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Saturday 10 October 2009

Dunedin's Pride Week is well underway

Posted in: Events
By Matt Akersten - 25th August 2009

Dunedin Pride: The Mardi Gras Street Parade on Friday

"We've been doing rather well… for Dunedin," said Pride Week's organiser South Murdoch when called to check how the southern city's queerest week was progressing.

She admits that life for gay people is more challenging the deeper south in New Zealand you are, and that fact is what makes the visibility of Dunedin Pride Week so important - it's a beacon which reminds the centre of the diversity of its residents.

Kicking off with its Mardi Gras Street Parade last Friday evening, South was pleased with the turnout and response. "It was great to see everyone joining together on the streets, we had about 70 people there." hen the crowd se off from the Octagon through George Street, their rainbow flags, fancy costumes and signs left Dunedinites in no doubt that Pride was here and queer. Get used to it! "We're already planning a bigger and better parade for next year and so many of us had great ideas for then.

"People tend to be quite reserved here, but now that we've done it once, they'll know it's something fun they can get involved with next time," South tells us.

Hitting the streets: Pride Week paraders


A Masquerade Ball, a Rainbow Day in the Octagon, bowling and a BBQ have been amongst the events enjoyed at Dunedin Pride so far. South says she's tried to plan a variety of activities which provide a fun and social space for people, but it's been a learning curve. Her Paint Ball and Mini Golf plans proved to be two events too much, and were cancelled when numbers confirmed were low. A rainy Rainbow Day on Saturday in the Octagon ("it was quite good, but a bit cold!") meant South is now considering holding the event in a warmer month next year.

Thanks to planning via Facebook and sharing information on Dunedin Pride Week's own website, a handful of other events are confirmed for the rest of the week, including Rainbow Indy Karting tonight, with Laser Force Wars and Pool later this week, before a special Mr. and Miss Queer Pride 09 night on Friday at the Captain Cook Tavern. Half a dozen proud queers of Dunedin will battle it out on stage there for the titles, in a glittering event which will include drag shows and DJ music. Then on Saturday it's 'Dunedin's Queerly Most Fabulous Race', with a Fuzzball Table prize for the main winner. That's the last Dunedin Pride event scheduled, as Gay Ski Week is set to roll in Queenstown from Saturday night, and South expects some crossover of attendees.

"You don't have to be queer to enjoy Dunedin Pride Week," South reminds our readers. "Come and join in, show your support, and have a great time."


Dunedin's Pride Week official schedule is here, and on Facebook here. For even more information, or to confirm your place at events, email

Matt Akersten - 25th August 2009

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