THE Knysna Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival came to a dazzling end with one of the biggest and most flamboyant parades the event has seen.
Stilettos, feathers, over-the-top makeup and as much glitz as the participants could conjure up took centre stage in the picturesque town’s main street as hundreds of divas in drag showed off their spectacular outfits to curious onlookers.
Among the participants were Knysna executive mayor Georglene Wolmarans, Mr Gay World Andreas Derleth and Mr Gay SA Jason Lee Rogers.
Festival organiser Coenie Kukkuk said the parade had been so well supported that it had actually brought the town to a standstill as there was no space for the procession to continue as festival goers blocked the street in an attempt to get a glimpse. “We believe between 25000 and 30000 people flocked to Knysna for the festival,” Kukkuk said.
He added that although the fleamarket should have been running until yesterday, most of the food stalls had to pack up after the parade on Saturday as they ran out of stock.
Although the event, which included an arts festival and various other events, was mostly about letting one’s hair down, funds were also raised for charity.
More than R20000 was raised for the Loerie Hof Retirement home thanks to proceeds from the Queens of Wonderland Dragvaganza show and a donation by the Nienaber family, as well as official sponsor Globeflight.
“We would like to thank the Knysna municipality for its support. The mayor was even at the parade and judged our bestdressed competition.”