Winter is finally behind us, as spring bursts into colour and energy. It”s that time of year when the Hunter hosts the largest regional GLBT festival in NSW. This sixth annual Rainbow Festival is coordinated by Rainbow Visions, the Hunter community group.

It runs from Friday 10 to Sunday 19 October. Mark those dates in your social calendar.

The festival launch is at the Newcastle Regional Art Gallery on Friday 10 October at 6.30pm. With a comprehensive calendar of events, there”s sure to be something for everyone.

Back are the popular events such as Foreplay 3 (a collaborative dance party by ACON, Rainbow Visions and LLINC -“ Linking Lesbians In Newcastle), the formal Community Connections Dinner at The Bistro restaurant, NEON Transgender group”s Gender Variance evening, Chill Out Youth evening with live music and film, and the Short & Curlies queer short film night hosted by the hilarious Margaret Pomegranates and David Strap-on.

The 10 days culminate with Picnic in the Park VIII from 11am till 3pm at Gregson Park Hamilton, including fabulous entertainment, stalls, the pet parade and games. Kick on at Newcastle”s long-running GLBT venue the Gateway Hotel in Islington for Picnic Recovery from 4pm.

Eleven events run Php Aide over 10 days and most are free with only three paid events. Tickets for the Short & Curlies film night, Connections Dinner and Maynard”s Maynarderama -“ a Camp Special -“ are available from ACON. Everyone is welcome.

For further information or to download the Rainbow Festival calendar, visit or call ACON on 4927 6808.

Lastly, Central Coast Coastal Connections” last ever GLBT ball, the Grande Finale Ball, is Saturday 27 September in the main ballroom at Mingara Recreation Club in Tumbi Umbi. Tickets are $45 for members, $85 non-members. Contact Lesley on 0414 410 759 for tickets.

info: For information about groups, services, organisations or community events taking place in the Hunter, New England, MNC or Central Coast, contact ACON Hunter/MNC on 4927 6808 or email

Sean O”Rourke is the Education and Community Development Officer at ACON”s Hunter/MNC Branch.

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