ORGANISERS of this year’s Nelson Mandela Bay Pride parade are aiming for a bigger and brighter event.
Now in its second year, the gay pride event will be held at St George’s Park cricket field on Saturday.
Eastern Cape Gay and Lesbian Association (ECGLA) chairman David Hessey said there would be entertainment and food and beverage tents at the venue.
“We are doing things differently this year. There will be a parade that will start after midday from Stanley Street in Richmond Hill, go across Cape Road and all the way to St George’s Park,” he said.
The inaugural event came under fire last year when a war of words erupted between the publisher of a community newspaper in Jeffreys Bay and organisers.
The publication refused to publicise the event, saying “practising homosexuals are acting directly against God’s holy word”.
The actual parade went off without a hitch. “There were 720 people lined up in the march, counted by the police. Even though there were hiccups with the Jeffreys Bay newspaper refusing to publish our stories and calling us names, everything else went well,” Hessey said.
The entertainment aside, the festival will also play host to the Aids Training, Information and Counselling Centre, Icap and the Health Department, which will provide HIV/Aids, TB and STI (sexually transmitted infections) testing and counselling.
ECGLA spokesman Robin Payne said festivities had already started with the crowning of the Bay’s most fabulous drag queens. Saturday’s entertainment lineup included the New Afroteens, the UK’s DJ D-Viant, 2Fierce, DJ Richard Saunders and Johannesburg DJ Groovy-Q.