Knysna will be Funky Town once more

KNYSNA'S streets will once again play host to one of the biggest street parades in the country in April, celebrating the region's, and world's, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community.

The 14th annual Pink Loerie mardi gras and arts festival will take over the town from April 30 to May 4 with this year's theme, Funky Town.

"With an ever increasingly visible gay population, Knysna's Pink Loerie has quietly become one of the most written about and must-see annual celebrations within the global gay community," Lance Weyer, the event's media liaison officer, said.

According to Weyer the Pink Loerie was started by businessmen to bring tourists to Knysna during the quiet month of May, and to celebrate the cultural and economic contribution the gay community made to the region.

One of the event's biggest accomplishments is the charity drive for local beneficiaries such as Loeriehof Old Age Home, Knysna Animal Welfare and the Mayor's Social Relief Fund.

"Even though it is a so-called gay event, it is increasingly common for many 'straight' people to attend and celebrate life together. Most events are suitable for the whole family."

With the festival taking place at various venues in town, people should not be surprised to see some colourful outfits, especially during the big parade. Visitors can also enjoy performances by top South African groups like Boylesque and Queens of Funky Town.

Mr Gay World Christopher Olwage, of New Zealand, will be at the event.