Midsumma Carnival scored another record crowd on a picture-perfect day on Sunday, with an estimated 120,000 in attendance.

Midsumma chair Lisa Watts told the Star Observer she was pleased with yesterday’s turnout, saying the event was settling in to its new location.

“It was definitely up on last year,” Watts said.

“I think increasingly Midsumma has become,in some ways, more diverse over the last few years and I think the audience has grown.

“It’s always been a really inclusive celebration and festival, but you’ve got more young people and families and Birrarung Marr’s easy to get to, easy to walk through, and people can stop off on the way.”

In 2011 the festival moved from its usual Alexandra Gardens location, across the Yarra River to Birrarung Marr (next to Federation Square).

This year crowds were entertained by a steady stream of performers during the day, while T Dance patrons were treated to a performance by pop singer and former Australian Idol contestant Ricki-Lee Coulter. Drag identity Dolly Diamond hosted popular Carnival Day institution, the dog show.

In a change from previous years, Midsumma operated its own bars at Carnival, which Watts said she hopes will turn a profit.

“There’s not a lot of opportunities to raise income during Carnival, apart from selling tickets for T Dance which is pretty expensive to run, we don’t make much from that.

“We make a small amount from donations … but alcohol sales is one area we can hopefully make some margin on.”

Last week Prahan MP Clem Newton-Brown announced Arts Victoria would continue to support the festival with a $20,000 grant.

“I am pleased to announce the Acting Minister for the Arts, Louise Asher, has approved the additional funding which will help Midsumma continue its commitment to celebrating pride and diversity through a fantastic arts and cultural program,” Newton-Brown said.

“Midsumma Carnival is always a fantastic day as people from diverse backgrounds come together to celebrate their pride.”

Tourism Victoria announced last year it would maintain its support of Midsumma to the tune of $16,000.

Midsumma runs until February 5. The program includes theatre, live music, cabaret, film and sporting events.

For a full list, visit the Midsumma website.

IN PICTURES: Carnival 2012

INFO: www.midsumma.org.au

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