Pride March Victoria is seeking approval from Yarra City Council to block off Peel St in December for a GLBTI community street fair.

Yarra Councillor Dale Smedley last weekend passed a motion, seconded by Mayor Jane Garrett, for a partial closure of Peel St between Wellington and Smith Sts.

Pride March Victoria president Brett Hayhoe said the Peel Street Pride Fair would be a fundraiser for Pride March Victoria and would not compete with other events like Midsumma Carnival.

“It came about as a result of Yarra City Council’s desires to attract functions for the LGBT community, recognising the diversity of Yarra,” Hayhoe told Southern Star Observer.

“The current [Pride March] board has also had a keen interest in doing something on the northside.
“It will add another dimension to Pride March.”

Hayhoe stressed the event would not replace the St Kilda Pride event held annually at the start of the year during the Midsumma Festival.

“It will be very much a rainbow family event, along the same lines as Pride March, in that it’s an all-of-community event,” Hayhoe said.

A December date and the type of festivities are yet to be decided, however, a King and Queen of Pride competition will be held as well as a fundraising auction at the Peel Hotel.

Pride March Victoria has applied for $15,000 of council funding to get the Peel Street Pride Fair off the ground and Yarra Council is set to deliver a feasibility study at the September 21 council meeting for final approval.

Hayhoe said the annual Pride March Bake-Off fundraiser would still go ahead later in the year.

In related news, Yarra Council has also approved $10,000 of the 2010/2011 budget to be spent on a GLBTI monument in the municipality.

A further $10,000 has been committed to the project by Peel Hotel owner Tom McFeely.

Although a decision has not yet been made on the monument’s location, Smedley said a new park being created by Yarra Council on the corner of Peel and Oxford Sts would make a “good space” for the monument.

Yarra Council has also committed $20,000 funding towards the restoration of a public art mural on the former Collingwood TAFE site by gay US artist Keith Haring and $2000 to expand GLBTI library materials in Yarra libraries.

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