North Queensland’s largest LGBTIQ festival, Cairns Tropical Mardi Gras, kicks off later this month, on September 29. The theme of this year’s festival is Show your love in paradise.
The annual Splash Pool Party this year moves to the Cairns Hilton. It features DJ Dan Murphy and also drag superstar Vollie La Vont.
Then, the festival’s Fair Day takes place on Sunday, October 9 at The Tanks Arts Centre. Guests can enjoy a Dog Show, watch a drag competition, cheer the winners of the Cairns LGBT+ Heroes Awards, and connect with local community groups. Legendary local performer Destiny Rogers is Mistress of Ceremonies for the day’s events.
Other events at the festival include an under-18s Rainbow Rave, a Transgender High Tea, Love Boat Sunset Cruise, a visual art exhibition, a women’s only Dance, Barefoot Bowls, and also screenings of the queer films Holding The Man and The Queen of Ireland.
Same-sex wedding expo
This year Tropical Mardi Gras will hold its very first same-sex marriage expo at the festival’s fair day, allowing local same-sex couples to start planning for the day they can get legally married.
A spokesperson for the festival said despite legal same-sex marriage still remaining a thing of the future, locals responded enthusiastically to the new event.
“We have couples in Cairns who married in New Zealand, Great Britain, Ireland, the United States and Iceland. Others held ceremonies here in Australia in consulates of countries that allow same-sex marriage.”
“The wedding industry boomed in every country that legislated same-sex marriage. Therefore, we’re pleased to see companies coming on board to cater for our region. Some consider the Cairns regions as one of Australia’s wedding capitals so we want to be ready for the reform wheen it happens.”
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