by Peter Gardiner
NOOSA has always been well in the pink in the eyes of gay rights activists.
And so the town will be rolling out the rainbow welcome mat next weekend for the annual post Sydney Mardi Gras party starting Friday, March 16.
This will be the officially the third Noosa Rainbow River Festival designed for the LGBTI and the wider community to socially mix in a fun atmosphere with events supported by the Noosa Business Association, Noosa Council and Tourism Noosa.
Festival organiser Kirsty Patten said this year the Rainbow River Festival has even more reason to celebrate.
"Love has won and for the first time everyone in Australia can equally express their love and commitment to each other," she said of the historic marriage equality yes vote which was particularly strong in Noosa.
"The festival has something for everyone - from a family-friendly, BYO riverside picnic, through to a party with a band and live drag performances".
"And of course, we're inviting the whole Noosa community to join us on the Noosa River for the famous annual river parade. Hire a boat, bring your own boat or join the official Rainbow Party boat and party in the sun on a two-hour adventure up and down the Noosa River and canals".
"The theme of this year's river parade is Rainbow Love, so we're asking everyone to be flirty, be daring and definitely be fabulous," Kirsty said.
The festival kicking off with welcome cocktails by the river at the Noosa Yacht & Rowing Club, followed by Melony's Bar Hop along Noosa's famous Gympie Tce, hosted by Noosa's favourite drag queen, Melony Brests. Saturday features the Festival Extravaganza, showcasing the Powderpuff Girls and guest band Flashback.
Mayor Tony Wellington said his council is proud to work on behalf of a community that celebrates diversity and promotes tolerance of individual differences.