This coming July 4th marks Fire Island's 41st "Invasion of the Pines." Begun in 1976 when a group of Cherry Grove residents marched over to the Pines in drag to protest after a queen was refused service, the event has grown into a joyful, effusive celebration of LGBTQ culture and community. For the past 30 years, photographer Susan Kravitz has been documenting the festivities, compiling them in her book Mascara, Mirth & Mayhem: Independence Day on Fire Island.
"Photographing the Invasion is like falling through a rabbit hole and finding yourself in a world that is unlike any you ever have seen," says Kravitz. "It has been a wondrous experience for me, full of joy and passion. Over the years, I have tried to capture the visual excitement of the Invasion, to celebrate the members of the Cherry Grove community, but especially to document the importance of human rights and freedom of expression for the LGBTQ community." Check out the slideshow below to glimpse some of Kravitz's funny, fab photos, and pick up the book here.