Three-day festival to celebrate and support city’s LGBTQIA+ young people in Orange

APN Orange Rainbow FestivalA rainbow walk, festival, and street disco will headline festivities for the first Orange Rainbow Festival, which will be held in March to celebrate and support the city’s LBGTQIA+ young people.

The free event is hosted by the Orange Youth Action Council’s Sincerely Queer group, supported by Orange City Council, and is fully funded by the NSW Government’s and ‘Our Region Our Voice’ Regional Youth Investment Program (RYIP).

RYIP provides funding to enhance the lives and wellbeing of regional youth and support them to live their best life and thrive within their local communities.

Sincerely Queer offers a safe space for young LGBTQIA+ people to connect with others in a supportive environment. Group member, 18-year-old Jordi Thurtell is excited to see the Rainbow Festival taking place in the heart of Orange.

“A lot of discrimination comes from a lack of education, so I hope this will provide an opportunity to learn more about the LGBTQIA+ community in Orange, as well as providing a safe space for people to be themselves,” said Jordi.

Orange Mayor Jason Hamling invites residents to join in the celebrations. “I encourage everyone to come along to show their support for our LGBTQIA+ community and foster acceptance and inclusivity,” said Cr Hamling.

“All young people deserve to feel safe and included in their community and have the confidence to be themselves.”

Orange City Council’s Services Policy Committee Chair, Cr Mel McDonell congratulates the organisers for arranging a fun-filled range of events over the three days of the festival, with the support of local service providers.

“This is a great opportunity for us all to come together as a community to embrace our diversity and show every young person in our city that we support them and accept them for who they are,” said Cr McDonell.

NSW Government duty MLC for Orange Stephen Lawrence says the NSW Government is pleased to financially support the Orange Rainbow Festival.

“The range of activities planned for the festival in March looks fantastic and I encourage the community to join in to help celebrate and support LGBT people,” said Mr Lawrence.

The Rainbow Festival will kick off on Friday 22 March with Drag Bingo at the Greenhouse of Orange at the Ex-Services Club from 7.00pm, with guest Drag Queens from Venom Vipers Entertainment and Productions.

The festival will continue from 1.00pm on Saturday 23 March with a Rainbow Walk from the Civic Square South Court across Lords Place to Robertson Park, followed by a festival in the park featuring market stalls, live music, Pride Pets and a local drag queen competition.

On Saturday night there will be a street disco in MacNamara Street with DJs, live bands and street performers from 7.00pm to Midnight The festival will wrap up on Sunday 24 March with breakfast and a drag show at the Groundstone Café from 10.00am. All events are ticketed.

The Orange Rainbow Festival will run 22 – 24 March 2024. For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: Orange Rainbow Festival (supplied)