What’s On At This Year’s Cairns Tropical Pride Festival

Cairns Tropical Pride

Cairns Tropical Pride is an event celebrating LGBTI life in beautiful tropical north Queensland, and next month the festival will return.

This year’s festival, which was previously known as Tropical Mardi Gras, will start with Out! After Elton, a dance party starting after the Elton John concert on September 30.


The events will conclude with a jam-packed Pride weekend from October 6 to 8 with a queer art exhibition, then Queer Spring Break on a secluded tropical beach surrounded by world heritage rainforest.

Tropical Pride’s signature Pride Fair Day event at the Tanks Art Centre on October 8 is set to be the largest ever gathering of LGBTI people in north Queensland.

See some more of Cairns Tropical Pride’s events below:

Pride Picnic, Paddle And Pooches
The Pride Picnic is a day for every member of the Rainbow Family – extended families, nuclear families, couples, singles – so bring the kids and the dog. Bring a Picnic and bring a barbie for the council BBQ facilities. On the day, look for the HUGE Rainbow Flag.

Out! After Elton
Party on after the Elton John concert with the first party of Tropical Pride in Meeting Room 6 of the Cairns Hilton – the former 1990’s LGBTI club space Ribbons Niteclub, freshly renovated. Party on with music from top local DJ’s and entertainment by local drag queens. There’ll be prizes for revellers wearing their best Elton John glasses.


A Very Flash Mob
In 2016, Cairns became the first Queensland town or Australian regional city to boast a rainbow crossing when the Cairns Regional Council installed one on the Cairns Esplanade. This year, the council will again be demonstrating their support for diversity and inclusion with the crossing during Cairns Tropical Pride, and the community are invited to join a huge flashmob to celebrate.

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Passing Glances: A History Of Gay Cairns
Cairns Tropical Pride and Cairns City Library present a free book display celebrating “Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns” by Ian Byford, a new book documenting the LGBTI experience in Cairns from the naming of the new settlement after the supposed gay Governor of Queensland, Sir William Wellington Cairns, up to the most recent law reforms in 2017. The display, beginning September 18, includes quotes from the book and some of its many illustrations.

In cherished memory of those lost too soon. It’s hardly surprising that when Gloria Gaynor sang, “I’ve got all my life to live, and I’ve got all my love to give, and I’ll survive. I will survive,” our community claimed the song as an anthem. The Queensland AIDS Council will share stories of community elders’ survival, some may bring a tear to your eye but all will be uplifting. There will also be information on services and assistance available because we want every single member of our community to always have somewhere to turn. There’ll be a free BBQ, and if you are lesbian, trans*, gay, indigenous, migrant or any other member of our community and have a compelling, interesting, funny, sad or any form of six minute story about a challenge you faced in life and overcame, get in touch.

How Divine!
John Water’s cinematic masterpiece “Polyester” will be screened in glorious “Odorama”. Experience the movie as the maker intended with the very last Scratch ‘n Sniff cards in the world. Party on after the movie just round the corner at Divine Central, McGinty’s Irish Bar, transformed for the night into a Divine DragFest.

Cairns Tropical Pride runs from September 30 to October 8. For more information, visit the festival’s website or Facebook page.


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.

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