SUNSHINE Coast Pride was on full display last weekend and launched with a pack of dykes on bikes followed by Coastal Assassins roller-derby girls, on four wheels, both carving a path through Eumundi Markets.

Saturday’s festivities kicked off just after 9am and Kristy Apps and the Shot Gun Shirleys had the crowd rocking early, while songstress Danielle Delaite hit the stage after lunch.

In the official part of the day, three were honoured with Pride Fair Day Awards, with Ricki Menzies for the local hero award, and Shelley Argent for the Lifetime Pride Award and former Queensland Premier Anna Bligh for the Pride Spirit Award.

Argent is the former PLFAG national spokesperson who has dedicated her life to advancing the interests of the LGBTI community and spoke of the lack of rights her son James had when he came out as gay.

Meanwhile, Menzies has lived on the Sunshine Coast region for many years and according to event organisers, they credit her with being instrumental in forming multiple support groups including Lesbian Health Action Group.

At the end of the three-day event, festival chairman Paul Ferguson said: “(It) has been a great success.”

Niel Mason, from Outrigger Resort and Spa Little Hastings Street, said he was delighted by the event’s success and that his hotel was “very busy all weekend”.

He added: “The response has been fantastic — I could not be happier.

“We got behind it to support Tourism Noosa to encourage events to the region. Paul Ferguson from Sunshine Coast Pride pushed it and we also worked with Peter Homan at Eumundi Markets, who is also on the board of Tourism Noosa.”

Over the weekend, Honan, who is general manager of Eumundi Markets, was all smiles.

“It has been great. Everything has gone to plan. We are very happy,” he said.

The markets also donated the proceeds from the markets to Sunshine Coast Pride in order to boost its coffers for next year’s event.

As well as performers, some new stallholders joined the markets for the day, including Amnesty International, Rainbow Labor, Queensland Positive People and Queensland AIDS Council and  other LGBTI community groups.

It appeared many faces from Brisbane had made the trek, with Shelley Argent commenting: “My goodness, I think I know half the people here.”

The weather held out, despite threatening to break, and on the Saturday night revellers converged at the Reef Hotel to party until the small hours for the official Pride party.

The Star Observer is a proud media partner of Sunshine Coast Pride Festival, sponsoring the Pride Fair Day awards.

Image: Paul Ferguson, Peter Homan, and Tourism Noosa’s Anita Butler and Louise Terry



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