Celebrations fit for a queen

June 5, 2016 in Annual Event, Broader Community Event, Event, News, Social Dance, womens event by Peter Hackney

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THE Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend is just around the corner! A weekend of dancing, art, costumes and bushwalking, it culminates in the fabulous annual Three Sisters Costume Ball – one of the most glamorous LGBTIQ events in Australia. But the iconic ball is far from the whole story. Read on for the lowdown…

The bentART Exhibition

bentART. Pic: Destination NSW.

bentART. Pic: Destination NSW.

When it kicked off in 2005, the bentART exhibition was a small affair to celebrate and showcase the work of local queer artists. Now, more than decade later, the annual event is open to LGBTIQ artists across the nation and is the largest queer art exhibition in Australasia.

A highlight of the Queens Birthday weekend of activities, the official opening is at 6.30pm on Friday, June 10 at the Wentworth Falls School of Arts, with the exhibition continuing over Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

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

The GLBTIQ Bushwalk

The Blue Mountains and bushwalking go hand-in-hand – so of course, one of the main events on the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend is a bushwalk! While the Bush Lemons is known as a lesbian bushwalking and outdoors group, each June long weekend they open it up to the wider community for their annual GLBTIQ Bushwalk.

This year’s walk will see the group wander down Charles Darwin Walk to the top of Wentworth Falls, then join the Overcliff/Undercliff Track which heads over to the Valley of the Waters and the Conservation Hut. It will then take the Shortcut Track back to the falls and return via the Charles Darwin Walk.

A scene along the Charles Darwin Walk.

A scene along the Charles Darwin Walk.

“This is a beautiful area with waterfalls and spectacular views out into the Jamison Valley,” said Jocelyn from the Bush Lemons.

“The distance is around 10 kilometres and is graded easy to medium. It includes stairs, short ascents and descents, and some slippery sections – but the views and company will more than make up for that!”

Participants are asked to bring sturdy shoes or boots, water, snacks, a camera, a raincoat and any other items they may need.

To join the walk, meet at 9.30am on Saturday, June 11 in the carpark of the Wentworth Falls School of Arts (where the Bent Art Exhibition is being held) at 217 Great Western Highway, Wentworth Falls.

Please book in with Jocelyn beforehand at bushscout@bigpond.com or on 0414 572 991.

The Bush Lemons, which began in 1996, usually holds two or three bushwalks each month. For more information on this fantastic group, contact Jocelyn directly or visit www.bushlemons.com.

The Blackheath Disco

Blackheath Disco 2015. Pic: Reg Domingo/SX.

Blackheath Disco 2015. Pic: Reg Domingo/SX.

If you had to pick one word to describe the Blackheath Disco, it would undoubtedly be ‘fun’! Like a blue light disco on steroids, this feel-good event put on by the Three Sisters Social Club draws revellers from far and wide. This year, the disco will feature a fabulous mix of music by DJ Sound Affair (The Polly’s Club) as well as performances by the one-and-only Gaynor Tension, who will channel the legendary divas (Liza, Judy, Dame Shirley and more).

There are no bookings available for the Blackheath Disco, simply turn up on the night – but make sure you get there early to grab a good table! Doors open at 7.15pm Saturday, June 11 at the Blackheath Community Centre, Great Western Highway (near Gardiner’s Crescent). BYO alcohol – snacks and soft drinks available. Entry $25. Visit the Three Sisters Social Club website for details.

The 35th Annual Three Sisters Costume Ball

Three Sisters Costume Ball 2015. Pic: Neil Richards.

Three Sisters Costume Ball 2015. Pic: Neil Richards.

This is arguably the crowing glory of the weekend’s festivities. A number of gay and lesbian events are held around Australia over the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend – but this glamorous, old-school ball knocks them all out of the park.

To be held at the luxurious Fairmont Resort Hotel in Leura on Sunday, June 12, this year’s ball will be a French affair, themed ‘Blue, Blanc et Rouge – French Chic’. French fashion and style has captured the world’s attention for centuries, so the options for dressing up are limited only by your imagination!

The evening will begin with welcome drinks from 6.45pm in the foyer, followed by a sumptuous three-course meal with wine, beer and soft drinks in the ballroom. Band and DJ entertainment will continue through to midnight, and there’ll also be a guest appearance by Gaynor Tension. Tickets for this glamorous night of food, drinks and entertainment are $145. Email annualcostumeball@threesisterssocial.asn.au for bookings, and visit the Three Sisters Social Club website for more info.

The Pink Mountains Same-Sex Formal

Thanks to a fundraising initiative by Mount Vic Flicks, the Blue Mountains’ first ever same-sex formal for LGBTQI youth will be held on the June Long Weekend.

Pink Mountains Same-Sex Formal flyer.

Pink Mountains Same-Sex Formal flyer.

Designed as a event for LGBTQI people aged 21 and under, the formal will be drug and alcohol-free, with soft drinks and snacks available.

Adults over 21 from the Blue Mountains LGBTQI community will provide supervision on the night, while information about services and support for young people will also be available.

The idea is to give young people from the Blue Mountains a safe, fun environment where they can express themselves, be themselves and dance with who they want. Dressing up is encouraged.

This event will be hosted by Pink Mountains, with thanks to a number of other contributing organisations and individuals.

Doors will open at 7pm on Sunday, June 12 at the Katoomba Leura Community centre (AKA the Old Katoomba Library, 81-83 Katoomba Street, Katoomba, with the event continuing until 10pm. Visit the Pink Mountains Same-Sex Formal Facebook page for more info.

Alphabet Soup Cinema presents “The Wizard of Oz”


Join LGBTIQ movie group Alphabet Soup Cinema for its Mount Vic Flicks debut – a digitally remastered version of The Wizard of Oz. This spellbinding classic stars Judy Garland as Dorothy, a young girl trying to get home after being swept to a magical land by a tornado.

A delight for first-timers and repeat viewers alike, the appeal of this classic spans all ages and demographics, but has always had special appeal to ‘friends of Dorothy’.

Tickets ($9 children, $10 seniors, $11 general) include a complimentary glass of bubbly on arrival. 100 per cent of profits from this screening will be donated to Pink Mountains, to assist with the costs of the Pink Mountains Winter Magic Parade entry.

Held on the public holiday Monday (June 13) doors will open at 1.30pm with the movie starting at 2pm sharp. Visit the secure online booking page – www.trybooking.com/LHMB  – to reserve your seat now!