Sports clubs to host Mardi Gras Fair Day alternative

Emerald City Kickball are hosting a Sports Fair Day
Image: Emerald City Kickball

After the devastating cancellation of Sydney Mardi Gras’ Fair Day event this Sunday, local sports groups are hosting their own outdoor alternative that day.

Tens of thousands of punters found out on Wednesday that Fair Day in Victoria Park this Sunday was cancelled. Mulch contaminated with bonded asbestos was found in the park just days before the event.

Now, queer sports clubs have joined forces to host a smaller-scale Play Day and Sports Fair. It’s in Rushcutters Bay Park in Sydney’s inner-east on Sunday.

Emerald City Kickball play matches in that park once a week. Within hours of Fair Day’s axing, the group booked it out for Sunday and rallied other clubs.

“After the devastating news of Fair Day’s cancellation, we wanted to bring a little joy to our sporting community and our friends,” the group explained.

“The day will include a variety of sports games, sports information tents, and local businesses providing licensed food to players and spectators.

“We’ll be hosting other LGBTQIA+ sporting groups from all around Sydney at our own home.”

The Sydney Rangers football club and Sydney Convicts rugby club are also involved.

“Emerald City Kickball are creating the brand new event to bring together everyone that missed out on their opportunity to showcase at Fair Day,” the club said.

Venues and groups make alternative plans

Sydney venues including Stonewall Hotel, Newtown Hotel, The Burdekin Hotel, and The Townie are hosting community stalls and trying to attract punters on Sunday.

Community groups are also sharing their alternative plans. The Harbour City Bears confirmed they’d set up at The Townie and are hosting their own “mini-Fair Day” from noon.

After the cancellation, Mardi Gras published a list of Fair Day stallholders online to allow people to support them.

Mardi Gras said moving an event like Fair Day is not a “simple lift and shift to a new location”. Relocation involves moving six stages and 200 stalls.

“We’re also putting on a 17-day festival which starts on Friday,” CEO Gil Beckwith said on Wednesday.

“A lot is going on, so for us to pivot to a new space within a few days is pretty well nigh-on impossible.”

Today (February 16) marks the official start of the 46th annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

At 6pm the City of Sydney will raise the Progress Pride flag at Sydney Town Hall.

The QNews Guide to Mardi Gras in Sydney:

The Free Events.

All Ages Events.

The Parties.

The Parade.

Best of the Rest.

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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.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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