Mardi Gras may seem like it has only just finished, but that doesn’t mean things are over for the year. After a long absence, the Illawarra region is working towards putting together a float for the 2010 Mardi Gras parade.

There will also be a revival of a community festival in Wollongong as a way to prepare for the parade. The aim is to drum up community support and involvement before next year.

The Spectrum Festival, as it will be known, will be modelled on the Viva La Pink festival held several years ago. It will be held on the weekend starting Saturday 31 October and includes activities ranging from cabaret to a community fair with stalls and a BBQ. Fundraising from the Spectrum Festival, which will hopefully become an annual event, will go towards a yearly entry from the region in the Mardi Gras parade.

There will be a community meeting at the Phoenix Theatre on Tuesday 9 June at 7pm to discuss plans for the float and related activities. The Phoenix Theatre is at 24 Bridge St, Coniston. For more information contact Steen at steen@phoenixtheatre.net.au or check out the theatre’s page on Facebook.

Also this week is the grand opening of Afterglow, a GLBT event being held at Wollongong’s newest nightclub, Pure. Running from 8pm-3am on this Thursday 4 June, this will be the first of many events hosted by the club for the GLBT community.

There will be a $5 cover charge, drag performances and the chance to look at the changes made to the previous club on that site, Chequers. Chequers was a long-standing gay venue of the past that has been given new life. Pure nightclub is at Piccadilly rooftop, Crown St. Wollongong. For more info contact: mathewrosen@gmail.com or call on 0427 391 344.

Take care, have fun and play safe.

info: For more information about groups, services or organisations in the Southern Region contact ACON on 4226 1163 or email tslattery@acon.org.au

Trevor Slattery is the Education and Community Development Officer at ACON’s Illawarra Branch.

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