The small city of Busselton in Western Australia will hold its first Pride event next month, while Margaret River will hold its very own Mardi Gras next weekend.

Busselton, 220 km south-west of Perth, will hold its inaugural Pride festival on March 24, The West Australian has reported.

The event will be held at the ArtGeo complex and feature entertainment including drag, burlesque and music acts, with Perth indie grunge band The Tommyhawks set to headline.

OUT South West committee member Helen Robinson said LGBTI events for the region will help connect people and build resilience for the community, as well as highlighting the need for support for LGBTI people in regional areas.

“It shows people in the LGBTQI community that they’re not alone and they have someone to relate to,” she said.

Local Nic Hendry said this year will be an important time to bring the community together after the divisiveness of the marriage equality debate.

“Events that are open to our entire community and create opportunity for coming together are going to be really important, given damage done after the plebiscite,” she said.

“They offer a chance for people in the LGBTQI community to build networks in the region and promote coexistence between everyone.”

The Pride festival is one of a number of LGBTI celebrations being held in the region, along with a same-sex marriage festival on Valentine’s Day.

Margaret River, three hours south of Perth, will hold its inaugural Margi Gras celebration next weekend, The Margaret River Mail has reported.

Margi Gras will be held at Augusta Margaret River Shire gardens on Saturday February 10.

The festival will include music and entertainment, as well as Margaret River’s first public legal same-sex marriage.

“I will be legally marrying my wife of 13 years at Margi Gras,” said Margi Gras founder Rebecca Hannan.

“We had a commitment ceremony in 2005, so while we feel married in every sense, however, our union isn’t recognised by law—yet.”

More information about Margi Gras and Busselton Pride is available on Facebook.

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