It’s all systems go for arguably the biggest gay event on the South African calendar. The Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival is in its 18th incarnation, with an exciting line-up and new innovations to the program. This year it coincides with the 10th edition of Mr Gay World™. The date is set for Thursday 24 May to Sunday 27 May 2018 as thousands of people are expected in Knysna.
The Pink Loerie is a well-known annual event in the quaint holiday town of Knysna, and this year the programme has seen some innovations. One of these is the Pink Loerie Food and Craft Market that will be held at the Knysna Mall. There are still a few stall spaces open, so those who apply quickly may still have a chance of getting one.
The newly renovated Vinyl on Main will host the traditional Meet and Greet on the Thursday. This is the ideal time to come check out who is in town and catch up on the latest gossip. It is also a great time to finalise your weekend plans, as there is so much to choose from! Perhaps you will go and see Betty Bangles and The Queens of Wigstock in one of their Drag Shows or join them for the #GayMay Fundraiser Concert including Mr and Miss Gay Mardi Gras at Vinyl on Main? Perhaps some of the lunchtime shows are more your cup of tea, or will you mix with the arty crowd at the Knysna Fine Arts Exhibition Opening?
And then of course there is the annual Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Street Parade, this year with a twist. Starting at 3pm on the Saturday on the corner of Queen Street and Main Road, it turns at Pledge Square and ends in front of Knysna Mall with a street party until 5pm. This party will be accompanied by live music and food. Come celebrate life!
The Mr Gay World™ 2018 President’s Ball and Fundraising Auction is on the Friday evening at Villa Castollini and the Grand Finale on the Saturday night at the same venue. With delegates arriving from more than 20 countries, this dazzling event will have the gay world’s eyes on Knysna as the press follow them on their week-long journey. During the week the delegates will, with the support and embrace of the community, participate in community projects in and around Knysna. Attention then shifts to the two events that culminate in the crowning of Mr Gay World™ 2018.
As usual, the people of Knysna have shown warm support for the event. Organiser John-Louis O’Neill says: “We are overwhelmed by the support of guest houses, hotels, restaurants and many others who are supporting us here in Knysna. I just want to thank everybody for their support so far. I want to invite them to also attend the events.”
The organisers are expecting a bumper year for this event and they are ready for the large numbers of participants and guests to arrive. The economic boost to the town will help rebuild after the devastating fires and is a way of thanking Knysna for its years of support.
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