All aboard ‘the Love Boat’ at Noosa’s Rainbow River Festival

The annual Rainbow River Festival will be returning to Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast with a three-day program of community events next month.

The festival is an LGBTIQ-inclusive party which first began in 2016 and has now become an annual celebration of love and diversity in the picturesque region.

Organisers are excited to welcome locals and visitors to join in the festivities, with the main event the colourful and vibrant two-hour River Parade embarking at noon on Sunday, March 3.

Revellers have two options to join the party: buy a ticket to join the official Rainbow Party Boat, the MV Catalina Noosa, or bring or hire their own to join the cruise along the beautiful Noosa River.

A limited number of tickets to the official party boat are on sale now for $20 each, and partygoers can also hire boats through Pelican Boat Hire Noosa.

Festival organiser Kirsty Patten said the theme this year is “The Love Boat” and a $200 cash prize will be on offer for the best decorated boat in the river parade.

“We’re inviting the whole community to join us on the Noosa River for the famous annual River Parade,” Patten said.

“Hire a boat, bring your own boat or join the official Rainbow Party boat and party in the sun on a two-hour adventure up and down the Noosa River and its canals.”

But the pride celebrations on the Sunny Coast don’t stop there: organisers from the Sunshine Coast Pride Network have confirmed the Sunshine Coast Pride Festival will return on March 30 for a day of family-friendly fun at the event’s new home at Quota Park in Nambour.

The Noosa Rainbow River Festival will be held from March 1 to 3. See the full lineup of events below. More details and tickets are available on the Noosa Rainbow River Festival’s Facebook page.

Friday, March 1

Welcome Drinks: 5-6.30pm at Noosa Yacht & Rowing Club. Watch the sun set on beautiful Noosa River for the the official start of the Festival. (Free event)

Melony’s Bar Hop: 6.30pm until late, starting at the Noosa Yacht & Rowing Club. Party with a drag queen as Sunshine Coast drag star Melony Brests takes you for a fun-filled romp down Gympie Terrace. (Tickets on sale soon)

Saturday, March 2

Noosa’s Mardi Gras Party: 8pm until late at the Villa Noosa. Join in the spirit of Mardi Gras with entertainment by the Powderpuff Girls and DJ Les Smith. (Tickets on sale soon)

Sunday, March 3

Picnic in the Park: 10-12pm at the M.V. Catalina Noosa. BYO picnic to start the big day. (Free event)

River Parade: 12-2pm at the M.V. Catalina Noosa. Australia’s one and only rainbow parade down the beautiful Noosa river. Our theme this year is ‘The Love Boat’. Full details here. (Free halfway performance by Melony Brests in Noosa Woods).

Farewell Drinks: 2pm until late at Whisky Boy Noosa. (Free event)

(Top photo by Kayle Byles)

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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