Capital Bears

The Blazing Saddle

Iowa Leather Weekend was established in October 1988. It is an annual celebration of the fetish community in Iowa. It is held typically the second weekend of October each year.

Michael Hoksbergen & 

Carol Jackson

Empress 23, 39, & 40 of Nebraska



Capital City Pride is a 501(c)(3) organization that brings together the members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community their friends, allies, and supporters. We do this by producing events that inspire, educate, commemorate, and celebrate our diverse community and culture with and for the greater Des Moines metro.

​Our vision is to create a community where the presence and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people are welcomed and celebrated; where intolerance is challenged and defeated; where justice prevails; and where civil rights of all people are valued and respected.

Community AIDS Assistance Project (CAAP) is a non-profit organization committed to AIDS prevention educational programming and supporting those living with HIV and AIDS in Northeast Iowa. A Board of Directors who volunteer their time to raise money, governs CAAP. HIV and AIDS affect many people around the world and unfortunately our community is not excluded from these harsh realities. The Community AIDS Assistance Project (CAAP) was formed over 20 years ago to help those individuals in our community who live with this devastating virus. We do this by raising funds to provide support for people and organizations to help with meeting quality of life needs. While people can get assistance for food, rent, and other basic needs, CAAP tries to fill the gap where others cannot help. We also provide funds to the Cedar AIDS Support System, Cedar Valley Hospice, Black Hawk County Health Department, University of Northern Iowa Health Department and ACCESS.

The Des Moines Men’s Chorus boasts fifty singers who have banded together to sing in support of justice, inclusion, and love. It is open to those who sing in the tenor and bass ranges, regardless of gender. The chorus was founded by Dr. Randal A. Buikema in 2001. Its first electrifying performance, given before a standing room only crowd, was filled with the promise of a chance to make real change. The chorus' mission of promoting harmony among all is best fulfilled through the outstanding musicianship of its members, the creative programming of its artistic staff, and its engagement with the community. Artistic Director and Conductor Dr. Rebecca Gruber and Pianist Ben Hagen came to DMGMC in 2005. They and the Board of Directors plan a concert subscription series and dozens of other performances highlighting the gifts and skills of gay people and declaring the dignity and worth of all persons.

Des Moines Gay Men's Chorus

Dino’s Storage specializes in providing modern self-storage facilities to customers in our service areas.
Our various locations provide a wide variety of storage opportunities, from outdoor storage for boats and automobiles, to indoor storage for general items, to climate controlled storage for your special keepsakes. Family owned and operated.. Mention the ICIA when reserving your storage unit. 

The Project at Primary Health Care

Emperor 2 of Minnesota

Gary Heart

The Capital Bears were founded in late 2013 by Brian Chestelson and Nick Caruth in Des Moines, Iowa. ​Capital Bears is an inclusive group which focuses on providing the LGBTQIA+ community a safe & accepting social network. They aim to offer social activities that are safe and provide a good space to share ideas and meet individuals. The purpose is to create an atmosphere of social acceptance among individuals who identify as bear, otter, cub, admirer, or supporter. The welcoming group of all individuals that wish to participate. Capital Bears does not discriminate with regards to age, sex, sexual orientations, gender identity, race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, or marital status. 

iowa leather weekend

The Blazing Saddle has been the corner stone and “home bar” for many LGBT community events and groups since its inception including the Imperial Court of Iowa, CornHaulers L&L Club, Titans of the Midwest, Capital City Pride, and Iowa Leather Weekend to name a few. In the recent years, Mongo made business partners with one of his long time employees,  Bryan “Stinky” Smith to ensure the continuance of the Blazing Saddle to remain in the service of the LGBT Community. As our community grows, we will still need a safe place for our community to come together on common ground and the Blazing Saddle will strive to be that place. Whether you are 21 or 101, there is always someone for you to sit down and chat with at the bar or play a game of pool. Here’s looking forward to seeing you at the Saddle soon!

CAAP (Community aids assistance project

Community Partners & Resources

The goal of The Project of PHC is to provide confidential, free or low cost services to help people living with HIV move through the stages of HIV medical care. From the time of diagnosis, our staff help patients connect to care, access resources that will help them achieve the best possible health outcomes and overcome obstacles that many stand in their way to a long and happy life. We also focus on prevention, providing outreach and access to the most effective tools to prevent HIV infection. What started as a coalition of dedicated volunteers in 1987 is now part of a community health center with a host of services to support and empower people living with HIV and those vulnerable to HIV. The resources available include a prevention testing and educational outreach program, HIV and primary medical care, dental care, case management, mental health services including support groups, medication management, and assistance with health insurance and prescription coverage.

Sponsors for Coronation XXXI

Voted BEST Dance venue in Des Moines for over 10 years and we have served the community for more than 35 years!

All ages are welcome until 9 PM.

Regular shows Friday and Saturday at 10 PM with Dance Parties afterward!

Come and check us out for food, drinks, and our rooftop bar!


Empress 24 of Minnesota

Ida Slapter-Back