LGBTI entry for Winter Magic Parade

May 17, 2016 in Annual Event, Broader Community Event, Event, News, womens event by Peter Hackney

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The Blue Mountains’ lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) community will be represented in the Grand Parade at this year’s Winter Magic Festival, with Pink Mountains organising an entry in the colourful annual event – and YOU are invited to take part!
A Winter Magic parade snakes its way up Katoomba Street. (Pic: Brad Bridger/Winter Magic Festival.)

A Winter Magic parade snakes its way up Katoomba Street. (Pic: Brad Bridger/Winter Magic Festival.)

The Pink Mountains entry aims to recognise and support our growing LGBTI community – an increasingly prominent part of the rich tapestry of communities that make up the Blue Mountains.

Julie Howes from the Pink Mountains Parade Committee said it was an important step to raise visibility and awareness.

“There have been LGBTI entries in the Winter Magic Parade before, but not for a number of years. We felt it important to have a presence, considering the number of new LGBTI residents moving here, to serve as a ‘welcome’ beacon,” said Julie.

“It’s also about fun, celebration and affirmation. Like the other groups in the Grand Parade, we want to have some fun and celebrate being part of this magical part of the world we call home.

“All LGBTI people and their allies are welcome to take part,” she said. “We’re especially keen to encourage families and children to get involved.”

Pink Mountains Co-convenor Peter Hackney added that the Winter Magic entry was a potential stepping stone to one of the world’s largest street parades: the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade.

“We’re interested in bringing the Blue Mountains LGBTI community together and increasing our visibility, and the Winter Magic Festival poses an exciting opportunity to do this. Going forward, we may wish to extend this to making our presence felt in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade,” he said. “What a fabulous advertisement for the Blue Mountains it could be.”

But for now, the focus is very much on the Winter Magic Festival, which will be held on the streets of Katoomba on Saturday, June 18.

Katoomba-based artist, art therapist and costumier Martin Roberts – who works at the Sydney Theatre Company as a costumier – is designing the look of the entry.

“We’re holding several workshops beforehand, where we’d like people to come along to help create props for the parade entry,” said Martim.

“There’s nothing like a working bee for providing an opportunity for people to get to know each other and tell some stories over a hot glue gun and some glitter!”

The first workshop will be held from 10am to 1pm this Saturday, May 7 with several more to follow.

For workshop details, including times and locations, contact Julie Howes at jhowes33@gmail.com or on 0408 198 842.