honey Mahogany will take to the main stage to host a variety show filled with fabulous performers and surprise guests. This year's line-up includes San Francisco favorites such as Connie Champagne, Kitten on the Keys, The Cockettes, Trixie Carr, Alex U. Inn and the Mommaz Boyz, among others.

"From 10am until noon, there's an Easter egg hunt and lots of fun for the little ones," said Sister Tilda. "The Easter Bunny will also make a very special appearance. We do this every year and the families love it."

And though the afternoon portion of the day will be more adult in nature, perhaps not suitable for children under 16 years of age, the Sisters promise that nudity and profanity are not allowed.

Easter in Dolores Park with the Sisters in 2019 (photo: Steven Underhill)  

"This year our theme is influenced by musical theater, burlesque, peep shows, vaudeville, drag extravaganza, and some of San Francisco's most notorious memories such as the Lusty Lady venue and The Cockettes," Sister Tilda explained. "This year our theme is a bit more risqué than previous years, but still keeping it classy."

The Hunky Jesus and Foxy Mary contests are one of the most fun and traditional events in San Francisco.

"Contestants don't need to sign up or anything," she said. "They just need to show up already in costume near the stage thirty minutes before each contest. They start at 1pm. It's all about fun, imagination, uniqueness, and talent. It's not about being hunky or foxy in a purely sexual way. It's about celebrating creativity, positive energy, freedom and diversity."

Sister Tilda sang the praises of main stage host Mahogany.

"Honey is one of the most important activists and personalities we have in this city," she said. "Her fight for equality and human rights is an example to be followed. We love her and are extremely thankful for having her as one of our MCs."

And for those on the fence about attending the celebration, Sister Tilda has a simple message.

"You can't say that you've experienced everything San Francisco has to offer if you've never been to the Sisters' Easter celebration at Dolores Park," she said. "It's like visiting the Louvre Museum in Paris and not seeing the Mona Lisa."

CDC guidelines for outdoor events will be followed. All attendees are encouraged to be fully vaccinated. Masks are recommended when around others whose vaccination status in unknown.

Easter in Dolores Park with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, April 9, 10am family events. 12 noon-4pm, adult events. Dolores at 18th St. www.thesisters.org

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