As Summer begins to wane in 2012, the preparations for Winter Party Festival (WPF) 2013 are just starting to heat up. As a new volunteer to the Winter Party Festival, I'm constantly reminded of the exceptional impact every volunteer has on the event. Each individual who enlists his/her time brings a piece of individuality that enriches the entire festival experience. During the course of the next several months, I'll be doing interviews with festival volunteers to understand their unique perspectives.
Looking for my starting point in this task, I asked myself one question, “What would the hottest party in the world be without Fire?” Fire De Ville that is. I spoke to Fire De Ville, a Miami Beach resident, author and Winter Party Festival volunteer, about her time spent with WPF and what it means to her. Fire's vibrant personality, quirky sense of humor, and no-holds-barred sensibility make her an iconic fixture at the WPF events.
Phil: So, Fire, I'm going to start with the first logical question. How did you originally become involved in Winter Party Festival?
Fire: I actually started out by volunteering for Miami Pride. During that event, I was approached by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force to volunteer as well. From there I learned about the Miami Recognition Dinner and then Winter Party Festival. It was history from there—after I volunteered the first time I never stopped.
Phil: So it sounds like you're a pretty active volunteer and have been volunteering for a long time. How many years have you been doing it?
Fire: This will be my third time volunteering for Winter Party.
Phil: What do you do as a volunteer and why do you choose that activity?
Fire: I'm that annoying person at the door who is giving and checking wristbands. But honestly, I do it because I think it's a lot of fun. I get to interact with people throughout the whole festival and am constantly getting recognized. It's where my talents are best placed.
Phil: So, what's your biggest motivation to volunteer. What really drives you?
Fire: I do it because it makes me happy. Honestly it's selfish—it gives me such a huge sense of joy. I love meeting new people every year and I love getting to catch-up with the regulars as well. I get to see people from all over the world. It's an awesome time.
Phil: I've asked you a lot about the WPF; tell me something unique about yourself. What's different about Fire De Ville.
Fire: I'm the three L's...Little Lesbian from Lithuania. I like to have a good time and be around good people. I love being in nature and experiencing new things.
Phil: I think the three L's definitely set you apart! Speaking of unique experiences, what do you think is the most unique part of WPF?
Fire: That's not even a question—the Beach Party. The nature, the people, the energy...it's fan*expletive*tabulous! It's really something that is so special and unique. You can go to a pool party or club anytime, but all those people celebrating on the beach is awesome.
Phil: I really like that. Fan*expletive*tabulous. I'm going to try my hardest to use that! What is your favorite women's event? And just for fun, what is your favorite men's event?
Fire: For the women's event, I really enjoy la Pa'Ella on Friday night—there's great energy with that event. I don't have a specific men's event, but I do enjoy going to them; they have fantastic DJ's.
Phil: As we get close to the 20th edition of WPF, what are you most excited for?
Fire: ALL of it! So many of these people you get to see only once a year, but every year you get recognized over and over. I always hear, “Hey it's you, Fire!” and I just reply, “Hey you're drunk!” But really, you just get recognized over and over. I love it from day one to the last—every second.
Phil: Outside of volunteering, what do you enjoy doing?
Fire: In my free time? I like girls, fashion, my company, nature and spending time with friends. Oh, and I like to go out and have fun!
Phil: As a wrap up, is there anything else you'd like to say?
Fire: Yeah! See you at the door!
Phil: We certainly will! Actually I have one last question. Why do you think others should volunteer for WPF?
Fire: That's not the question you should ask. The question you should ask is why SHOULDN'T you volunteer. There is no reason not to. It's a great time. Fun, fun, fun!
Phil: Thank you so much for letting me interview you, Fire. I truly appreciate you taking the time.
Fire: It was my pleasure! I just realized this interview made me sound like a complete angel. You can't make it sound that way.
For more information on volunteering please email VolunteerWPF@theTaskForce.org or attend our volunteer outreach event August 22nd from 7:30-9:30 at Score Club. This will be an opportunity to meet and speak with Winter Party Staff regarding volunteering.
To learn more about Fire De Ville and her upcoming novel “To Love a Woman or Butterflies, Butterflies, Butterflies” visit her website here.