Outback Mardi Gras returned to the wild west last weekend for the second year running at Cloncurry’s Post Office Hotel. Cloncurry is located in far west Queensland, an hour and a half east of Mt Isa.
The Outback Mardi Gras evolved from the Country Crowd float at 2017 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. Back then, Post Office Hotel owner and publican Trevor Jones felt inspired to take the spirit and voice of the Regional LGBTQI+ community to Sydney.
After many meetings, loads of thought bubbles, not to mention the odd beer, the Country Crowd float became part of Mardi Gras history.
The float paraded down Oxford Street complete with a live Country Singer and a mechanical Bucking Bronco.
As reported on QNews.com.au this time last year, in 2020, Trevor organised the first Cloncurry Mardi Gras event.
Adelaide Queens Kanibal Kitty and Izzy Goode travelled to country Queensland for the inaugural festivities.
Western Queensland had never seen anything like it. Among Cloncurry’s claims to fame, the town is where Bob Katter’s family first settled in country Queensland. Katter’s ancestors were the town drapers back in the day.
Although he now lives in Charters Towers, Cloncurry remains part of his Federal Electorate of Kennedy. 53% of the electorate voted against marriage equality in 2017.
However, Trevor and his team were overwhelmed with support for the 2020 Cloncurry Mardi Gras. With the success of the first event, Trevor immediately began planning for 2021.
Kanibal Kitty and Izzy Goode returned in 2021. International Brand Ambassador Hans the German also travelled up as host of the weekend event. Many locals already knew Hans from appearances on America’s Got Talent, Eurovision, Australia Decides and more. Katya Louking and I travelled from Brisbane to round out the line-up.
Outback Mardi Gras Events
The festival kicked off with four big shows on Friday evening.
Hans is too camp for words and the audience ate him up.
Saturday began early with Blingo and Untucked Trivia before four more big shows.
The crowds were extremely diverse and all up for a good time. Despite many of the country lads arriving with girlfriends in tow, their bumping and grinding to Tina Turner’s ‘Nutbush City Limits’ betrayed their inner diva.
Sunday saw the Recovery Party. We sipped cocktails in the Beer Garden amidst a flotilla of inflatable pools, flamingos, palm trees and other blow up toys.
Trevor is already planning Cloncurry Mardi Gras 2022. He has some great ideas to make the event bigger and grander, but I’m sworn to secrecy. So if when people ask next year if you’re going to Mardi Gras, you want to answer “Yes, Cloncurry,” keep your eyes on social and your ears to the ground. There’s a thriving LGBTIQ+ community in regional Queensland and they know how to throw a party.
Stay safe and FABULOUS.
Wanda DParke, the Girl from Biloela signing off from Cloncurry, the Friendly Heart of the Great North West.
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.