Pride United Ball to Bring ‘Unity to the Community’ at Little Bevo on June 21

Luann Denten

With the Pride United Ball, Vices and Virtues founder Luann Denten fulfilling a long-held ambition (Photo by Theo Welling).

“Maven of Mardi Gras” Luann Denten, known in Soulard circles as simply “the Maven,” is the founder of the Krewe of Vices and Virtues and Soulard Pride. She’s thrown many opulent soirees over the years but is finally realizing her long-delayed ambition to bring many disparate parts of the LGBTQ community together with a Pride Unified Ball, which will be held the evening of Friday, June 21, at the Little Bevo (4751 Morgan Ford Road,

As part of the event, Out in STL will present its annual awards to influential, culture-shaping community members, which this year were chosen in consultation with regional Pride organizations. Honorees include Lucy Couture, Melissa Dunn, Elizabeth Fuchs, Tre’von Griffith, Ming Lee, Mark Moore, Nicci Kincer, Roxie Valentine and Damion Parks-Weekly. Candy Principle will be honored with a Legacy Award.

“I’ve been dreaming of hosting an event like Pride Unified for years, and I’m so excited to see it come to fruition,” Denten says. “Pride is the time to celebrate unconditional love and being free to be thee. What better way to spotlight some of the most influential members of the LGBTQIA+ community than with a gathering of celebration and togetherness. I hope this event brings unity to the community and brings all of the metro area Pride groups together as one.”

Little Bevo owner Nick Fruend, who performs drag as Janessa Highland and was crowned Miss Gay Missouri America in 2018, is providing the venue free of charge.

“I’ve always believed when you’re given a gift in life, whether it be a talent, a tangible thing or perhaps a space like the Little Bevo, it is your responsibility and privilege to share that gift with others,” Fruend says. “We’re honored to be able to donate our space to the Pride Unity Ball because in a world so divided, the message of coming together to celebrate how far our community has come and to reflect on the hurdles we still have ahead couldn’t be more important.”

The event will be emceed by Jade Sinclair, with music by DJ Greg Laine and drag performances by the Belles of Bevo.

Riley’s Florist is donating floral arrangements, and event decorator Rick Schneider will transform the space.

Guests are encouraged to dress in a manner that expresses who they are, so you can expect to see everything from leather harnesses to Met Gala-worthy looks.

Admission is $10, with open bar packages from $28.95. Tickets are now on sale, and based on the Maven’s track record, they’re expected to sell out.

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