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Biggest turnout for WLG parade and Out in the Park

Wed 23 Mar 2016 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA

The numbers are in and the Wellington Pride Parade and Out in the Park this year attracted more people than ever.   Photo: Jac Lynch This is the first year the capital has held a full pride festival and the Wellington Pride Festival | Tū whakahīhī e Te Whanganui-ā-Tara has been deemed a sucess. “The events were incredible!” say the Co-Chairs of Out Wellington Inc, Adrienne Girling and Karen Harris. “We had our biggest attendance to date. There were approximately 1,500 people in the Wellington Pride Parade and between 8,000 and 10,000 turned out for Out in the Park. “We were completely overjoyed by the turnout.” They say a huge number of young people turned out to walk in this year’s parade, “We completely took over the Wellington Waterfront, with Wellington Batucada leading the way with their fun and vibrant Brazilian drumming, followed by our fabulous leading ladies--Amanduh La Whore, Pollyfilla, DeeZaStar, Lilly Loud Mouth and Marcella de Tella.” Colourful 1980s inspired outfits and wigs could be seen throughout the crowd, a nod to the 30th anniversary of both Homosexual Law Reform and the original Gay and Lesbian Fair (which later became Out in the Park). “We had a huge number of young people turn out who walked with our Out in the Park banner near the beginning of the parade, followed by a lot of LGBTQI+ and LGBTQI+ friendly groups and organisations holding banners, wearing colourful clothing, and carrying wonderful and bright decorations made in our community craft workshops.” Out in the Park , celebrating it’s 30th year this year, started as soon as the parade reached Waitangi Park. The parade was welcomed with a karanga from Elizabeth Kerekere and Tiwhanawhana started off a mihi whakatau. “We had speeches from notable people including Wellington’s deputy mayor Justin Lester, former MP Fran Wilde, and Des Smith and John Jolliff, the first couple to have a civil union in NZ, and who are now married,” say the Co-Chairs. “Des Smith started the Gay and Lesbian Fair in 1986 to rally support for Homosexual Law Reform and continued running it for 10 years. He excitedly introduced John to the large crowd as his husband and remarked on how far we've come.” “The rest of the day went off without a hitch, with 7 hours of non-stop entertainment and 60 stalls representing the diversity of our community. Stallholders and fair attendees told us that they loved the atmosphere of the day--it was fun, relaxed, entertaining and all about community. “Wellington even turned on the weather and we were blessed with a beautiful sunny day.”    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 23rd March 2016 - 8:40am

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