Bat’N Rouge: the Official Launch Event for AIDS Walk Portland Returns

The Craziest Softball Tournament Ever Celebrates it’s Seventh Year

by Sebastian Fortino
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Portland loves summertime! This, despite the fact we’re having a high-summer heatwave as I write this. Once the long, gray drizzle turns to blue, cloudless skies Portlanders take to the streets for festivals, city parks for local Meet-ups, hikes, and beach days. And some of us actually play ball.

The seventh annual Bat’N Rouge takes place Sunday. What do Rose City citizens love more than parties? Themed parties, with costumes. PQ spoke with Amy Williams, Director of Development at Cascade AIDS Project about this year’s event, and theme: Back to the ‘90s!

“This year we selected the 90’s because of the interest millennials have from that particular era. A lot of remakes and reboots debuted this year, so it seemed like a great fit to have it be the theme this year,” said Williams. “Next year there’s rumor that the Rockford Peaches will make a debut.”

Each year CAP selects different themes for teams. There are four teams celebrating Boy Bands'N Britney, Sailor Moon & Late Night Cartoons, 90's Cartoons: Disney, Nickelodeon, Pokemon, & Cartoon Network, and of course, American Gladiators. This is not your average softball game. The much-loved event draws around 300 people, with the help of over 70 volunteers and staff.

“AIDS Walk Portland brings around 2,000 attendees with around 150 volunteers and staff,” she said of the September AIDS Walk. But let’s remember, this is a cause, not just a game. “This year our goal for AIDS Walk Portland is $400,000. In particular, our Bat’N Rouge event goal is $10,000.”

Cap of course has many fun events throughout the year, hoping to raise funds while offering events of interest to our diverse community. Williams explained why Bat’N Rouge is particularly appealing.

“We think it’s the format of Bat’N Rouge that makes it so special. Instead of just holding a regular launch party at a space, we adopted Bat’N Rouge as a way to create a fun, family friendly, day of music & “sports.” As we like to tell players who volunteer on teams, it’s not a serious sports game, it’s a show,” she said, and yes, Portland loves a show! “We encourage all members of our LGBTQ+ and allied community to show up and participate, regardless if they know how to play the game. The players are mostly volunteers. A lot of teams will have friends that want to play together, so the teams fill up rather quickly. A couple of the teams have team captains, like Summer Seasons put together the Sailor Moon Team and Darren Davis, of Tidal Wave Comics, put together the American Gladiators team.”

So, be sure to put on your best ‘90s gear, and head to the event on Sunday. Batt’er up!

Bat’N Rouge is the official CAP launch event for AIDS Walk Portland. Suggested donation of $5 dollars but no one is turned away. There are $20 drink bracelets available for five drinks such as beer, wine, champagne, mimosas! The grill offers hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and sodas for sale as well!