Newcastle to host inaugural Pride Festival this August

Newcastle PrideCelebrating solidarity in gender and sexuality diversity, embracing love, strength and diversity within and outside our community, the inaugural Newcastle Pride Festival is an inclusive, vibrant and fun not-for-profit LGBTIQ community initiative that will take place this August.

“The Festival aims to create an opportunity for the dispersed LGBTQI community to come together, foster pride and celebrate diversity in the Region, enhance the visibility of the LGBTQI community and facilitate a positive change in mainstream attitudes towards LGBTQI people,” said Lee-Anne McDougall, Co-Founder of Newcastle Pride Inc.

“We are really pleased with the support and enthusiasm shown by members of our communities, sponsors, partners, supporters and other allies, in this our first year. For example, the Newcastle Pride Facebook page already has almost 2,200 members from across the country.”

The 2018 Newcastle Pride Festival program includes:

Launch Event – Short’ n’ Curlies – Friday 24 August at the Newcastle Museum
This will be a smorgasbord of some of the best international short films curated by Queer Screen from Sydney and hosted by Newcastle’s own comical movie reviewers David Strap-On and Margaret Pomegranates. There will be lots of audience participation, with champagne and canapés on arrival. This event is already sold out.

Pride Fair Day – Saturday 25 August at Foreshore Park, Newcastle East
This is a free, family friendly event, a time for celebration with lots of colour ‘n’ motion, rainbow flags, shirts, tights, wig’s and anything rainbow. There will be community stalls, retail stalls, food vans, children’s activities, doggywood parade, Pride Costume Drag Off and lots more. Hosted by Comedian Jackie Loeb and our Special Guest is Denise Hanlon.

Loud and Proud Dance Party – Saturday 25 August at Cooks Hill Surf Club
We are encouraging party goers to dress in their loudest and proudest glitter outfits! The venue is right on Bar Beach so people can dance all night by the ocean. Beats by DJ Ruby Red and DJ Steve W and all the glamour and glitz provided by DROP DEAD DRAG, 3 legendary local performers. Food will be available for purchase at the club. This event is already sold out.

Priscilla Pride Wine Tour – Sunday 26 August hosted by Taste of the Hunter Wine Tours
Get your Priscilla on and sing your way around the Hunter’s beautiful wine region. The tour will include 2 cellar doors for private tastings, a delicious lunch, the Hunter Distillery, Matilda Bay Brewhouse and Hermitage Road Cellars. Then before heading home a stop at The Smelly Cheese Shop and the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company. Tickets are still available for this tour.

“The Festival is going to be fun and creative. Our aim is to showcase to locals and visitors that Newcastle is a city of diversity, culture and beauty,” said Co-Founder Ivan Skaines. “We would like to acknowledge the support of our Event Sponsors Australia Post, Hunter IVF, Port Waratah Coal Services, Newcastle City Council, and ACON; Event Partner Hunt & Gather Events; and our Media Sponsors the Newcastle Herald and HIT106.9.”

When Lee-Anne and Ivan formed Newcastle Pride earlier in the year, they were unsure how much interest there would be from the community, and so this year was just about launching the Festival. However, the support and involvement from our communities, sponsors and allies has proven there is a demand for such a Festival in the Newcastle and Hunter LGBTIQA+ community, and plans are underway for both the 2019 and 2020 Festivals.

The 2018 Newcastle Pride festival rune 24 – 26 August. For more information, visit: www.newcastlepride.com.au for details.

Image: Newcastle Pride Logo (supplied)

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