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Party with Pride

Don the sequins and glitter, and get set to party with Pride in the gorgeous tropics-meets-the-outback locale of Katherine for the inaugural Katherine Pride Festival.

Top End PrideLast year, Top End Pride brought a taste of Darwin Pride’s fab festivities to town with the Darwin Pride Roadshow Katherine. Ben Herdon, former Chair of Top End Pride and one of the curators behind this year’s festival, says the reception to that initial event was overwhelmingly positive.

“The doors were wide open and everyone was asking us when we would be back.”

While last year’s event featured Darwin artists, this year’s expanded program runs over three jam-packed days, showcasing a mix of both Katherine and Darwin-based talent. The K-Town community is also getting behind the festival as hosts of various events and as volunteers.

“The most exciting thing for me is that it’s local people who are wanting something to happen and are wanting to get involved,” says Herdon.

This year’s program includes events such as Katherine Pride Picnic Day, which boasts a broad array of entertainment, from light-hearted lip-sync battles to two thought-provoking forums on Growing up Queer in the Country and How to be a Brilliant Ally.

“Both of these topics are really pertinent to this area and to the unique issues that country people face … whether you’re someone who identifies as LGBTQI+ or as an ally,” explains Herdon.

Another highlight is Dine with Pride at beautiful local venue Kumbidgee Restaurant, featuring live entertainment from the Katherine Regional Arts Choir, Constantina Bush, Emma Rowe, and more.

“The dinner is also an opportunity for LGBTQI+ individuals and their allies to meet and share stories and make connections, and that’s a really important part of what we’re doing,” says festival co-curator Melissa Favero.

This strong emphasis on connection and community also speaks to the festival’s theme – Hope.

“So much of the queer community getting together was put on hold because of COVID … so I guess Hope came from the hope that the future is looking bright again, we can start getting that connection happening again, we can keep having things like the Pride Festival where we can bring everyone together to celebrate who we are,” says Herdon.

“It’s optimistic and aspirational. It’s a word that people can connect with,” adds Favero.

Sparkling, bright and inclusive – just like Katherine Pride itself.

Katherine Pride Festival
FRI 18 – SUN 20 JUN

Thumbnail and header: Top End Pride

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