Noosa’s Rainbow River Festival to celebrate Mardi Gras weekend

noosa rainbow river festival
Photo: Rainbow River Festival

The annual Rainbow River Festival is returning to Noosa, with three days of events planned for the first weekend of March coinciding with Mardi Gras.

Organiser Kirsty Patten said the Rainbow River festivities will run in Noosa from March 5 to 7.

“The 2020 Rainbow River Festival was one of the last times Queenslanders gathered and danced in large groups,” she told

“We acknowledge the change in the way we do things. In 2021 we are changing it up a bit.

“On Friday, March 5 we will not be having our traditional welcome at the Noosa Yacht and Rowing Club.

“We’ll head straight to Lazy River Bar and Bistro for some ball-dropping Drag Queen Bingo.

“On Saturday March 6, for Mardi Gras, we’ll gather at the SCG – the Spit Cricket Ground – for an informal game of beach cricket.”

That night, festivalgoers will be able to watch the Mardi Gras parade on the big screen at a viewing party.

On Sunday, March 7, punters can have a casual BYO BBQ breakfast riverside before jumping on one of the river parade boats, Patten said.

The two-hour scenic river cruise incudes a welcome drink and a meal, with tickets on sale online.

The Rainbow River Festival will run from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 March. To find out more visit the Facebook page.

Noosa festival among Mardi Gras parties around Queensland

On Saturday, March 6, the 43rd annual Mardi Gras parade will relocate from Sydney’s streets to the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

The event will be a ticketed event with seated spectators. While Mardi Gras cancelled its afterparty due to COVID-19, Rita Ora and other local artists will perform at the Parade.

SBS will broadcast and livestream the parade on March 6.

The Noosa festival is just one of several Mardi Gras parties happening across Queensland that weekend.

The Wickham in Brisbane is hosting an official viewing party from 2pm on March 6.

Outback pub the Post Office Hotel in regional Cloncurry, 1700km north west of Brisbane, is hosting its second ever Mardi Gras party that night.

In Cairns, the local LGBTIQ community are set to gather at a viewing party at the Boardwalk Social restaurant.

The Tropical Rise party is supported by Queensland Council for LGBTI Health, 2Spirits and Healthy&Safe.

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