OVER the Labour Day long weekend in Victoria the ChillOut festival turned the country town of Daylesford into a bustling haven for the state’s LGBTI community.

The biggest and longest-running pride festival in regional Australia, this year saw impressive crowds turn out to regular ChillOut events like the Bush Dance and the Street Parade, which took over the town centre of Daylesford on Sunday.

Stunning weather drew thousands to Sunday’s Carnival Day in Daylesford’s Victoria Park, with entertainment from musical acts like Ella Hooper, Nicolette Forte and 100% Kylie.

This year also marks the 10th year ChillOut was hosted by community royalty Dolly Diamond, who celebrated in style.

“Sunday was the Street Parade, which is always a laugh because the locals come out and mix with the city people,” Diamond told the Star Observer.

“We sit on top of a car waving like pageant king and queen.”

Diamond added that although it has been a fabulous 10 years being involved with ChillOut and she looked forward to many more years of involvement, this year’s anniversary celebrations were the highlight.

“I built it up to be brilliant and I wasn’t let down,” Diamond said.

“I stood up there with the drag kings and got given a tiara and a sash.

“As cheesy as it sounds, I don’t care: it’s all the volunteers that make this work, because without them it just wouldn’t go on. And these are the people who don’t get any money and don’t get the applause.”

 (Image credit: Dean Arcuri)

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