Goodbye, Mr. Hayes Valley Leather

A San Francisco tradition comes to an end this afternoon at Marlena's.

The Mr. Hayes Valley Leather competition began at Marlena's (488 Hayes) in 2002, and has crowned a victor every year since. In addition to earning the champion's leather vest, the winner of Mr. Hayes Valley Leather has gone on to compete for Mr. SF Leather, and also International Mr Leather in Chicago. Each year the competition also doubles as a fundraiser for a worthy local charity.

A couple of months ago, Marlena's announced that the competition would be coming to an end. So today, from 4pm to 7pm, the bar will be saying goodbye to the current champion, Michael Zane, and hosting a Title Retirement Party.

According to a description on the website of the 2008 winner:

"The Hayes Valley Leather title represents family, diversity, and growth within yourself and the community. How do we differ from other titles? Its simple. We are one of the truest forms of family you will see in the leather community. Although many other leather title holders are friends outside their titles, we are often seen together, as a group, as a family, whether its having brunch at Stacks, or at an event."

In true Mr. Hayes Valley Leather form, today's celebration will also raise funds for Copper's Dream, a Bay Area animal rescue organization. So if you go to say goodbye to all those chaps in chaps, be sure to bring a little something extra for the pups.