What We Love: Zane Booker

Tonight's party helps Valentines gear up for Philadelphia Black Pride in April

Smoke, Lilies and Jade Arts Initiative (SLJ) – along with Philadelphia Black Pride – have joined forces for a special Valentine’s Day party tonight at Haru (6 p.m.) in Old City. Locals will have a chance to meet a funny Valentine and try out for a dance competition – the winners will perform during Philly’s Black Pride celebration in April.

Zane Booker, SLJ’s artistic director – and one of Philly’s most well-known dancers – created the event to renew awareness about HIV and AIDS in the African-American community.

“I am really proud that SLJ and Philadelphia Black Pride are working together to raise money for an amazing community event: the Mr. and Ms. Black Gay Pride Pageant and SLJ Dance Contest,” says Booker. “It’s important to collaborate, especially when it makes sense. There is a great sense of community between many organizations in Philly and we are coming together to celebrate that energy on Valentine’s Day.”

Tonight’s event also includes a raffle, dating game, the chance to enter the Mr. and Ms. Black Gay Pride contest, a dance performance and some special surprises, says Booker, who admits that it’s a unique and charming alternative for those who are single (and ready to mingle) on Valentine’s Day.

Guests will also be able to celebrate with a menu of sushi and signature cocktails, like the Electric Lavender with tequila and lavender syrup, and the Komodo Dragon with vanilla vodka, coconut rum, pineapple juice and blue curacao.