Greetings and Welcome to the 35th International Mr. Leather Weekend!
Like every IML before now, the IML staff does everything possible to make each of you feel welcome to everything that happens this weekend. We are truly glad you're here. So is the City of Chicago!
This year we move to a new hotel, The Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, a convention hotel located in the heart of Chicago's shopping, culture and dining districts. Although this is a new property for us, we have worked closely with the staff at the Marriott and have done all we can to be prepared and ensure that IML XXX5 is the best ever.
As always, IML weekend is filled with parties, mixers, socials, seminars, lectures and a multitude of opportunities for you to re-connect with old friends and make many new ones along the way. Oh, and there is the Vendor Market, too!
Our returning guests already know that the Vendor Market is the social hub during each day through the weekend. The vendors cater to just about every desire you may have and represent some of the finest in gear, products and services available to leatherfolk.
And for you first-timers, take your time, pace yourself and remember to breathe! There is much to take in ... there is much to explore and discover. And always remember, if you find yourself a little lost, our 300 staff and volunteers are there to assist you as best they can.
This year, all of the Contest-related events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night will be outside of the hotel. Opening Ceremonies and Pecs and Personality will be held at The Vic Theatre in Lakeview. On Sunday evening, the Contest will once again be returning to The Harris Theater in Downtown Chicago. We know moving people to these venues will be no small task, but we will do our very best. We just ask for a little patience since Chicago traffic can often live up to its reputation for being difficult!
As you go through the weekend, there is much to do. Not just inside IML and the host hotel, but the local bars, shops, restaurants, theatres and museums are available for you to enjoy. But relax. Don't try to do it all in one day ... or two. Okay, maybe three! But by all means, enjoy all that our great city has to offer.
All of you make IML what it is and what it has become today. Back in 1979, none of us ever imagined where the road has taken us. It has been an amazing ride up 'til now. And we can't wait to see where the road takes all of us to next. Thank you!
Now, get out there and enjoy. Play hard, play safe always, and WELCOME TO IML!
Founder / Executive Producer
Photo courtesy of Renslow