Organisers of the second annual Geelong Rainbow Festival have promised this year’s festival will be even bigger than the last, with new events including ballroom dancing and an LGBTIQ+ health and wellbeing forum.

The organisers, Geelong Rainbow Inc, have said last year’s inaugural festival was a huge success, with ticketed events selling out and the Fair Day attracting more than 1,000 people.

Co-President of Geelong Rainbow Inc, Jo Bangles, said the response from last year motivated the team to get started right away on planning the 2019 festival.

“With progress being made towards achieving inclusion for our community, Geelong’s LGBTIQ+ community felt it was time that we celebrated right here in our home town,” she said.

“We are all really proud of our town and we want to show the rest of Australia how diverse Geelong is.”

Kicking off with a pre-festival event on Thursday 7 February and running through to Sunday 10 February, this year’s festival will feature staple events such as the Geelong Rainbow Pride March and Fair Day on the Sunday, along with an Opening Night and SQUAD Party, Ballroom Dancing event, and health and wellbeing forum.

While queer events have been running in Melbourne for more than 30 years and in some regional towns for more than 20, Geelong Rainbow Festival marks Geelong’s first pride festival.

Co-President of Geelong Rainbow Inc, Wayne Landkroon, said LGBTIQ+ inclusion has been a strong priority for businesses in recent years.

“Over the last 12 months we have been engaging with organisations throughout the Geelong area,” he said.

“There is definitely a strong sense from the local corporate and small business communities that support for all employees is important, and they are really working to make sure that inclusion is not just something that involves training but that their staff are supported and celebrated.”

All events during the festival are inclusive and open for all to attend.

For more information visit: www.facebook.com/events/340688960029584

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