Our weekend of the year

June 6, 2017 in Annual Event, Broader Community Event, Bushwalk, Event, GLBTIQ Bushwalk, News, Social Dance by Peter Hackney

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WITH an incredible six LGBTIQ+ community events packed into one big weekend, the Blue Mountains Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend celebrations are an annual landmark on Australia’s queer calendar. 

Dancing, hiking, a costume ball, cinema, art and a special youth-oriented event are just some of queer goings-on in store for the Blue Mountains from Friday, June 9 through to Monday, June 12. Read on for all the details…

bentART

A staple of Australia’s LGBTIQ+ arts scene since 2005, this year’s bentART exhibition kicks off at the Wentworth Falls School of Arts with an opening night gala at 6.30pm Friday, June 9.

The exhibition continues over the long weekend (Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm; Monday 10am-2pm) and includes an artists’ talk with two artists at 3pm on the Saturday.

Exhibition categories this year include Open, Youth, New Entrant and Pet ‘Smartphone-ography’, while a total of fourteen Exhibition Awards are up for grabs for artists.

For more info on the exhibition, visit the bentART website.

GLBTQ Bushwalk

The Bush Lemons have been holding regular bush walks and camping trips for lesbians since 1996. But each year on the June Long Weekend, they open their arms to the wider community for their annual GLBTQ Bushwalk.

Meeting at 9.30am on Saturday, June 10 at the Wentworth Falls School of Arts carpark, the trek will follow the Charles Darwin Walk to the top of Wentworth Falls. From there, the walk will join the Shortcut Track to the Conservation Hut, and then meet up with the Nature Track Loop to return to the start.

Sandy Beach, Charles Darwin Walk. Photo: Steve Alton/NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Along the way, you’ll experience beautiful waterfalls, pools, creeks, sublime views into the Jamison Valley – and great company! The total distance is about 10 kilometres and is graded easy-medium. Participants are advised to bring sturdy shoes/boots, water, snacks, a camera, and a raincoat in the event of wet weather. Everyone is welcome to stay afterwards for lunch in the delightful Wentworth Falls village centre.

To book into the walk, or for more information, phone Jocelyn on 0414 572 991.

The 36th Annual Queen’s Birthday Weekend Disco 

Flyer for the 36th Annual Queen’s Birthday Weekend Disco.

There’s no doubt about it – this fabulous event is great fun! Camp, unpretentious, colourful and unforgettable, the Queen’s Birthday Weekend Disco (AKA the Blackheath Disco) attracts hundreds of people each year, and rightly so. With a great mix of retro hits, disco classics and modern pop by DJ Sound Affair (The Polly’s Club), shows by Divas Las Vegas, raffles, prizes and a fun, friendly vibe, the disco is always a night to remember.

Bookings aren’t taken for this popular event – just turn up – but make sure you get there early if you want a table! Doors open at 7.15pm on Saturday, June 10 at the Blackheath Community Centre, Great Western Highway (near Gardiner’s Crescent), with the event running to 12.45am.

Entry is $25 and includes three raffle tickets. BYO alcohol and refreshments; snacks and soft drinks will also be available for purchase. Visit the Three Sisters Social Group website for further details.

The Glitter Gala

After last year’s successful event, Pink Mountains Youth is hosting its second annual dance party for young LGBTQISSA+ people from the Blue Mountains!

The Glitter Gala poster.

Known as The Glitter Gala, this dance party is alcohol and drug-free.

“It provides a safe space for young lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, same-sex attracted, non-heterosexual and questioning people to meet and socialise,” says Pink Mountains Youth convenor Jonathan Llewellyn, who adds that the dance party will be run by volunteers from the local community.

Pink Mountains Youth and The Glitter Gala has been funded by the community through various fundraising events including Alphabet Soup Cinema, the Pink Mountains Picnic and Mount Vic Flicks. Without their generous support neither the regular youth group nor the annual dance would be possible.

The Glitter Gala will take place at the Katoomba Leura Community Centre (AKA the Old Katoomba Library), 81-83 Katoomba Street, Katoomba on Sunday June 11 from 7pm to 10pm. Entry is $10. Soft drinks and snacks will be available.

Click here for more information about Pink Mountains Youth or email youth@pinkmountains.com.au.

Fabulous Fifties – the 36th Annual Three Sisters Costume Ball

There are a whole host of activities over the June Long Weekend – but this annual event is arguably the the most famous. (Or should that be infamous?) A glamorous, old-school costume ball, it’s a fabulous chance to get dressed up – and with this year’s theme of ‘Fabulous Fifties’, the possibilities are endless!

Flyer for the 36th Annual Queen’s Birthday Weekend Ball.

Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Doris Day, Buddy Holly, Jimmy Dean, Grace Kelly and Bette Davis are just some of the ’50s icons whose looks you could emulate. Or you could create your own bespoke 1950s look: think pencil skirts, petticoats, bullet bras, lashings of bright red lipstick and more!

A host of awards are up for grabs for attendees, including: Best Male in Theme, Best Female in Theme, Best Couple in Theme, Best Group in Theme and Belle of the Ball.

The festivities kick off at 6.45pm amidst the luxury of the Fairmont Resort, 1 Sublime Point Road, Leura on Sunday, June 11. Tickets ($150) include entry, welcome drinks, three-course meal, and beverage package until 10.15pm. (Cash bar then operates until 11.15pm.)

The West Bros Band and Sound Affair will be pumping out music till midnight, and Divas Las Vegas (Gayna Tension and Madani Trani) will perform their live cabaret show.

For bookings and info, visit the Three Sisters Social Group website, email annualcostumeball@threesisterssocial.asn.au or phone (02) 8230 0889.

Alphabet Soup Cinema presents The Sound of Music

Last but certainly not least is local LGBTIQ movie group Alphabet Soup Cinema’s latest offering, The Sound of Music on the public holiday Monday.

What better way to cap off a fabulous long weekend than one of the best-loved musicals of all time?

Singing along is highly encouraged during this much-loved classic, which will feature lyrics on the big screen, karaoke style. Dress-ups inspired by the film is also encouraged – think nun’s habits, Lederhosen, Dirndls, soldier’s outfits, wedding dresses and more!

Raffles and prizes will be on offer for guests (including a fabulous rainbow-themed gingerbread house from Coco Mama’s) and all profits from the event will be donated to the Maurice Brady Memorial Fund, in honour of the late Maurice Brady – a great ally of the LGBTIQ+ community, as well as the wider community.

The Sound of Music will screen at 2pm at Mount Vic Flicks, 2a Harley Avenue, Mount Victoria (doors open 1.30pm). Tickets $10/$15 – visit the Mount Vic Flicks website for bookings and info, or phone (02) 4787 1577.

We hope you enjoy all that our very Pink Mountains has to offer over the June Long Weekend. Don’t forget, for updates on events throughout the year, check our website, like our Facebook page and join the Pink Mountains community discussion group on Facebook. Have fun!